Modern Art is not really all that modern. It dates from the end of the 19th century until the 1960s.
Modern Art is also not one coherent style. It’s a loose term for the succession of styles that dominated Western art and architecture for much of the twentieth century.
Despite the loose nature of the umbrella term of Modern Art, there are common themes and ambitions that unite the various styles:
- It grew out of the Impressionists’ rejection of the ‘imitation of life’ school of art
- It rejected the past as a model for the art of the present
- It is characterised by constant innovation
- It was fuelled by various social and political agendas
- It is associated with ideal visions of human life and society, underpinned by a belief in progress, stemming from the often utopian philosophies that inspired it
The desire for constant innovation led to a number of spin-off movements associated with modern art, including:
- Pop Art
As with all things fashionable, the winds change, and what was once all the rage begins to fall out of favour. Time was called on Modernism in the 1970s, when artists began to react against it and post-modernism was formed.
But although Modern Art became consigned to history in the 1970s, the works are still exciting, challenging and inspirational. They call upon us to re-examine the world around us and how we view them. And they continue to influence many of today’s influential and up-and-coming artists.
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