Essay on modernism in art

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Art Institute of Chicago An important aspect of modernism is how it relates to tradition through its adoption of techniques like reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody in new forms.

Essay on modernism in art

Art for Art's Sake By the early 20th century, progressive modernism came to dominate the art scene in Europe to the extent that conservative modernism fell into disrepute and was derided as an art form.

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It is well to remember that for most of the 20th century, we have fostered a narrow view of the modernist period, one in which progressive modernism has received almost exclusive attention while conservative modernism has been largely ignored.

Conservative modernists, though, the so-called academic painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries, believed they were doing their part to improve the world. In contrast to the progressive modernists, conservative modernists presented images that contained or reflected good conservative moral values, or served as examples of virtuous behaviour, or offered inspiring Christian sentiment.

Generally, conservative modernists selected subject matter that showed examples of righteous conduct and noble sacrifice that was intended to serve as a model which all good citizens should aspire to emulate.

Petersburg Such treatment was seen by the progressives as uncritical and as merely supportive of the status quo; it offered a future that was little more than a perpetuation of the present. Conservatives generally wished to maintain existing institutions; any change would be brought about gradually.

Progressives, on the other hand, were critical of institutions, both political and religious, because they were restrictive of individual liberty; they wanted radical change. Progressives placed their faith in the goodness of humankind, a goodness which they believed, starting with Rousseau in the 18th century, had become corrupted by such things as the growth of cities.

Others would argue that the rapid rise of industrial capitalism in the 18th century had turned man into a selfish, competitive animal whose inhumanity was increasingly apparent in the blighted landscape of the industrial revolution.

Rousseau had glorified Nature, and a number of modernists idealized the country life. In one way or another it challenged all authority in the name of freedom and, intentionally or not, affronted conservative middle-class values.

Generally speaking, progressive modernism tended to concern itself with political and social issues, drawing attention to troubling aspects of contemporary society, such as the plight of the poor and prostitution, which they felt needed to be addressed and corrected.

Through their art, the progressives repeatedly pointed out political and social ills which an increasingly complacent and comfortable middle class preferred to ignore.

Fundamentally, the intention was to educate the public, to keep alive in the face of conservative forces the Enlightenment ideals of freedom and equality through which the world would be made a better place.

In contrast to the conservative modernists who looked to the past and tradition, the avant-garde artist consciously rejected tradition.

Rather than existing as the most recent manifestation of a tradition stretching back into the past, the avant-garde artist saw him- or herself as standing at the beginning of a new tradition stretching, hopefully, into the future.

The progressive modernist looked to the future while the conservative modernist looked to the past. Today, we would characterize progressive modernism, the avant-garde, as politically liberal in its support of freedom of expression and demands of equality.

Since the 18th century, the modernist belief in the freedom of expression has manifested itself in art through claims to freedom of choice in subject matter and to freedom of choice in style in terms of choice of brushstroke and colour.

It was in the exercise of these rights that the artist constantly drew attention to the goals of progressive modernism. As the 19th century progressed, the practice of artistic freedom became fundamental to progressive modernism.

Essay on modernism in art

Artists began to seek freedom not just from the rules of the Academy, but from the expectations of the public. It was claimed that art possessed its own intrinsic value and should not have to be made to satisfy any edifying, utilitarian, or moral function.

It was also a ploy, another deliberate affront to bourgeois sensibility. All these have no kind of concern with it. A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.

Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want.

Postmodernist Art: Definition, Characteristics, History

Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or a dishonest tradesman.

He has no further claim to be considered as an artist. From now on, art was to be discussed in formal terms — colour, line, shape, space, composition — which effectively removed the question of meaning and purpose from consideration and permitted whatever social, political, or progressive statements the artist had hoped to make in his or her work to be conveniently ignored or played down.American modernism, much like the modernism movement in general, is a trend of philosophical thought arising from the widespread changes in culture and society in the age of timberdesignmag.coman modernism is an artistic and cultural movement in the United States beginning at the turn of the 20th century, with a core period between World War I and World War II.

Modernism’s extreme focal point on subjectivity led to a contemplative age in art, literature, philosophy, and systematic study. Modernism supports the reassessment of every piece of reality. “Because art was constantly rejecting the past and replacing it with new and innovative ideas, standards for judging quality had no benchmark.

Modernism in Art Essay. Modernism is an inclusive name applied to the many forms of rebellion against the accepted and the tra- ditional. A modernist likes to be thought a rebel—sometimes he is and will starve for his principles, sometimes he is not, but only a .

Postmodern Art Movements. So far, there have been no great international art movements during the postmodernist period. Instead, the era has witnessed the appearance of a number of narrow, localized movements, as well as several brand new types of art, like video and word painting.

Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by reactions of horror to World War I.

Postscript () The above appeared first in as a pamphlet in a series published by the Voice of America. It had been broadcast over that agency's radio in the spring of the same year.

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