Modern Art

What Is Modern Art?

A succinct explanation starts with the notion that artists were breaking with tradition when they created art for the modern era.


Modernism is a global movement in society that seeks to align itself with the experience and values in modern industrial life. Artists use new images, materials and techniques to make artworks that reflect the reality and hope of modern society.

Modernist art is characterized by a rejection of history and conservative views. It was innovative and experimental with a tendency towards abstraction. Materials, techniques and processes are emphasized. It is often utopian and progressive.

The Artist’s Perspective and Modern Art

Paintings were once thought of as windows in to another world, not as be real objects themselves, but now we know that they are simply our perception of reality. We see them differently depending on how we feel about them. In the 1800s, artists started painting landscapes with feelings instead of facts. These paintings showed us what the world looked like when we were happy or sad. When we look at these paintings today, we realize that they aren’t really there. They’re just pictures of something that happened in someone’s life.

The Primacy of Experience

Clement Greenberg said that art is a matter of experience, not of principle, and what matters most is what the viewer takes from it. All other things are secondary.

Matisse was a painter who had many influences. He was influenced by Cubism and other artists. He was also inspired by African art. Matisse was a very famous artist. He created paintings and sculptures. He painted landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and figures. He was born in 1869. He died in 1954. Matisse’s painting style was unique. He used bright colors and lines. Matisse’s paintings were realistic. Matisse’s paintings showed people doing things. Matisse’s paintings made you think. Matisse’s paintings had lots of shapes. Matisse’s paintings looked real. Matisse’s paintings gave you a feeling. Matisse’s paintings taught you how to see. Matisse’s paintings told stories. Matisse’s paintings helped you understand what he meant. Matisse’s paintings changed your mind. Matisse’s paintings affected you emotionally. Matisse’s paintings moved you. Matisse’s paintings influenced you. Matisse’s works of art were amazing. Matisse’s paintings are beautiful.

A Short History of History of Modern Art

Modern art is an important part of modern culture, it reflects the zeitgeist of a society, often before they are ready to appreciate it. Before modern art, fine art was limited to oil painting and sculpture. In the 20th century artworks were created by artists who used various techniques to create works that reflect what people still think about today. Artists use different materials and styles to express themselves. New materials included watercolors, pastels, pencils, charcoal, clay, wood, metal, glass, paper, etc.. In this sense, while this version of History of Modern Art has much added material, it’s still essentially about the artist’s original creation. A brief investigation into the staying power of materials and concepts, despite subsequent revisions having seen concepts evolve over time to take account of new direction in art and art history, as well as new developments in scholarship.

Modern art was the creative world’s response to the rationalist practice and perspectives of the new life and ideas provided by the technology of the industrial age. Artists worked to represent the experience of the newness in modern life in appropriate innovative ways. Although modern arts as a term applies to many different artistic genres spanning over a century, aesthetically, modern art is characterized as an attempt to portray a subject as seen from the artist’s unique perspective. This is typified by a re-evaluation of accepted or traditional styles.

The Beginnings of Modern Art

The Industrial Revolution brought many changes to the world, including the birth of the modern era. Painters were drawn to these changing landscapes, both physical and conceptual, and began painting them. They explored the material nature of paint, rather than using brush strokes to create illusion they highlighted the fact that a painting was indeed made of paint and canvas with visible brush strokes. The advancing times brought about not just new ideas, but new technologies. Photography came about and posed a serious threat to classical art forms. If a photograph is as good or better than a painter at capturing a scene, then what is the contribution of the artist to the world? Artists must find new ways to express themselves. New paradigms emerge.

How Modern is Modern?

“Modern” refers to art made after the 19th century. This includes impressionists, futurists, cubists, expressionists, dadaists, surrealists, and many other styles. Modern art rejects the old ways of painting.

Modernism is a movement that began in Europe during the 19th century. It is characterized by such things as reinforced concrete, steel, and glass. It also includes many different styles of architecture. Modernist buildings are usually very tall and thin.

Post-modernism is an artistic movement that started in the 1960s. It is a reaction to modernist ideas about art and architecture. Post-modernists question whether art and architecture should be absolute and prescriptive. They also question whether art and architecture can be correlated to meaning.

Modernism and post-modernism are terms used to describe a broad range of artistic styles that emerged in Europe during the 19th century. Both are connected to broader social and political movements. Contemporary artists use these ideas to create new works of art.

Modern Art Themes and Concepts

Modern art is the history of great artists who challenged accepted norms of beauty. Artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Dali broke away from tradition and created works that pushed boundaries of artistic expression. Their work often included themes of sexuality, violence, and other taboo subjects.

He wanted to be an artist but he couldn’t draw well. So he painted pictures instead. He tried to paint something different than what other people did. But he didn’t know how to do it. Then he got mad and started painting things that were really bad. He made a lot of mistakes. And then he died.

The Academy rejected Courbet’s work because it depicted real people working in a very realistic manner. Later, Courbet’s paintings became extremely influential to other artists.

Claude Monet was a French painter whose work was influenced by impressionist style. He was known for his paintings of water lilies and other flowers. In 1874 he exhibited a painting called Impression, Sunrise. Critics didn’t think much about this painting, but later on it became very famous.

Post-impressionism was an important movement in modern art. Artists such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Cezanne were part of this movement. This movement started around 1880 when impressionism became popular. In this period, artists tried to make paintings more realistic than before. However, in post-impressionism, artists used different techniques to create new styles.

The AvantGarde and The Progression of Modern Art

Avant-garde is a French word meaning “advance guard” or “forerunner”. In modern art, an avant-garde artist is someone who tries to break away from old traditions and values to create something new. Most of the successful and creative artists were avant-gardists. Their objective in the 20th century was to advance the practices of art, and to constantly challenge what constituted acceptable artistic forms in order to most accurately reflect the artist’s experience of contemporary life. Artists continually examined the past and valued it in relation to the present.

Modern Contemporary and Postmodern Art

Contemporary art is an umbrella term used to describe art that was created after the 1960s. This includes works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Jenny Holzer, Gilbert & George, John Baldessari, Lawrence Weiner, Sherrie Levine, Dan Graham, Joseph Kosuth, Brice Marden, Michael Heizer, Anselm Kiefer, and many others.

Postmodernism is an artistic movement that started in the mid-1960s. It was an attempt to break away from the traditions of modernism. Postmodernists were interested in exploring the ideas of culture, society, and history. They used new technologies such as film, video, computers, and photography. They also mixed old techniques with new ones. Postmodern art is usually about breaking away from traditional ways of thinking. This is done by using different forms of expression, such as film, painting, sculpture, and music. Postmodern art is often seen as being more political than other types of art. For example, it may be used to criticize the government or to make fun of people who believe in certain things.

Key moments in modernism


Formalism is the study of how an artist makes art. It was first used as a term by art critic Clive Bell who said that formalism was about the way something was made. He also said that realist paintings were those done from everyday life.


Impressionists painted outdoors and used light as their main source of inspiration. They focused on how experiences made them feel, and tried to capture that. They often ran in to the constraints of the time based nature of their work. It is hard to capture a sunrise on a field of hay in a painting, as the whole experience might only last for a few minutes.

Post-Impressionist paintings were created during the late 1800s by a group of painters who explored ways of expressing emotions. These painters used simplified colors and definite forms instead of simply painting what they saw around them. Their work didn’t look similar, but they did consider themselves part of a movement called Post-Impressionism.


Fauvism is the style of painting created by Henri Matisse and Andrée Derain. Their paintings were inspired not by the colors of nature, but by the colors as they interpreted their meaning. This led to otherworldly portraits and landscapes, though few artists remained with the style, many moved on to Cubism and later approaches.


Suprematist art was created by Kasimir Malevich, who after working in Germany with the Blau Reiter moved back to Russia to paint for the people following the Communist Revolution.


Cubism was a revolutionary new style of painting created by Pablo Picasso and Georgesse Braque. It focused on capturing all perspectives of a subject in both space and time. One of the most interesting examples of the latter is Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending Stairs.

Artist also became interested in the relationship between art and history, as World War I was happening during this time. Picasso’s famous painting Guernica as an example of a painter depicting his impressions about war and protest of the Spanish government’s role in it.


Surrealism was a combination of the role of World War II on people and culture, with a synthesis of the ideas of Freud and Jung. Surrealist artists explored their dreams and hallucinations, it was a movement more focused on ideas than feelings. Salvador Dali is of course the most famous artist of the period, but he is far from alone in embracing the movement. Surrealists, as a group, were also one of the first to move beyond painting in to sculpture, assemblage and incorporating found objects.

Pop Art

Adopting some of the approaches of the surrealists, pop artists embraced the modern world of the 1950s with a strange mixture of caricature and sincerity. They were commercial, and completely disinterested in any previous distinction between highbrow and lowbrow in art. Andy Warhol was the ultimate name attached to the movement, but there are many successful and interesting artists of the movement.

Conceptual Art

The movement beyond medium reached its pinnacle with the advent of Conceptual Art in the 1960s. Objects were only incorporated as necessary to embody an idea, which was supreme in this form. Artists also began to incorporate performance termed “happenings”. Other approaches included written descriptions or instructions for the viewer to imagine or construct themselves. Some artists even became art objects themselves, living or staying in museums for people to observe. Yoko Ono is a famous example of a conceptual artist.

The Art of Looking

Art is a visual experience. It is important to understand that when we see art we are experiencing something visually. We are not hearing music, smelling flowers, tasting food, touching fabric, feeling the texture of wood, etc. When we see art we are looking at a picture, sculpture, painting, etc. Art is a visual experience and it is important to recognize that when we see art, we are experiencing something visually, and not hearing music, smelling flower, tasting food, touching fabrics, feeling the texture of woods, etc.

Why do we value art? Because it tells us about ourselves. We value art because it helps us understand who we are.

Experience and Interpretation

Art museums were places where people go to be uplifted by art. They are places where people come to see art that might teach them a lesson or tell a story about their culture, significant events or their deities. Art museums are places where you can learn about art history and enjoy art. Art museums are also places where you can get close to art. Nowadays, art historians aren’t quite as interested in making sure that people understand the artworks they are looking at. Instead, they want to make sure that people understand how to think about art. This means that art historians are going to tell you about things that artists didn’t even know were important.