Modern Art - Wikipedia

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Modern art is a general term used for most of the artistic production from the late 19th century until approximately the 1970s. (Recent art production is more often called Contemporary art or Postmodern art). Modern art refers to the then new approach to art where it was no longer important to represent a subject realistically — the invention of photography had made this function of art obsolete. Instead, artists started experimenting with new ways of seeing, with fresh ideas about the nature, materials and functions of art, often moving further toward abstraction.
The notion of modern art is closely related to Modernism.
1 History
1.1 Roots in the 19th century
1.2 Early 20th Century
2 Criticism
3 Art movements and artist groups
3.1 End of 19th century
3.2 Early 20th century (before WWI)
3.3 Between WWI and WWII
3.4 After WWII
4 Important Modern art exhibitions and museums
5 See also

[edit] History

[edit] Roots in the 19th century

At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893
By the late 19th century, several movements which were to be influential in modern art had begun to emerge: Impressionism and post-Impressionism, as well as Symbolism.
Influences upon these movements were varied: from exposure to Eastern decorative arts, particularly Japanese printmaking, to the colouristic innovations of Turner and Delacroix, to a search for more depiction of common life, as found in the work of painters such as Jean-François Millet. At the time, the generally held belief was that art should be accurate in its depiction of objects, but that it should be aimed at expressing the ideal, or the domestic. Thus the most successful painters of the day worked either through commissions, or through large public exhibitions of their own work. There were official government sponsored painters' unions, and governments regularly held public exhibitions of new fine and decorative arts.
Thus, breaking with idealization and depiction were not merely artistic statements, but decisions with social and economic results.
These movements did not necessarily identify themselves as being associated with progress, or art artistic freedom, but instead argued, in the style of the times, that they represented universal values and reality. The Impressionists argued that people do not see objects, but only the light which they reflect, and therefore painters should paint in natural light rather than in studios, and should capture the effects of light in their work.
Impressionist artists formed a group to promote their work, which, despite internal tensions, was able to mount exhibitions. The style was adopted by artists in different nations, in preference to a "national" style. These factors established the view that it was a "movement". These traits: establishment of a working method integral to the art, establishment of a movement or visible active core of support, and international adoption, would be repeated by artistic movements in the Modern period in art.

[edit] Early 20th Century

I and the Village by Marc Chagall, 1911

Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 1917
Among the movements which flowered in the first decade of the 20th century were Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and Futurism.
World War I brought an end to this phase, but indicated the beginning of a number of anti-art movements, such as Dada and the work of Marcel Duchamp, and of Surrealism. Also, artist groups like de Stijl and Bauhaus were seminal in the development of new ideas about the interrelation of the arts, architecture, design and art education.

Campbell's Soup Cans 1962 Synthetic polymer paint on thirty-two canvases, Each canvas 20 x 16" (50.8 x 40.6 cm), by Andy Warhol, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Modern art was introduced to the United States with the Armory Show in 1913, and through European artists who moved to the U.S. during World War I. It was only after World War II, though, that the U.S. became the focal point of new artistic movements. The 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Op art and Minimal art; in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Land art, Performance art, Conceptual art and Photorealism emerged.
Around that period, a number of artists and architects started rejecting the idea of "the modern" and created typically Postmodern works.
Starting from the post-World War II period, fewer artists used painting as their primary medium; instead, larger installations and performances became widespread. Since the 1970s, new media art has become a category in itself, with a growing number of artists experimenting with technological means such as video art.

[edit] Criticism
Modern art was heavily criticised (some would say misunderstood) while it was being produced. People complained that modern art was indistinguishable from non-art (such as a solid-coloured canvas, a pile of assorted objects, random cacophony (in the case of music) or, in the case of performance art, a mentally ill person). Although some works of modern art received critical acclaim, disapproval was the most common reaction among the general public. Much of the work produced could only be appreciated by other artists, or could not be understood without reading the artist's statement, a text that explained what the art "meant". This era was not the first time that the public could not understand contemporary art (for instance, the works of Mozart were considered challenging to listen to when they were first introduced), but it is the most notable. Modern art may have received a boost from an unlikely quarter: the Nazis set up public exhibitions to mock modern art as "degenerate", and when it became popular to eschew any behaviour that was similar to that of the Nazis, censorship and intolerance decreased throughout the Western world.

[edit] Art movements and artist groups
(Chronological with representative artists listed.)
Modern art

[edit] End of 19th century
Romanticism (the Romantic movement) - Francisco de Goya, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Realism - Gustave Courbet
Impressionism - Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley
Post-impressionism - Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Rousseau
Symbolism - Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, James Ensor
Les Nabis - Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Félix Vallotton
Important pre- or proto-modern sculptors: Aristide Maillol, Auguste Rodin

[edit] Early 20th century (before WWI)
Art Nouveau and national variants (Jugendstil, Modern Style, Modernisme) - Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, In Architecture and Design: Otto Wagner, Wiener Werkstätte, Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, Koloman Moser
Expressionism - Oskar Kokoschka, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde
Fauvism - André Derain, Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck
Die Brücke - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Der Blaue Reiter - Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc
Cubism - Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso
Orphism - Robert Delaunay, Jacques Villon
Futurism - Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà
Russian avant-garde - Kasimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov
De Stijl - Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian
Sculpture: Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi
Photography: Pictorialism, Straight photography

[edit] Between WWI and WWII
Exploration of the fantastic - Marc Chagall
Pittura Metafisica - Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carrà
Dada - Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters
New Objectivity - Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz
Meanwhile, in France, artists like Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine were part of a regression from the pre-WWI experimentation.
Surrealism - Jean Arp, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró
Constructivism - Naum Gabo, László Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky, Kasimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin
Bauhaus - Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee
Sculpture: Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, René Iché, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso
Scottish Colourists - Francis Cadell, Samuel Peploe, Leslie Hunter, John Duncan Fergusson

[edit] After WWII
Abstract expressionism - Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock
Art brut - Adolf Wölfli, Hans Krüsi, Benjamin Bonjour, Alois Wey
Arte Povera - Luciano Fabro, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto
Color field painting - Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko
COBRA - Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Asger Jorn
Dau-al-Set - First art movement after World War II founded in Barcelona by poet/artist Joan Brossa. Included Antoni Tàpies, Enrique Tábara, Antonio Saura
Hard-edge painting - Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, Ronald Davis
Land art - Christo, Richard Long, Robert Smithson
Les Automatistes - Claude Gauvreau, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Pierre Gauvreau, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Mousseau, Marcelle Ferron
Minimal art - Alexander Calder, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra
Postminimalism - Eva Hesse, Bruce Nauman,
Lyrical Abstraction - Ronnie Landfield, Sam Gilliam
Neo-figurative art - Fernando Botero, Antonio Berni
Neo-expressionism - Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente
New realism - Christo, Yves Klein, Pierre Restany
Op art - Victor Vasarely
Outsider art - Ignacio Carles-Tolrà, Adam Dario Keel, Ulrich Bleiker, John Elsass
Photorealism - Chuck Close, Duane Hanson
Pop art - Richard Hamilton, David Hockney,Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol
Postwar European figuration: Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, René Iché, Marino Marini, Henry Moore
Shaped canvas - Frank Stella
Soviet art - Alexander Deineka, Alexander Gerasimov, Ilya Kabakov, Dubossarski & Winogradow, Komar & Melamid, Collective Action Group

[edit] Important Modern art exhibitions and museums
For a comprehensive list see Museums of modern art.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Museo Arte Contemporaneo,Monterrey
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
documenta, five-yearly exhibition of modern and contemporary art, Kassel, Germany
Guggenheim Museum, Berlin, Bilbao, Las Vegas, New York, Venice
High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
Moderna Museet,Stockholm
Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Museo de Arte Moderno, México D.F.
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
SMAK, Gent, Belgium
Tate Modern, London
Venice Biennial, Venice
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Whitney Museum of American Art,New York