Modernism Art: Origin, characteristics and most important currents
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Modernism Art: Origin, characteristics and most important currents

Modernism Art: Origin, characteristics and most important currents

Modernism Art: Origin, characteristics and most important currents

The term Modernism art is complex to specify because behind it very different currents are hidden, not only in the field of art (such as Symbolism, Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Imagism, and Vorticism, among others) but also of literature and philosophy.

In addition to the above, and to further complicate the definition of modernism art, many of the modernist artists -among them, some of the most famous and important- are not located in any of the groups specified in previous lines.

However, there are a series of primary concepts of the modernist era that have their application. In one way or another, in all movements, artists, and writers that are not associated with it.

Origin of Modernism art

Against the forms considered classic until then, modernist art emerged at the end of the 19th century through a series of artistic expressions as we can observe. For example, in the great branches of art: sculpture, painting, literature, photography, architecture, or music. While the starting point is at the twilight of the 19th century, art scholars place its end and end in the 1970s.

The objective of Modern art, for its part, was total separation. And complete break with the traditionalism of the time, through the search for innovative techniques and artistic creations.

Historic context

Modernist art found its climax in the first half of the 20th century; However, its origin can be traced back to the twilight of the second half of the 19th century, when it burst onto the art scene in response to the incisive and revolutionary consequences of industrialization. In the field of visual arts, two movements served as spurs for the emergence of the modernist movement: we are referring to impressionism and symbolism.

These styles began to outline the first rejections towards the conventions of academic art accepted until then in the late nineteenth century, which brought a strong shake in the world of visual arts. With the dawn of the new century, the shocks of the new times that brought with them strong industrialization and technological innovations, as well as the devastating passage of the first, would begin to be felt in all facets of life (economy, society, politics, etc.). World war; and art and culture would not be left behind: in the following years, many artists moved away from traditional media employed up to that time, particularly in the case of painting, so that various avant-garde movements emerged that would give rise to modern art. These avant-garde movements would be in charge of breaking with the established and left behind patterns. And norms of the literary and artistic currents of the past determined to find new ways of expressing their art.

Main artistic movements and currents of modern art

Some of the avant-garde movements that we refer to and that emerged in this troubled era of humanity are the following:

  • Impressionism
  • Postimpressionism
  • Fauvism
  • Cubism
  • School of Paris
  • Neoplasticism
  • Expressionism
  • Surrealism
  • Abstract art
  • Concretism
  • Futurism
  • Pop art

Characteristics of Modern Art

If there is a concept that crosses the execution and way of understanding and living modernist art in a transversal way, it is, without a doubt, the freedom of creation without the previous ties of rigid norms and performance patterns that dictated the work of classical artists.

Within the old continent, European artists sought a total break with the academic art of yesteryear and tried to let their internal processes express based on doubts, fears, joys, feelings, and passions: the result was the appearance of a set of artistic trends who explored the limits of creative freedom and the breakdown with the past.

Thus, and by way of synthesis, we can point out as characteristics of modern art the following:

  • Liberation of aesthetics
  • Runaway and break with the traditional
  • Freedom for rehearsals
  • Formal freedom (free verses, abandonment of fixed forms, absence of punctuation, etc.)
  • Language-based on humor
  • Putting a value on the everyday

Most important authors

The new artistic forms that emerged as a result of modern art gave birth to a series of magnificent artists who developed their techniques of creation and reproduction, allowing a new way of thinking about the present and the system that governed that present to emerge from their souls. The way of facing the new challenges of the early twentieth century, with all the suffering, strangeness, and, on specific occasions, joy, which all this involved constituted the keys that would bring the birth of modernist art.

Modernism art in Literature

Modernist literature is structured by a central idea that runs from side to side. The rejection of the traditions of the nineteenth century. In this way, during the modernist stage, literary history (which would go from 1900 to the beginning of the 1940s) began to abandon the clear, stereotyped, and orderly narrative and its representatives opted for the presentation of fragmented texts and passionate, in which they turned their demons and their fears: a clear reflection of the enormous upheavals experienced by the old continent immersed in the First World War.

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