Modern art is one of the most common art forms in our history. But what exactly does it mean and what type of art should we expect from this era?
What is modern art
This is basically a type of artistic creation that was produced between the 1860s until 1970s. It is defined by all the styles and philosophies of the art that were produced during this era. Most of the art associated with this era are those that defied traditions and opted to experiment on new things and fresh ideas. The experimentation usually revolved around materials and the functionality of the art. Techniques, colour, and mediums were among the things that were experimented on. This was when abstract art became the norm.
It is believed that modernism began during the Industrial Revolution. This was the time when changes were happening to manufacturing, technology, and transportation. The change was so fast that everything was being dragged into it and the rest of the world was being altered drastically because of it. Nations became more connected than ever and this opened doors for new inspiration and artists used it to influence their art.
Before modern art, artists were commissioned by wealthy individuals or institutions (e.g. church) to create artworks. This is why early art forms had religious or even mythological themes. But modernism started to showcase people, ideas, places, and other subjects that interested the artist. It even involved dreams, symbols, and icons.
About modern art history
The history of modernism had roots in the 19th century. It was in 1863 when Édouard Manet showed his painting “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” that modernism came to the light. There were earlier dates during this century that people believe to be the real birthdate of modernism. Experts are convinced that all these dates are important in the development of what we now know as modernism.
While the emergence of modern painting, sculpture, and architecture happened towards the end of the century, there was evidence of modern thoughts way back during the period of Enlightenment. It was believed that in some way, the Enlightenment was related to Modernism. The former criticised from the outside while the latter did the same from the inside – according to Clement Greenberg, a known modern art critic.
Experts and historians believe that the Romantics, Impressionists, and Realists were the true pioneers of modern art. There were so many influences over the years and it shaped modernism in so many ways. Soon, the exposure to other cultures and nations paved the way for more influences and inspiration. During the 20th century and on to the 21st century, movements continued to be created and thrive – bring more influence to modernism until it evolved into the Post-Modernism era.