The German Expressionism, as artists turned to

The 19th century was an exemplary time of great
and fast paced change. Due to the Industrial Revolution (1760-1860) huge
changes in manufacturing, transport, and technology began to affect the way
people lived, worked and travelled throughout Europe and America. Towns and
cities increase in wealth as people left the rural areas to populate urban
factories. These industries led to social changes, which also led to greater
prosperity but also overpopulated the urban areas making living conditions a bit
more adverse for most workers. Modern
art refers to artistic works produced from the 1860s to about the 1970s.
These are works that are “postindustrial era” It refers to the style
and idea
of the art produced during that era. The term modern art normally alludes to art in which the customs of the
past have been thrown aside in a spirit of exploitation. Modern artists exploited
with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and
functions of art. A tendency toward abstraction
is feature of most modern art.

The date most commonly allude to as marking the
birth of modern art is 1863; this is the year infamous painter Edouard Manet
(1832-83) exhibited his scandalous and cheeky painting Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe in the Salon des Refuses in Paris. Regardless of
Manet’s respect for the French
Academy, and the fact it was modelled on a Renaissance work by
Raphael, it was as one of the most disrespectful and shocking paintings of the
19th century. This however, was just a preview of bigger changes not
only in France but all across Europe. A new age band of Modern
Artists were fed up with following the traditional academic art of
their predecessors of the 18th and 19th century, and were
beginning to fashion a range of Modern Paintings based on new themes, new
materials, and new methods. Sculpture and architecture
were also areas that were affected, and in time their changes were even more groundbreaking.

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The 19th century also observed a range of
philosophical growths which had a great impact on art. The growth of political
thought, for instance, led by Courbet and
others to promote a socially conscious form of Realist painting.
Also, the production of The
Interpretation of Dreams (1899) by Sigmund Freud (famous psychologist), promoted
the notion of the “subconscious mind”, causing artists to do more
work in Symbolism and later Surrealism. The new self-realization which Freud
promoted, led to (or at least coincided with) the development of German Expressionism, as
artists turned to expressing their individual feelings and experiences. Concerning
features, modern artists were the first to develop collage art, assorted
forms of assemblage,
a variety of kinetic art
(inc mobiles), several genres of photography, animation
(drawing plus photography) land art or earthworks,
and performance
art. In the use of their materials, modern painters affixed objects
to their canvases, such as fragments of newspaper and other items. Sculptors
used “found objects”, like the “readymades”
of Marcel
Duchamp, from which they fashioned works of Junk art. Assemblages
were created out of the most ordinary items, like cars, tables, suitcases,
wooden boxes and other items. These were (and still are) used on a daily basis.
Some new performances in their art comprised of Chromolithography which was
invented by the poster artist Jules Cheret, automatic drawing was developed by
surrealist painters, as was Frottage and Decalcomania. Gesturalist painters
invented Action Painting. Pop artists introduced “Benday dots”, and
silkscreen printing into fine art. Other new age bands and schools of modern
art which presented new painting techniques, included: Neo-Impressionism, the
Macchiaioli, Synthetism, Cloisonnism, Gesturalism, Tachisme, Kinetic Art, Neo-Dada
and Op-Art.

The most influential movements of modern
art were the Impressionist, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Dada,
Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Impressionism (1870s, 1880s)
exemplified by the landscape paintings of Claude
Monet (1840-1926), focused on the almost
impossible task of capturing fleeting moments of light and color. They
introduced non-naturalist color
schemes, and loose often highly textured brushwork. The main contribution of Impressionism to modern art was to
legitimize the use of non-naturalist colors,
thus paving the way for the wholly non-naturalist abstract art of
the 20th century. Fauvism (1905-7) Led by Henri
Matisse
(1869-1954), was the fashionable style during the
mid-1900s in Paris. The new style was
launched at the Salon d’Automne,
and became instantly famous for its vivid, garish, non-naturalist colors that made Impressionism appear almost monochrome. The main
contribution of Fauvism to modern art
was to demonstrate the independent power of color. Cubism (1908-14),
introduced a compositional system of flat splintered planes as an alternative
to Renaissance, inspired linear perspective and rounded volumes. Developed by Pablo
Picasso (1881-1973) and Georges
Braque (1882-1963) in two variants which
is the Analytical
Cubism and later Synthetic
Cubism, it became an influence to abstract
art. The main contribution of Cubism to modern art was to offer a whole new
alternative to conventional perspective, based on the inescapable fact of the
flat picture plane. Futurism (1909-14) Founded by Filippo Tommaso
Marinetti (1876-1944), Futurist art glorified speed, technology, the
automobile, the airplane and scientific achievement. Although very influential,
it borrowed heavily from Neo-Impressionism and Italian Divisionism, as well as
Cubism, especially its fragmented forms and multiple viewpoints. The main
contribution of Futurism to “modern art” was to introduce movement
into the canvas, and to link beauty with scientific advancement. Expressionism (from 1905)
The main contribution of expressionism to modern art was to popularize the idea
of subjectivity in painting and sculpture, and to show that representational
art may legitimately include subjective distortion. Dada (1916-24)
the first anti-art movement, Dada was a revolt against the system which had
allowed the carnage of the first world war (1914-18). It rapidly became an
anarchistic tendency whose aim was to subvert the arts establishment. The main
contribution of Dada was to shake up the arts world and to widen the concept of
modern art, by embracing totally new types of creativity (performance art and
readymades) as well as new materials (junk art) and themes. Its seditious sense
of humour endured in the Surrealist movement. Surrealism (from 1924)
Founded in Paris by writer Andre
Breton (1896-1966). It composed of
abstract and figurative wings, it evolved out of the nihilistic Dada movement,
most of whose members metamorphosed into surrealists, but unlike Dada it was
neither anti-art nor political. Surrealist painters used various methods –
including dreams, hallucinations, automatic or random image generation to
circumvent rational thought processes in creating works of art. The main
contribution of Surrealism to modern art was to generate a refreshingly new set
of images. Abstract Expressionism (1948-60) A broad style of abstract painting, developed in New York
just after World War II. Spearheaded by American artists themselves strongly
influenced by European expatriates, it consisted of two main styles: a highly
animated form of gestural painting, popularized by Jackson
Pollock (1912-56), and a much more passive
mood-oriented style known as Color Field painting, championed by Mark
Rothko (1903-70). The main contribution of
abstract expressionism to modern art was to popularize abstraction. 

Pop Art (Late-1950s, 1960s)
A style of art whose images reflected the popular culture and mass consumerism
of 1960s America. First emerging in New York and London during the late 1950s,
it became the dominant avant-garde style until the late 1960s. Using bold, easy
to recognize imagery, and vibrant block colors, Pop artists like Andy
Warhol (1928-87) created an iconography
based on photos of popular celebrities like film-stars, advertisements,
posters, consumer product packaging, and comic strips material that helped to
narrow the divide between the commercial arts and the fine arts. The main
contribution of abstract expressionism to modern art was to show that good art
could be low-brow, and could be made of anything.

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