Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends
and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in
Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among
the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern
industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by
reactions of horror to World War I.
Modernism also rejected the
certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and many modernists rejected
Modernism, in general, includes the activities and creations of those
who felt the traditional forms of art, architecture, literature,
religious faith, philosophy, social organization, activities of daily
life, and even the sciences, were becoming ill-fitted to their tasks
and outdated in the new economic, social, and political environment of
an emerging fully industrialized world. The poet Ezra Pound's 1934
injunction to "Make it new!" was the touchstone of the movement's
approach towards what it saw as the now obsolete culture of the past.
In this spirit, its innovations, like the stream-of-consciousness
novel, atonal (or pantonal) and twelve-tone music, divisionist
painting and abstract art, all had precursors in the 19th century.
A notable characteristic of modernism is self-consciousness and irony
concerning literary and social traditions, which often led to
experiments with form, along with the use of techniques that drew
attention to the processes and materials used in creating a painting,
poem, building, etc.
Modernism explicitly rejected the ideology of
realism and makes use of the works of the past by the
employment of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation,
revision and parody.
Some commentators define modernism as a mode of thinking—one or more
philosophically defined characteristics, like self-consciousness or
self-reference, that run across all the novelties in the arts and the
disciplines. More common, especially in the West, are those who
see it as a socially progressive trend of thought that affirms the
power of human beings to create, improve and reshape their environment
with the aid of practical experimentation, scientific knowledge, or
technology. From this perspective, modernism encouraged the
re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to
philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was 'holding back'
progress, and replacing it with new ways of reaching the same end.
Others focus on modernism as an aesthetic introspection. This
facilitates consideration of specific reactions to the use of
technology in the First World War, and anti-technological and
nihilistic aspects of the works of diverse thinkers and artists
spanning the period from
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) to Samuel
While some scholars see modernism continuing into the twenty first
century others see it evolving into late modernism or high
modernism, which is then superseded by postmodernism.
1.1 Beginnings: the 19th century
1.1.1 The beginnings of modernism in France
1.2 Explosion, early 20th century to 1930
Modernism continues: 1930–1945
World War II
World War II (mainly the visual and performing arts)
2.2 Theatre of the Absurd
2.3 Pollock and abstract influences
2.4 International figures from British art
2.5 In the 1960s after abstract expressionism
2.6 Pop art
2.7.2 Collage, assemblage, installations
2.7.4 Performance and happenings
2.7.5 Intermedia, multi-media
2.8 Late period
2.9 Differences between modernism and postmodernism
2.10 Criticism and hostility to modernism
3 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
Beginnings: the 19th century
Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, 1830, a Romantic work
According to one critic, modernism developed out of Romanticism's
revolt against the effects of the
Industrial Revolution and bourgeois
values: "The ground motive of modernism, Graff asserts, was criticism
of the nineteenth-century bourgeois social order and its world view
[...] the modernists, carrying the torch of romanticism."
J. M. W. Turner
J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), one of the greatest landscape
painters of the 19th century, was a member of the Romantic movement,
as "a pioneer in the study of light, colour, and atmosphere", he
"anticipated the French Impressionists" and therefore modernism "in
breaking down conventional formulas of representation; [though] unlike
them, he believed that his works should always express significant
historical, mythological, literary, or other narrative themes."
A Realist portrait of Otto von Bismarck. The modernists condemned
The dominant trends of industrial
Victorian England were opposed, from
about 1850, by the English poets and painters that constituted the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, because of their "opposition to technical
skill without inspiration.":815 They were influenced by the
writings of the art critic
John Ruskin (1819–1900), who had strong
feelings about the role of art in helping to improve the lives of the
urban working classes, in the rapidly expanding industrial cities of
Clement Greenberg describes the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as proto-Modernists: "There the
proto-Modernists were, of all people, the pre-Raphaelites (and even
before them, as proto-proto-Modernists, the German Nazarenes). The
Pre-Raphaelites actually foreshadowed
Manet (1832–83), with whom
Modernist painting most definitely begins. They acted on a
dissatisfaction with painting as practiced in their time, holding that
its realism wasn't truthful enough."
Rationalism has also had
opponents in the philosophers
Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) and
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), both of whom had significant
influence on existentialism.:120
Industrial Revolution continued. Influential innovations
included steam-powered industrialization, and especially the
development of railways, starting in Britain in the 1830s, and the
subsequent advancements in physics, engineering, and architecture
associated with this. A major 19th-century engineering achievement was
The Crystal Palace, the huge cast-iron and plate glass exhibition hall
The Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Glass and iron were
used in a similar monumental style in the construction of major
railway terminals in London, such as
Paddington Station (1854) and
King's Cross station (1852). These technological advances led to
the building of later structures like the
Brooklyn Bridge (1883) and
Eiffel Tower (1889). The latter broke all previous limitations on
how tall man-made objects could be. These engineering marvels
radically altered the 19th-century urban environment and the daily
lives of people. The human experience of time itself was altered, with
the development of the electric telegraph from 1837, and the
adoption of standard time by British railway companies from 1845, and
in the rest of the world over the next fifty years.
But despite continuing technological advances, from the 1870s onward,
the idea that history and civilization were inherently progressive,
and that progress was always good, came under increasing attack.
Arguments arose that the values of the artist and those of society
were not merely different, but that Society was antithetical to
Progress, and could not move forward in its present form. The
Schopenhauer (1788–1860) (The World as Will and
Representation, 1819) called into question the previous optimism, and
his ideas had an important influence on later thinkers, including
Nietzsche. Two of the most significant thinkers of the period were
Charles Darwin (1809–82), author of On the Origin of
Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859), and political scientist
Karl Marx (1818–83), author of
Das Kapital (1867). Darwin's theory
of evolution by natural selection undermined religious certainty and
the idea of human uniqueness. In particular, the notion that human
beings were driven by the same impulses as "lower animals" proved to
be difficult to reconcile with the idea of an ennobling
Karl Marx argued that there were fundamental
contradictions within the capitalist system, and that the workers were
anything but free.
Odilon Redon, Guardian Spirit of the Waters, 1878, charcoal on paper,
Art Institute of Chicago
The beginnings of modernism in France
Historians, and writers in different disciplines, have suggested
various dates as starting points for modernism. Historian William
Everdell, for example, has argued that modernism began in the 1870s,
when metaphorical (or ontological) continuity began to yield to the
discrete with mathematician Richard Dedekind's (1831–1916) Dedekind
cut, and Ludwig Boltzmann's (1844–1906) statistical
thermodynamics. Everdell also thinks modernism in painting began
in 1885–86 with Seurat's Divisionism, the "dots" used to paint A
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. On the other hand,
visual art critic
Clement Greenberg called
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)
"the first real Modernist", though he also wrote, "What can be
Modernism emerged in the middle of the last
century—and rather locally, in France, with Baudelaire in literature
Manet in painting, and perhaps with Flaubert, too, in prose
fiction. (It was a while later, and not so locally, that Modernism
appeared in music and architecture)." The poet Baudelaire's Les
Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), and Flaubert's novel Madame
Bovary were both published in 1857.
In the arts and letters, two important approaches developed separately
in France. The first was Impressionism, a school of painting that
initially focused on work done, not in studios, but outdoors (en plein
air). Impressionist paintings demonstrated that human beings do not
see objects, but instead see light itself. The school gathered
adherents despite internal divisions among its leading practitioners,
and became increasingly influential. Initially rejected from the most
important commercial show of the time, the government-sponsored Paris
Impressionists organized yearly group exhibitions in
commercial venues during the 1870s and 1880s, timing them to coincide
with the official Salon. A significant event of 1863 was the Salon des
Refusés, created by Emperor Napoleon III to display all of the
paintings rejected by the
Paris Salon. While most were in standard
styles, but by inferior artists, the work of
tremendous attention, and opened commercial doors to the movement. The
second French school was Symbolism, which literary historians see
Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), and including the later
Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91) Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in
Paul Verlaine (1844–96), Stéphane Mallarmé
Paul Valéry (1871–1945). The symbolists "stressed
the priority of suggestion and evocation over direct description and
explicit analogy," and were especially interested in "the musical
properties of language." Cabaret, which gave birth to so many of
the arts of modernism, including the immediate precursors of film, may
be said to have begun in
France in 1881 with the opening of the Black
Cat in Montmartre, the beginning of the ironic monologue, and the
founding of the Society of Incoherent Arts.
Henri Matisse, Le bonheur de vivre, 1905-6, Barnes Foundation, Merion,
PA. An early Fauvist masterpiece.
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907). Picasso is considered
to have re-invented the art of painting. Many of his friends and
colleagues, even fellow painters
Henri Matisse and Georges Braque,
were upset when they saw this painting.
Influential in the early days of modernism were the theories of
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). Freud's first major work was Studies on
Hysteria (with Josef Breuer, 1895). Central to Freud's thinking is the
idea "of the primacy of the unconscious mind in mental life," so that
all subjective reality was based on the play of basic drives and
instincts, through which the outside world was perceived. Freud's
description of subjective states involved an unconscious mind full of
primal impulses, and counterbalancing self-imposed restrictions
derived from social values.:538
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was another major precursor of
modernism, with a philosophy in which psychological drives,
specifically the "will to power" (Wille zur Macht), was of central
importance: "Nietzsche often identified life itself with 'will to
power', that is, with an instinct for growth and durability."
Henri Bergson (1859–1941), on the other hand, emphasized the
difference between scientific, clock time and the direct, subjective,
human experience of time.:131 His work on time and consciousness
"had a great influence on twentieth-century novelists," especially
those Modernists who used the stream of consciousness technique, such
as Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf
(1882–1941). Also important in Bergson's philosophy was the idea
of élan vital, the life force, which "brings about the creative
evolution of everything.":132 His philosophy also placed a high
value on intuition, though without rejecting the importance of the
Important literary precursors of modernism were Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(1821–81), who wrote the novels
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment (1866) and The
Brothers Karamazov (1880);
Walt Whitman (1819–92), who published
the poetry collection
Leaves of Grass
Leaves of Grass (1855–91); and August
Strindberg (1849–1912), especially his later plays, including the
trilogy To Damascus 1898–1901, A Dream Play (1902) and The Ghost
Henry James has also been suggested as a significant
precursor, in a work as early as
The Portrait of a Lady
The Portrait of a Lady (1881).
Out of the collision of ideals derived from Romanticism, and an
attempt to find a way for knowledge to explain that which was as yet
unknown, came the first wave of works in the first decade of the 20th
century, which, while their authors considered them extensions of
existing trends in art, broke the implicit contract with the general
public that artists were the interpreters and representatives of
bourgeois culture and ideas. These "Modernist" landmarks include the
atonal ending of Arnold Schoenberg's Second String Quartet in 1908,
the expressionist paintings of
Wassily Kandinsky starting in 1903, and
culminating with his first abstract painting and the founding of the
Blue Rider group in
Munich in 1911, and the rise of fauvism and the
inventions of cubism from the studios of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso,
Georges Braque, and others, in the years between 1900 and 1910.
Explosion, early 20th century to 1930
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, 1910, Art
Institute of Chicago
An important aspect of modernism is how it relates to tradition
through its adoption of techniques like reprise, incorporation,
rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody in new forms.
Piet Mondrian, View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg,
1909, oil and pencil on cardboard, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) is Spain's
national museum of 20th-century art, located in Madrid. The photo
shows the old building with the addition of one of the contemporary
glass towers to the exterior by
Ian Ritchie Architects
Ian Ritchie Architects with the
closeup of the modern art tower.
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot made significant comments on the relation of the artist to
tradition, including: "[W]e shall often find that not only the best,
but the most individual parts of [a poet's] work, may be those in
which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most
vigorously." However, the relationship of
Modernism with tradition
was complex, as literary scholar Peter Childs indicates: "There were
paradoxical if not opposed trends towards revolutionary and
reactionary positions, fear of the new and delight at the
disappearance of the old, nihilism and fanatical enthusiasm,
creativity and despair."
An example of how Modernist art can be both revolutionary and yet be
related to past tradition, is the music of the composer Arnold
Schoenberg. On the one hand Schoenberg rejected traditional tonal
harmony, the hierarchical system of organizing works of music that had
guided music making for at least a century and a half. He believed he
had discovered a wholly new way of organizing sound, based in the use
of twelve-note rows. Yet while this was indeed wholly new, its origins
can be traced back in the work of earlier composers, such as Franz
Liszt, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler,
Richard Strauss and Max
Reger. Furthermore, it must be noted that Schoenberg also
wrote tonal music throughout his career.
In the world of art, in the first decade of the 20th century, young
painters such as
Pablo Picasso and
Henri Matisse were causing a shock
with their rejection of traditional perspective as the means of
structuring paintings, though the impressionist
already been innovative in his use of perspective. In 1907, as
Picasso was painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,
Oskar Kokoschka was
writing Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen (Murderer, Hope of Women), the
Expressionist play (produced with scandal in 1909), and Arnold
Schoenberg was composing his String Quartet No.2 in F sharp minor
(1908), his first composition without a tonal centre.
A primary influence that led to
Cubism was the representation of
three-dimensional form in the late works of Paul Cézanne, which were
displayed in a retrospective at the 1907 Salon d'Automne. In
Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an
abstracted form; instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the
artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent
the subject in a greater context.
Cubism was brought to the
attention of the general public for the first time in 1911 at the
Salon des Indépendants in
Paris (held 21 April – 13 June).
Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Henri Le Fauconnier, Robert Delaunay,
Fernand Léger and
Roger de La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye were shown together in Room
41, provoking a 'scandal' out of which
Cubism emerged and spread
Paris and beyond. Also in 1911, Kandinsky painted Bild mit
Kreis (Picture with a Circle), which he later called the first
abstract painting.:167 In 1912, Metzinger and Gleizes wrote the
first (and only) major Cubist manifesto, Du "Cubisme", published in
time for the Salon de la Section d'Or, the largest Cubist exhibition
to date. In 1912 Metzinger painted and exhibited his enchanting La
Femme au Cheval (Woman with a Horse) and Danseuse au Café (Dancer in
Albert Gleizes painted and exhibited his Les Baigneuses (The
Bathers) and his monumental Le Dépiquage des Moissons (Harvest
Threshing). This work, along with La Ville de
Paris (City of Paris) by
Robert Delaunay, was the largest and most ambitious Cubist painting
undertaken during the pre-War Cubist period.
In 1905, a group of four German artists, led by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,
Die Brücke (the Bridge) in the city of Dresden. This was
arguably the founding organization for the German Expressionist
movement, though they did not use the word itself. A few years later,
in 1911, a like-minded group of young artists formed Der Blaue Reiter
(The Blue Rider) in Munich. The name came from Wassily Kandinsky's Der
Blaue Reiter painting of 1903. Among their members were Kandinsky,
Franz Marc, Paul Klee, and August Macke. However, the term
"Expressionism" did not firmly establish itself until 1913.:274
Though initially mainly a German artistic movement, most
predominant in painting, poetry and the theatre between 1910 and 1930,
most precursors of the movement were not German. Furthermore, there
have been expressionist writers of prose fiction, as well as
non-German speaking expressionist writers, and, while the movement had
declined in Germany with the rise of
Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, there
were subsequent expressionist works.
Portrait of Eduard Kosmack (1910) by Egon Schiele
Expressionism is notoriously difficult to define, in part because it
"overlapped with other major 'isms' of the modernist period: with
Futurism, Vorticism, Cubism,
Surrealism and Dada." Richard Murphy
also comments: "the search for an all-inclusive definition is
problematic to the extent that the most challenging expressionists"
such as the novelist Franz Kafka, poet Gottfried Benn, and novelist
Alfred Döblin were simultaneously the most vociferous
anti-expressionists.:43 What, however, can be said, is that it was
a movement that developed in the early 20th century mainly in Germany
in reaction to the dehumanizing effect of industrialization and the
growth of cities, and that "one of the central means by which
expressionism identifies itself as an avant-garde movement, and by
which it marks its distance to traditions and the cultural institution
as a whole is through its relationship to realism and the dominant
conventions of representation.":43 More explicitly: that the
expressionists rejected the ideology of realism.:43–48 
Flatiron Building Manhattan, New York City, a groundbreaking
skyscraper from 1902.
There was a concentrated
Expressionist movement in early 20th century
German theatre, of which
Georg Kaiser and
Ernst Toller were the most
famous playwrights. Other notable
Expressionist dramatists included
Reinhard Sorge, Walter Hasenclever, Hans Henny Jahnn, and Arnolt
Bronnen. They looked back to Swedish playwright
August Strindberg and
German actor and dramatist
Frank Wedekind as precursors of their
dramaturgical experiments. Oskar Kokoschka's Murderer, the Hope of
Women was the first fully
Expressionist work for the theatre, which
opened on 4 July 1909 in Vienna. The extreme simplification of
characters to mythic types, choral effects, declamatory dialogue and
heightened intensity would become characteristic of later
Expressionist plays. The first full-length
Expressionist play was The
Son by Walter Hasenclever, which was published in 1914 and first
performed in 1916.
Futurism is yet another modernist movement. In 1909, the Parisian
Le Figaro published F. T. Marinetti's first manifesto. Soon
afterwards a group of painters (Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo
Carrà, Luigi Russolo, and Gino Severini) co-signed the Futurist
Manifesto. Modeled on Marx and Engels' famous "Communist Manifesto"
(1848), such manifestoes put forward ideas that were meant to provoke
and to gather followers. However, arguments in favor of geometric or
purely abstract painting were, at this time, largely confined to
"little magazines" which had only tiny circulations. Modernist
primitivism and pessimism were controversial, and the mainstream in
the first decade of the 20th century was still inclined towards a
faith in progress and liberal optimism.
Jean Metzinger, 1913,
En Canot (Im Boot), oil on canvas, 146 x 114 cm
(57.5 in × 44.9 in), exhibited at Moderni Umeni, S.V.U. Mánes,
Prague, 1914, acquired in 1916 by
Georg Muche at the Galerie Der
Sturm, confiscated by the Nazis circa 1936–37, displayed at the
Degenerate Art show in Munich, and missing ever since.
Abstract artists, taking as their examples the impressionists, as well
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) and
Edvard Munch (1863–1944), began
with the assumption that color and shape, not the depiction of the
natural world, formed the essential characteristics of art.
Western art had been, from the
Renaissance up to the middle of the
19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt
to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures
other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative
ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the
19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art
which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in
technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual
artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected
the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western
culture at that time. Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and
Kazimir Malevich all believed in redefining art as the arrangement of
pure color. The use of photography, which had rendered much of the
representational function of visual art obsolete, strongly affected
this aspect of modernism.
Modernist architects and designers, such as
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright and Le
Corbusier, believed that new technology rendered old styles of
Le Corbusier thought that buildings should function
as "machines for living in", analogous to cars, which he saw as
machines for traveling in. Just as cars had replaced the horse, so
modernist design should reject the old styles and structures inherited
Ancient Greece or from the Middle Ages. Following this machine
aesthetic, modernist designers typically rejected decorative motifs in
design, preferring to emphasize the materials used and pure
geometrical forms. The skyscraper is the archetypal modernist
building, and the Wainwright Building, a 10-story office building
built 1890-91, in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, is among the
first skyscrapers in the world. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram
Building in New York (1956–1958) is often regarded as the pinnacle
of this modernist high-rise architecture. Many aspects of
modernist design still persist within the mainstream of contemporary
architecture, though previous dogmatism has given way to a more
playful use of decoration, historical quotation, and spatial drama.
André Masson, Pedestal Table in the Studio 1922, early example of
In 1913—which was the year of philosopher Edmund Husserl's Ideas,
physicist Niels Bohr's quantized atom, Ezra Pound's founding of
Armory Show in New York, and in
Saint Petersburg the
"first futurist opera", Mikhail Matyushin's Victory over the
Sun—another Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, composed The Rite of
Spring, a ballet that depicts human sacrifice, and has a musical score
full of dissonance and primitive rhythm. This caused uproar on its
first performance in Paris. At this time though modernism was still
"progressive", increasingly it saw traditional forms and traditional
social arrangements as hindering progress, and was recasting the
artist as a revolutionary, engaged in overthrowing rather than
enlightening society. Also in 1913 a less violent event occurred in
France with the publication of the first volume of Marcel Proust's
important novel sequence
À la recherche du temps perdu
À la recherche du temps perdu (1913–1927)
(In Search of Lost Time). This often presented as an early example of
a writer using the stream-of-consciousness technique, but Robert
Humphrey comments that Proust "is concerned only with the reminiscent
aspect of consciousness" and that he "was deliberately recapturing the
past for the purpose of communicating; hence he did not write a
Stream of consciousness was an important modernist literary
innovation, and it has been suggested that Arthur Schnitzler
(1862–1931) was the first to make full use of it in his short story
"Leutnant Gustl" ("None but the Brave") (1900). Dorothy Richardson
was the first English writer to use it, in the early volumes of her
novel sequence Pilgrimage (1915–67). The other modernist
novelists that are associated with the use of this narrative technique
James Joyce in Ulysses (1922) and
Italo Svevo in La coscienza
di Zeno (1923).
However, with the coming of the Great War of 1914-18 and the Russian
Revolution of 1917, the world was drastically changed and doubt cast
on the beliefs and institutions of the past. The failure of the
previous status quo seemed self-evident to a generation that had seen
millions die fighting over scraps of earth: prior to 1914 it had been
argued that no one would fight such a war, since the cost was too
high. The birth of a machine age which had made major changes in the
conditions of daily life in the 19th century now had radically changed
the nature of warfare. The traumatic nature of recent experience
altered basic assumptions, and realistic depiction of life in the arts
seemed inadequate when faced with the fantastically surreal nature of
trench warfare. The view that mankind was making steady moral progress
now seemed ridiculous in the face of the senseless slaughter,
described in works such as Erich Maria Remarque's novel All Quiet on
the Western Front (1929). Therefore, modernism's view of reality,
which had been a minority taste before the war, became more generally
accepted in the 1920s.
In literature and visual art some Modernists sought to defy
expectations mainly in order to make their art more vivid, or to force
the audience to take the trouble to question their own preconceptions.
This aspect of modernism has often seemed a reaction to consumer
culture, which developed in Europe and North America in the late 19th
century. Whereas most manufacturers try to make products that will be
marketable by appealing to preferences and prejudices, high modernists
rejected such consumerist attitudes in order to undermine conventional
thinking. The art critic
Clement Greenberg expounded this theory of
modernism in his essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch. Greenberg labeled
the products of consumer culture "kitsch", because their design aimed
simply to have maximum appeal, with any difficult features removed.
For Greenberg, modernism thus formed a reaction against the
development of such examples of modern consumer culture as commercial
popular music, Hollywood, and advertising. Greenberg associated this
with the revolutionary rejection of capitalism.
Some Modernists saw themselves as part of a revolutionary culture that
included political revolution. In
Russia after the 1917 Revolution
there was indeed initially a burgeoning of avant-garde cultural
activity, which included Russian Futurism. However others rejected
conventional politics as well as artistic conventions, believing that
a revolution of political consciousness had greater importance than a
change in political structures. But many modernists saw themselves as
apolitical. Others, such as T. S. Eliot, rejected mass popular culture
from a conservative position. Some even argue that modernism in
literature and art functioned to sustain an elite culture which
excluded the majority of the population.
Surrealism, which originated in the early 1920s, came to be regarded
by the public as the most extreme form of modernism, or "the
avant-garde of Modernism". The word "surrealist" was coined by
Guillaume Apollinaire and first appeared in the preface to his play
Les Mamelles de Tirésias, which was written in 1903 and first
performed in 1917. Major surrealists include Paul Éluard, Robert
Desnos, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Antonin Artaud, Raymond Queneau, Joan
Miró, and Marcel Duchamp.
Modernism had won a place in the establishment, including the
political and artistic establishment, although by this time Modernism
itself had changed.
Modernism continues: 1930–1945
Modernism continued to evolve during the 1930s. Between 1930 and 1932
Arnold Schoenberg worked on Moses und Aron, one of the first
operas to make use of the twelve-tone technique, Pablo Picasso
painted in 1937 Guernica, his cubist condemnation of fascism, while in
James Joyce pushed the boundaries of the modern novel further
with Finnegans Wake. Also by 1930
Modernism began to influence
mainstream culture, so that, for example,
The New Yorker
The New Yorker magazine
began publishing work, influenced by Modernism, by young writers and
humorists like Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, E. B. White, S. J.
Perelman, and James Thurber, amongst others. Perelman is highly
regarded for his humorous short stories that he published in magazines
in the 1930s and 1940s, most often in The New Yorker, which are
considered to be the first examples of surrealist humor in
America. Modern ideas in art also began to appear more frequently
in commercials and logos, an early example of which, from 1916, is the
London Underground logo designed by Edward Johnston.
One of the most visible changes of this period was the adoption of new
technologies into daily life of ordinary people in Western Europe and
North America. Electricity, the telephone, the radio, the
automobile—and the need to work with them, repair them and live with
them—created social change. The kind of disruptive moment that only
a few knew in the 1880s became a common occurrence. For example, the
speed of communication reserved for the stock brokers of 1890 became
part of family life, at least in middle class North America.
Associated with urbanization and changing social mores also came
smaller families and changed relationships between parents and their
London Underground logo designed by Edward Johnston. This is modern
version (with minor modifications) of one that was first used in 1916.
Another strong influence at this time was Marxism. After the generally
primitivistic/irrationalist aspect of pre-
World War I
World War I Modernism, which
for many Modernists precluded any attachment to merely political
solutions, and the neoclassicism of the 1920s, as represented most
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky—which rejected popular
solutions to modern problems—the rise of Fascism, the Great
Depression, and the march to war helped to radicalise a generation.
Bertolt Brecht, W. H. Auden, André Breton,
Louis Aragon and the
Antonio Gramsci and
Walter Benjamin are perhaps the most
famous exemplars of this Modernist form of Marxism. There were,
however, also Modernists explicitly of 'the right', including Salvador
Dalí, Wyndham Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, the Dutch author Menno
ter Braak and others.
Significant Modernist literary works continued to be created in the
1920s and 1930s, including further novels by Marcel Proust, Virginia
Woolf, Robert Musil, and Dorothy Richardson. The American Modernist
dramatist Eugene O'Neill's career began in 1914, but his major works
appeared in the 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s. Two other significant
Modernist dramatists writing in the 1920s and 1930s were Bertolt
Brecht and Federico García Lorca. D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's
Lover was privately published in 1928, while another important
landmark for the history of the modern novel came with the publication
of William Faulkner's
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury in 1929. In the 1930s, in
addition to further major works by Faulkner,
Samuel Beckett published
his first major work, the novel Murphy (1938). Then in 1939 James
Finnegans Wake appeared. This is written in a largely
idiosyncratic language, consisting of a mixture of standard English
lexical items and neologistic multilingual puns and portmanteau words,
which attempts to recreate the experience of sleep and dreams. In
poetry T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, and
Wallace Stevens were writing
from the 1920s until the 1950s. While
Modernist poetry in English is
often viewed as an American phenomenon, with leading exponents
including Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, William Carlos
Williams, H.D., and Louis Zukofsky, there were important British
Modernist poets, including David Jones, Hugh MacDiarmid, Basil
Bunting, and W. H. Auden. European Modernist poets include Federico
García Lorca, Anna Akhmatova, Constantine Cavafy, and Paul Valéry.
James Joyce statue on North Earl Street, Dublin, by Marjorie
The Modernist movement continued during this period in Soviet Russia.
In 1930 composer Dimitri Shostakovich's (1906–75) opera The Nose was
premiered, in which he uses a montage of different styles, including
folk music, popular song and atonality. Amongst his influences was
Alban Berg's (1985–1935) opera
Wozzeck (1925), which "had made a
tremendous impression on Shostakovich when it was staged in
Leningrad." However, from 1932
Socialist realism began to oust
Modernism in the Soviet Union, and in 1936 Shostakovich was
attacked and forced to withdraw his 4th Symphony.
Alban Berg wrote
another significant, though incomplete, Modernist opera, Lulu, which
premiered in 1937. Berg's Violin Concerto was first performed in 1935.
Like Shostakovich, other composers faced difficulties in this period.
Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951) was forced to flee to the
U.S. when Hitler came to power in 1933, because of his Modernist
atonal style as well as his Jewish ancestry. His major works from
this period are a Violin Concerto, Op. 36 (1934/36), and Piano
Concerto, Op. 42 (1942). Schoenberg also wrote tonal music in this
period with the Suite for Strings in G major (1935) and the Chamber
Symphony No. 2 in E♭ minor, Op. 38 (begun in 1906, completed in
1939). During this time Hungarian Modernist Béla Bartók
(1881–1945) produced a number of major works, including Music for
Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936) and the Divertimento for String
Orchestra (1939), String Quartet No. 5 (1934), and No. 6 (his last,
1939). But he too left for the US in 1940, because of the rise of
fascism in Hungary.
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) continued
writing in his neoclassical style during the 1930s and 1940s, writing
works like the
Symphony of Psalms
Symphony of Psalms (1930), Symphony in C (1940) and
Symphony in Three Movements (1945). He also emigrated to the US
because of World War II.
Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992), however,
served in the French army during the war and was imprisoned at Stalag
VIII-A by the Germans, where he composed his famous Quatuor pour la
fin du temps ("Quartet for the End of Time"). The quartet was first
performed in January 1941 to an audience of prisoners and prison
In painting, during the 1920s and the 1930s and the Great Depression,
modernism is defined by Surrealism, late Cubism, Bauhaus, De Stijl,
Dada, German Expressionism, and Modernist and masterful color painters
Henri Matisse and
Pierre Bonnard as well as the abstractions of
Piet Mondrian and
Wassily Kandinsky which characterized
the European art scene. In Germany, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George
Grosz and others politicized their paintings, foreshadowing the coming
of World War II, while in America, modernism is seen in the form of
American Scene painting
American Scene painting and the social realism and regionalism
movements that contained both political and social commentary
dominated the art world. Artists like Ben Shahn, Thomas Hart Benton,
Grant Wood, George Tooker, John Steuart Curry, Reginald Marsh, and
others became prominent.
Modernism is defined in
Latin America by
Joaquín Torres García
Joaquín Torres García from Uruguay and
Rufino Tamayo from
Mexico, while the muralist movement with Diego Rivera, David
Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco,
Pedro Nel Gómez
Pedro Nel Gómez and Santiago
Martinez Delgado, and Symbolist paintings by Frida Kahlo, began a
renaissance of the arts for the region, characterized by a freer use
of color and an emphasis on political messages.
Diego Rivera is perhaps best known by the public world for his 1933
mural, Man at the Crossroads, in the lobby of the RCA Building at
Rockefeller Center. When his patron
Nelson Rockefeller discovered that
the mural included a portrait of
Vladimir Lenin and other communist
imagery, he fired Rivera, and the unfinished work was eventually
destroyed by Rockefeller's staff. Frida Kahlo's (Rivera's wife's)
works are often characterized by their stark portrayals of pain. Kahlo
was deeply influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent
in her paintings' bright colors and dramatic symbolism. Christian and
Jewish themes are often depicted in her work as well; she combined
elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition, which were often
bloody and violent. Frida Kahlo's Symbolist works relate strongly to
Surrealism and to the
Magic Realism movement in literature.
Political activism was an important piece of David Siqueiros' life,
and frequently inspired him to set aside his artistic career. His art
was deeply rooted in the Mexican Revolution. The period from the 1920s
to the 1950s is known as the Mexican Renaissance, and Siqueiros was
active in the attempt to create an art that was at once Mexican and
universal. The young
Jackson Pollock attended the workshop and helped
build floats for the parade.
During the 1930s radical leftist politics characterized many of the
artists connected to Surrealism, including Pablo Picasso. On 26
April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the Basque town of Gernika
was bombed by
Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe. The Germans were attacking to
support the efforts of
Francisco Franco to overthrow the Basque
government and the Spanish Republican government. Pablo Picasso
painted his mural-sized Guernica to commemorate the horrors of the
Pablo Picasso's Guernica, 1937, protest against Fascism
Great Depression of the 1930s and through the years of
World War II, American art was characterized by
Social Realism and
American Scene Painting, in the work of Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, Ben
Shahn, Thomas Hart Benton, and several others.
Nighthawks (1942) is a
Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown
diner late at night. It is not only Hopper's most famous painting, but
one of the most recognizable in American art. The scene was inspired
by a diner in Greenwich Village. Hopper began painting it immediately
after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After this event there was a large
feeling of gloominess over the country, a feeling that is portrayed in
the painting. The urban street is empty outside the diner, and inside
none of the three patrons is apparently looking or talking to the
others but instead is lost in their own thoughts. This portrayal of
modern urban life as empty or lonely is a common theme throughout
American Gothic is a painting by
Grant Wood from 1930. Portraying a
pitchfork-holding farmer and a younger woman in front of a house of
Carpenter Gothic style, it is one of the most familiar images in
20th-century American art.
Art critics had favorable opinions about
the painting; like
Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley, they assumed
the painting was meant to be a satire of rural small-town life. It was
thus seen as part of the trend towards increasingly critical
depictions of rural America, along the lines of Sherwood Anderson's
1919 Winesburg, Ohio, Sinclair Lewis's 1920 Main Street, and Carl Van
Vechten's The Tattooed Countess in literature. However, with the
onset of the Great Depression, the painting came to be seen as a
depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit.
The situation for artists in Europe during the 1930s deteriorated
rapidly as the Nazis' power in Germany and across Eastern Europe
Degenerate art was a term adopted by the
Nazi regime in
Germany for virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the
grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and
those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions.
These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being
forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being
forbidden to produce art entirely.
Degenerate Art was also the title
of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in
Munich in 1937. The climate
became so hostile for artists and art associated with modernism and
abstraction that many left for the Americas. German artist Max
Beckmann and scores of others fled Europe for New York. In New York
City a new generation of young and exciting Modernist painters led by
Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, and others were just beginning to
come of age.
Arshile Gorky's portrait of someone who might be
Willem de Kooning
Willem de Kooning is
an example of the evolution of abstract expressionism from the context
of figure painting, cubism and surrealism. Along with his friends de
Kooning and John D. Graham, Gorky created biomorphically shaped and
abstracted figurative compositions that by the 1940s evolved into
totally abstract paintings. Gorky's work seems to be a careful
analysis of memory, emotion and shape, using line and color to express
feeling and nature.
World War II
World War II (mainly the visual and performing arts)
See also: Late modernism
Hans Hofmann, The Gate, 1959–60, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Hofmann was renowned not only as an artist but also as a teacher of
art and a modernist theorist both in his native Germany and later in
the U.S. During the 1930s in New York and California he introduced
Modernism and modernist theories to a new generation of American
artists. Through his teaching and his lectures at his art schools in
Greenwich Village and Provincetown, Massachusetts, he widened the
Modernism in the United States.
While The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature states that
modernism ended by c. 1939 with regard to British and American
literature, "When (if)
Modernism petered out and postmodernism began
has been contested almost as hotly as when the transition from
Clement Greenberg sees
modernism ending in the 1930s, with the exception of the visual and
performing arts, but with regard to music, Paul Griffiths notes
Modernism "seemed to be a spent force" by the late 1920s,
after World War II, "a new generation of composers—Boulez,
Barraqué, Babbitt, Nono, Stockhausen, Xenakis" revived
modernism". In fact many literary Modernists lived into the 1950s
and 1960s, though generally they were no longer producing major works.
The term "late modernism" is also sometimes applied to Modernist works
published after 1930. Among Modernists (or late Modernists)
still publishing after 1945 were Wallace Stevens, Gottfried Benn, T.
S. Eliot, Anna Akhmatova, William Faulkner, Dorothy Richardson, John
Cowper Powys, and Ezra Pound. Basil Bunting, born in 1901, published
his most important Modernist poem
Briggflatts in 1965. In addition,
The Death of Virgil
The Death of Virgil was published in 1945 and Thomas
Mann's Doctor Faustus in 1947. Samuel Beckett, who died in 1989, has
been described as a "later Modernist". Beckett is a writer with
roots in the expressionist tradition of Modernism, who produced works
from the 1930s until the 1980s, including Molloy (1951), Waiting for
Godot (1953), Happy Days (1961), and
Rockaby (1981). The terms
"minimalist" and "post-Modernist" have also been applied to his later
works. The poets
Charles Olson (1910–1970) and J. H. Prynne
(born 1936) are among the writers in the second half of the 20th
century who have been described as late Modernists.
More recently the term "late modernism" has been redefined by at least
one critic and used to refer to works written after 1945, rather than
1930. With this usage goes the idea that the ideology of modernism was
significantly re-shaped by the events of World War II, especially the
Holocaust and the dropping of the atom bomb.
The postwar period left the capitals of Europe in upheaval with an
urgency to economically and physically rebuild and to politically
Paris (the former center of European culture and the
former capital of the art world) the climate for art was a disaster.
Important collectors, dealers, and Modernist artists, writers, and
poets had fled Europe for New York and America. The surrealists and
modern artists from every cultural center of Europe had fled the
onslaught of the Nazis for safe haven in the United States. Many of
those who didn't flee perished. A few artists, notably Pablo Picasso,
Henri Matisse, and Pierre Bonnard, remained in
France and survived.
The 1940s in
New York City
New York City heralded the triumph of American abstract
expressionism, a Modernist movement that combined lessons learned from
Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, surrealism, Joan Miró, cubism, Fauvism,
and early modernism via great teachers in America like Hans Hofmann
and John D. Graham. American artists benefited from the presence of
Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger,
Max Ernst and the
André Breton group,
Pierre Matisse's gallery, and Peggy Guggenheim's gallery The
This Century, as well as other factors.
Paris, moreover, recaptured much of its luster in the 1950s and 60s as
the center of a machine art florescence, with both of the leading
machine art sculptors
Jean Tinguely and
Nicolas Schöffer having moved
there to launch their careers – and which florescence, in light of
the technocentric character of modern life, may well have a
particularly long lasting influence.
Theatre of the Absurd
Samuel Beckett's En attendant Godot, (Waiting for Godot) Festival
The term "Theatre of the Absurd" is applied to plays, written
primarily by Europeans, that express the belief that human existence
has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down.
Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and
illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence. While
there are significant precursors, including Alfred Jarry
Theatre of the Absurd
Theatre of the Absurd is generally seen as
beginning in the 1950s with the plays of Samuel Beckett.
Martin Esslin coined the term in his 1960 essay "Theatre of the
Absurd". He related these plays based on a broad theme of the Absurd,
similar to the way
Albert Camus uses the term in his 1942 essay, The
Myth of Sisyphus. The Absurd in these plays takes the form of
man's reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and/or man as a
puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces. Though the
term is applied to a wide range of plays, some characteristics
coincide in many of the plays: broad comedy, often similar to
vaudeville, mixed with horrific or tragic images; characters caught in
hopeless situations forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions;
dialogue full of clichés, wordplay, and nonsense; plots that are
cyclical or absurdly expansive; either a parody or dismissal of
realism and the concept of the "well-made play".
Playwrights commonly associated with the
Theatre of the Absurd
Theatre of the Absurd include
Samuel Beckett (1906–1989),
Eugène Ionesco (1909–94), Jean Genet
Harold Pinter (1930–2008),
Tom Stoppard (born 1937),
Alexander Vvedensky (1904–1941),
Daniil Kharms (1905–1942),
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–90),
Alejandro Jodorowsky (born 1929),
Fernando Arrabal (born 1932),
Václav Havel (1936–2011) and Edward
Albee (born 1928).
Jackson Pollock, Blue Poles, 1952, National Gallery of Australia
Pollock and abstract influences
During the late 1940s Jackson Pollock's radical approach to painting
revolutionized the potential for all contemporary art that followed
him. To some extent Pollock realized that the journey toward making a
work of art was as important as the work of art itself. Like Pablo
Picasso's innovative reinventions of painting and sculpture in the
early 20th century via
Cubism and constructed sculpture, Pollock
redefined the way art is made. His move away from easel painting and
conventionality was a liberating signal to the artists of his era and
to all who came after. Artists realized that Jackson Pollock's
process—placing unstretched raw canvas on the floor where it could
be attacked from all four sides using artistic and industrial
materials; dripping and throwing linear skeins of paint; drawing,
staining, and brushing; using imagery and nonimagery—essentially
blasted artmaking beyond any prior boundary. Abstract expressionism
generally expanded and developed the definitions and possibilities
available to artists for the creation of new works of art.
Barnett Newman, Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, 1966. Typical of
Newman's later work, with the use of pure and vibrant color.
The other abstract expressionists followed Pollock's breakthrough with
new breakthroughs of their own. In a sense the innovations of Jackson
Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston,
Hans Hofmann, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Robert
Peter Voulkos and others opened the floodgates to the
diversity and scope of all the art that followed them. Rereadings into
abstract art by art historians such as Linda Nochlin, Griselda
Pollock and Catherine de Zegher critically show, however,
that pioneering women artists who produced major innovations in modern
art had been ignored by official accounts of its history.
International figures from British art
Henry Moore (1898–1986) emerged after
World War II
World War II as Britain's
leading sculptor. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental
bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works
of art. His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure,
typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures, usually
suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the 1950s when he
sculpted family groups. His forms are generally pierced or contain
Henry Moore, Reclining Figure (1957). In front of the Kunsthaus
In the 1950s, Moore began to receive increasingly significant
commissions, including a reclining figure for the
UNESCO building in
Paris in 1958. With many more public works of art, the scale of
Moore's sculptures grew significantly. The last three decades of
Moore's life continued in a similar vein, with several major
retrospectives taking place around the world, notably a prominent
exhibition in the summer of 1972 in the grounds of the Forte di
Belvedere overlooking Florence. By the end of the 1970s, there were
some 40 exhibitions a year featuring his work. On the campus of the
University of Chicago
University of Chicago in December 1967, 25 years to the minute after
the team of physicists led by
Enrico Fermi achieved the first
controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, Moore's Nuclear
Energy was unveiled. Also in Chicago, Moore commemorated
science with a large bronze sundial, locally named Man Enters the
Cosmos (1980), which was commissioned to recognise the space
London School" of figurative painters, including Francis Bacon
Lucian Freud (1922–2011),
Frank Auerbach (born 1931),
Leon Kossoff (born 1926), and Michael Andrews (1928–1995), have
received widespread international recognition.
Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for
his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. His painterly but
abstracted figures typically appear isolated in glass or steel
geometrical cages set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon
began painting during his early 20s but worked only sporadically until
his mid-30s. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three
Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion which sealed his
reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition.
His output can be crudely described as consisting of sequences or
variations on a single motif; beginning with the 1940s male heads
isolated in rooms, the early 1950s screaming popes, and mid to late
1950s animals and lone figures suspended in geometric structures.
These were followed by his early 1960s modern variations of the
crucifixion in the triptych format. From the mid-1960s to early 1970s,
Bacon mainly produced strikingly compassionate portraits of friends.
Following the suicide of his lover George Dyer in 1971, his art became
more personal, inward-looking, and preoccupied with themes and motifs
of death. During his lifetime, Bacon was equally reviled and
Lucian Freud was a German-born British painter, known chiefly for his
thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, who was widely
considered the pre-eminent British artist of his
time. His works are noted for their psychological
penetration, and for their often discomforting examination of the
relationship between artist and model. According to William
Grimes of the New York Times, "Lucien Freud and his contemporaries
transformed figure painting in the 20th century. In paintings like
Girl with a White Dog (1951-52), Freud put the pictorial language
of traditional European painting in the service of an anti-romantic,
confrontational style of portraiture that stripped bare the sitter's
social facade. Ordinary people—many of them his friends—stared
wide-eyed from the canvas, vulnerable to the artist's ruthless
In the 1960s after abstract expressionism
Main articles: Post-painterly abstraction, Color Field, Lyrical
abstraction, Arte Povera, Process art, and Western painting
In abstract painting during the 1950s and 1960s several new directions
like hard-edge painting and other forms of geometric abstraction began
to appear in artist studios and in radical avant-garde circles as a
reaction against the subjectivism of abstract expressionism. Clement
Greenberg became the voice of post-painterly abstraction when he
curated an influential exhibition of new painting that toured
important art museums throughout the United States in 1964. Color
Field painting, hard-edge painting and lyrical abstraction
emerged as radical new directions.
By the late 1960s however, postminimalism, process art and Arte
Povera also emerged as revolutionary concepts and movements that
encompassed both painting and sculpture, via lyrical abstraction and
the postminimalist movement, and in early conceptual art. Process
art as inspired by Pollock enabled artists to experiment with and make
use of a diverse encyclopedia of style, content, material, placement,
sense of time, and plastic and real space. Nancy Graves, Ronald Davis,
Howard Hodgkin, Larry Poons, Jannis Kounellis, Brice Marden, Colin
McCahon, Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, Alan Saret, Walter Darby
Bannard, Lynda Benglis, Dan Christensen, Larry Zox, Ronnie Landfield,
Eva Hesse, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Sam Gilliam,
Mario Merz and
Peter Reginato were some of the younger artists who emerged during the
era of late modernism that spawned the heyday of the art of the late
Eduardo Paolozzi. I was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947) is considered
the initial standard bearer of "pop art" and first to display the word
Pop art and Western painting
In 1962 the
Sidney Janis Gallery mounted The New Realists, the first
major pop art group exhibition in an uptown art gallery in New York
City. Janis mounted the exhibition in a 57th Street storefront near
his gallery at 15 E. 57th Street. The show sent shockwaves through the
New York School and reverberated worldwide. Earlier in England in 1958
the term "Pop Art" was used by
Lawrence Alloway to describe paintings
that celebrated the consumerism of the post
World War II
World War II era. This
movement rejected abstract expressionism and its focus on the
hermeneutic and psychological interior in favor of art that depicted
and often celebrated material consumer culture, advertising, and
iconography of the mass production age. The early works of David
Hockney and the works of Richard Hamilton and
Eduardo Paolozzi (who
created the groundbreaking I was a Rich Man's Plaything, 1947) are
considered seminal examples in the movement. Meanwhile, in the
downtown scene in New York's East Village 10th Street galleries,
artists were formulating an American version of pop art. Claes
Oldenburg had his storefront, and the
Green Gallery on 57th Street
began to show the works of
Tom Wesselmann and James Rosenquist. Later
Leo Castelli exhibited the works of other American artists, including
Andy Warhol and
Roy Lichtenstein for most of their careers.
There is a connection between the radical works of
Marcel Duchamp and
Man Ray, the rebellious Dadaists with a sense of humor, and pop
artists like Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, whose
paintings reproduce the look of Ben-Day dots, a technique used in
Main articles: Minimalism, Minimal music, Literary minimalism,
Postminimalism, and 20th-century Western painting
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design,
especially visual art and music, wherein artists intend to expose the
essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all nonessential
forms, features, or concepts.
Minimalism is any design or style
wherein the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the
As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments
World War II
World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual
arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with
this movement include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan
Flavin, Robert Morris, Ronald Bladen, Anne Truitt, and Frank
Stella. It derives from the reductive aspects of modernism and is
often interpreted as a reaction against
Abstract expressionism and a
bridge to Postminimal art practices. By the early 1960s minimalism
emerged as an abstract movement in art (with roots in the geometric
abstraction of Kazimir Malevich, the
Bauhaus and Piet Mondrian)
that rejected the idea of relational and subjective painting, the
complexity of abstract expressionist surfaces, and the emotional
zeitgeist and polemics present in the arena of action painting.
Minimalism argued that extreme simplicity could capture all of the
sublime representation needed in art.
Minimalism is variously
construed either as a precursor to postmodernism, or as a postmodern
movement itself. In the latter perspective, early minimalism yielded
advanced Modernist works, but the movement partially abandoned this
direction when some artists like Robert Morris changed direction in
favor of the anti-form movement.
Hal Foster, in his essay The Crux of Minimalism, examines the
extent to which
Donald Judd and Robert Morris both acknowledge and
Modernism in their published definitions of
minimalism. He argues that minimalism is not a "dead end" of
Modernism, but a "paradigm shift toward postmodern practices that
continue to be elaborated today."
The terms have expanded to encompass a movement in music that features
such repetition and iteration as those of the compositions of La Monte
Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams.
Minimalist compositions are sometimes known as systems music. The term
"minimalist" often colloquially refers to anything that is spare or
stripped to its essentials. It has also been used to describe the
plays and novels of Samuel Beckett, the films of Robert Bresson, the
stories of Raymond Carver, and the automobile designs of Colin
Spiral Jetty from atop Rozel Point, Utah, US, in mid-April
2005. Created in 1970, it still exists although it has often been
submerged by the fluctuating lake level. It consists of some 6500 tons
of basalt, earth and salt.
In the late 1960s Robert Pincus-Witten coined the term
"postminimalism" to describe minimalist-derived art which had content
and contextual overtones that minimalism rejected. The term was
applied by Pincus-Whitten to the work of Eva Hesse, Keith Sonnier,
Richard Serra and new work by former minimalists Robert Smithson,
Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, Barry Le Va, and others. Other minimalists
including Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Agnes Martin, John
McCracken and others continued to produce late Modernist paintings and
sculpture for the remainders of their careers.
Since then, many artists have embraced minimal or postminimal styles,
and the label "Postmodern" has been attached to them.
Collage, assemblage, installations
Main articles: Collage, Assemblage (art), and Installation art
Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled Combine, 1963
Related to abstract expressionism was the emergence of combining
manufactured items with artist materials, moving away from previous
conventions of painting and sculpture. The work of Robert Rauschenberg
exemplifies this trend. His "combines" of the 1950s were forerunners
of pop art and installation art, and used assemblages of large
physical objects, including stuffed animals, birds and commercial
photographs. Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, John
Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Jim Dine, and Edward
Kienholz were among important pioneers of both abstraction and pop
art. Creating new conventions of art-making, they made acceptable in
serious contemporary art circles the radical inclusion in their works
of unlikely materials. Another pioneer of collage was Joseph Cornell,
whose more intimately scaled works were seen as radical because of
both his personal iconography and his use of found objects.
Main article: Neo-Dada
In the early 20th century
Marcel Duchamp submitted for exhibition a
urinal as a sculpture. He professed his intent that people look
at the urinal as if it were a work of art because he said it was a
work of art. He referred to his work as "readymades". Fountain was a
urinal signed with the pseudonym "R. Mutt", the exhibition of which
shocked the art world in 1917. This and Duchamp's other works are
generally labelled as Dada. Duchamp can be seen as a precursor to
conceptual art, other famous examples being John Cage's 4'33", which
is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence, and
Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing. Many conceptual works take
the position that art is the result of the viewer viewing an object or
act as art, not of the intrinsic qualities of the work itself. In
choosing "an ordinary article of life" and creating "a new thought for
that object" Duchamp invited onlookers to view Fountain as a
Marcel Duchamp famously gave up "art" in favor of chess. Avant-garde
David Tudor created a piece, Reunion (1968), written jointly
with Lowell Cross, that features a chess game in which each move
triggers a lighting effect or projection. Duchamp and Cage played the
game at the work's premier.
Steven Best and
Douglas Kellner identify Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns
as part of the transitional phase, influenced by Duchamp, between
Modernism and Postmodernism. Both used images of ordinary objects, or
the objects themselves, in their work, while retaining the abstraction
and painterly gestures of high Modernism.
Performance and happenings
Main articles: Performance art, Happening, and Fluxus
Yves Klein in France, and
Carolee Schneemann (pictured), Yayoi Kusama,
Charlotte Moorman, and
Yoko Ono in
New York City
New York City were pioneers of
performance based works of art, that often entailed nudity.
During the late 1950s and 1960s artists with a wide range of interests
began to push the boundaries of contemporary art.
Yves Klein in
France, Carolee Schneemann, Yayoi Kusama,
Charlotte Moorman and Yoko
Ono in New York City, and Joseph Beuys,
Wolf Vostell and Nam June Paik
in Germany were pioneers of performance-based works of art. Groups
The Living Theatre
The Living Theatre with
Julian Beck and Judith Malina
collaborated with sculptors and painters creating environments,
radically changing the relationship between audience and performer,
especially in their piece Paradise Now. The Judson Dance Theater,
located at the Judson Memorial Church, New York; and the Judson
dancers, notably Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, Elaine Summers, Sally
Gross, Simonne Forti, Deborah Hay, Lucinda Childs,
Steve Paxton and
others; collaborated with artists Robert Morris, Robert Whitman, John
Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and engineers like Billy Klüver. Park
Place Gallery was a center for musical performances by electronic
composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and other notable performance
artists including Joan Jonas.
These performances were intended as works of a new art form combining
sculpture, dance, and music or sound, often with audience
participation. They were characterized by the reductive philosophies
of minimalism and the spontaneous improvisation and expressivity of
abstract expressionism. Images of Schneeman's performances of pieces
meant to shock are occasionally used to illustrate these kinds of art,
and she is often seen photographed while performing her piece Interior
Scroll. However, the images of her performing this piece are
illustrating precisely what performance art is not. In performance
art, the performance itself is the medium. Other media cannot
illustrate performance art.
Performance art is performed, not
captured. By its nature performance is momentary and evanescent, which
is part of the point of the medium as art. Representations of
performance art in other media, whether by image, video, narrative or
otherwise, select certain points of view in space or time or otherwise
involve the inherent limitations of each medium, and which therefore
cannot truly illustrate the medium of performance as art.
During the same period, various avant-garde artists created
Happenings, mysterious and often spontaneous and unscripted gatherings
of artists and their friends and relatives in various specified
locations, often incorporating exercises in absurdity, physicality,
costuming, spontaneous nudity, and various random or seemingly
disconnected acts. Notable creators of happenings included Allan
Kaprow—who first used the term in 1958, Claes Oldenburg, Jim
Dine, Red Grooms, and Robert Whitman.
Main article: Intermedia
Another trend in art which has been associated with the term
postmodern is the use of a number of different media together.
Intermedia is a term coined by
Dick Higgins and meant to convey new
art forms along the lines of Fluxus, concrete poetry, found objects,
performance art, and computer art. Higgins was the publisher of the
Something Else Press, a concrete poet married to artist Alison Knowles
and an admirer of Marcel Duchamp.
Ihab Hassan includes "Intermedia,
the fusion of forms, the confusion of realms," in his list of the
characteristics of postmodern art. One of the most common forms
of "multi-media art" is the use of video-tape and CRT monitors, termed
video art. While the theory of combining multiple arts into one art is
quite old, and has been revived periodically, the postmodern
manifestation is often in combination with performance art, where the
dramatic subtext is removed, and what is left is the specific
statements of the artist in question or the conceptual statement of
Main article: Fluxus
Fluxus was named and loosely organized in 1962 by George Maciunas
(1931–78), a Lithuanian-born American artist.
Fluxus traces its
beginnings to John Cage's 1957 to 1959 Experimental Composition
classes at the
New School for Social Research in New York City. Many
of his students were artists working in other media with little or no
background in music. Cage's students included
Fluxus founding members
Jackson Mac Low, Al Hansen,
George Brecht and Dick Higgins.
Fluxus encouraged a do-it-yourself aesthetic and valued simplicity
over complexity. Like
Dada before it,
Fluxus included a strong current
of anti-commercialism and an anti-art sensibility, disparaging the
conventional market-driven art world in favor of an artist-centered
Fluxus artists preferred to work with whatever
materials were at hand, and either created their own work or
collaborated in the creation process with their colleagues.
Andreas Huyssen criticises attempts to claim
Fluxus for Postmodernism
as "either the master-code of postmodernism or the ultimately
unrepresentable art movement – as it were, postmodernism's
sublime." Instead he sees
Fluxus as a major Neo-Dadaist phenomena
within the avant-garde tradition. It did not represent a major advance
in the development of artistic strategies, though it did express a
rebellion against "the administered culture of the 1950s, in which a
moderate, domesticated modernism served as ideological prop to the
Main article: Late modernism
Brice Marden, Vine, 1992–93, oil on linen, 240 by 260 cm (8 by
8 1⁄2 ft), Museum of Modern Art, New York
The continuation of abstract expressionism, color field painting,
lyrical abstraction, geometric abstraction, minimalism, abstract
illusionism, process art, pop art, postminimalism, and other late
20th-century Modernist movements in both painting and sculpture
continued through the first decade of the 21st century and constitute
radical new directions in those mediums.
At the turn of the 21st century, well-established artists such as Sir
Anthony Caro, Lucian Freud, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper
Johns, Agnes Martin, Al Held, Ellsworth Kelly, Helen Frankenthaler,
Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Claes Oldenburg, Jim
Dine, James Rosenquist, Alex Katz, Philip Pearlstein, and younger
artists including Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Sam Gilliam, Isaac
Witkin, Sean Scully, Mahirwan Mamtani, Joseph Nechvatal, Elizabeth
Murray, Larry Poons, Richard Serra, Walter Darby Bannard, Larry Zox,
Ronnie Landfield, Ronald Davis, Dan Christensen, Joel Shapiro, Tom
Otterness, Joan Snyder, Ross Bleckner, Archie Rand, Susan Crile, and
others continued to produce vital and influential paintings and
Differences between modernism and postmodernism
By the early 1980s the
Postmodern movement in art and architecture
began to establish its position through various conceptual and
Postmodernism in music and literature began to
take hold earlier. In music, postmodernism is described in one
reference work, as a "term introduced in the 1970s", while in
British literature, The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature sees
modernism "ceding its predominance to postmodernism" as early as
1939. However, dates are highly debatable, especially as according
to Andreas Huyssen: "one critic's postmodernism is another critic's
modernism." This includes those who are critical of the division
between the two and see them as two aspects of the same movement, and
believe that late
Modernism is an encompassing label for a wide variety of cultural
Postmodernism is essentially a centralized movement that
named itself, based on sociopolitical theory, although the term is now
used in a wider sense to refer to activities from the 20th century
onwards which exhibit awareness of and reinterpret the
Postmodern theory asserts that the attempt to canonise Modernism
"after the fact" is doomed to undisambiguable contradictions.
In a narrower sense, what was Modernist was not necessarily also
postmodern. Those elements of
Modernism which accentuated the benefits
of rationality and socio-technological progress were only
Criticism and hostility to modernism
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Franz Marc, The fate of the animals, 1913, oil on canvas. The work was
displayed at the exhibition of "Entartete Kunst" ("degenerate art") in
Nazi Germany, 1937.
Modernism's stress on freedom of expression, experimentation,
radicalism, and primitivism disregards conventional expectations. In
many art forms this often meant startling and alienating audiences
with bizarre and unpredictable effects, as in the strange and
disturbing combinations of motifs in
Surrealism or the use of extreme
dissonance and atonality in Modernist music. In literature this often
involved the rejection of intelligible plots or characterization in
novels, or the creation of poetry that defied clear interpretation.
After the rise of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet government rejected
modernism on the grounds of alleged elitism, although it had
Futurism and Constructivism. The
of Germany deemed modernism narcissistic and nonsensical, as well as
"Jewish" (see Antisemitism) and "Negro". The Nazis exhibited
Modernist paintings alongside works by the mentally ill in an
exhibition entitled "Degenerate Art". Accusations of "formalism" could
lead to the end of a career, or worse. For this reason many Modernists
of the postwar generation felt that they were the most important
bulwark against totalitarianism, the "canary in the coal mine", whose
repression by a government or other group with supposed authority
represented a warning that individual liberties were being threatened.
Louis A. Sass compared madness, specifically schizophrenia, and
modernism in a less fascist manner by noting their shared disjunctive
narratives, surreal images, and incoherence.
In fact, modernism flourished mainly in consumer/capitalist societies,
despite the fact that its proponents often rejected consumerism
itself. However, high modernism began to merge with consumer culture
after World War II, especially during the 1960s. In Britain, a youth
subculture emerged calling itself "Modernist" (usually shortened to
Mod), following such representative music groups as the Who and the
Kinks. The likes of Bob Dylan,
Serge Gainsbourg and the Rolling Stones
combined popular musical traditions with Modernist verse, adopting
literary devices derived from James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, James
Thurber, T. S. Eliot, Guillaume Apollinaire, Allen Ginsberg, and
The Beatles developed along similar lines, creating various
Modernist musical effects on several albums, while musicians such as
Syd Barrett and
Captain Beefheart proved even more
experimental. Modernist devices also started to appear in popular
cinema, and later on in music videos. Modernist design also began to
enter the mainstream of popular culture, as simplified and stylized
forms became popular, often associated with dreams of a space age
This merging of consumer and high versions of Modernist culture led to
a radical transformation of the meaning of "Modernism". First, it
implied that a movement based on the rejection of tradition had become
a tradition of its own. Second, it demonstrated that the distinction
between elite Modernist and mass consumerist culture had lost its
precision. Some writers[who?] declared that modernism had become so
institutionalized that it was now "post avant-garde", indicating that
it had lost its power as a revolutionary movement. Many have
interpreted this transformation as the beginning of the phase that
became known as postmodernism. For others, such as art critic Robert
Hughes, postmodernism represents an extension of modernism.
"Anti-modern" or "counter-modern" movements seek to emphasize holism,
connection and spirituality as remedies or antidotes to modernism.
Such movements see modernism as reductionist, and therefore subject to
an inability to see systemic and emergent effects. Many Modernists
came to this viewpoint, for example
Paul Hindemith in his late turn
towards mysticism. Writers such as Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth
Anderson, in The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are
Changing the World (2000), Fredrick Turner in A Culture of Hope and
Lester Brown in Plan B, have articulated a critique of the basic idea
of modernism itself – that individual creative expression
should conform to the realities of technology. Instead, they argue,
individual creativity should make everyday life more emotionally
Some traditionalist artists like
Alexander Stoddart reject modernism
generally as the product of "an epoch of false money allied with false
In some fields, the effects of modernism have remained stronger and
more persistent than in others. Visual art has made the most complete
break with its past. Most major capital cities have museums devoted to
modern art as distinct from post-
Renaissance art (c. 1400 to c. 1900).
Examples include the
Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern
in London, and the
Centre Pompidou in Paris. These galleries make no
distinction between modernist and Postmodernist phases, seeing both as
developments within Modern Art.
Contemporary classical music
Contemporary French literature
History of theatre
History of classical music traditions § 20th century music
List of modernist writers
List of modernist women writers
Twentieth-century English literature
Modernist poetry in English
Santiniketan: The Making of a Contextual Modernism
20th-century classical music
Twentieth-century English literature
^ Russell T. Clement. Four French Symbolists. Greenwood Press, 1996.
^ Pericles Lewis, Modernism, Nationalism, and the
University Press, 2000). pp 38–39.
^ "[James] Joyce's Ulysses is a comedy not divine, ending, like
Dante's, in the vision of a God whose will is our peace, but human
all-too-human...." Peter Faulkner,
Modernism (Taylor & Francis,
1990). p 60.
^ Gardner, Helen, Horst de la Croix, Richard G. Tansey, and Diane
Art Through the Ages (San Diego: Harcourt Brace
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^ a b Barth (1979) quotation:
The ground motive of modernism, Graff asserts, was criticism of the
nineteenth-century bourgeois social order and its world view. Its
artistic strategy was the self-conscious overturning of the
conventions of bourgeois realism [...] the antirationalist,
antirealist, antibourgeois program of modernism [...] the modernists,
carrying the torch of romanticism, taught us that linearity,
rationality, consciousness, cause and effect, naïve illusionism,
transparent language, innocent anecdote, and middle-class moral
conventions are not the whole story.
^ a b Graff (1973)
^ a b Graff (1975)
^ a b Eco (1990) p. 95 quote:
Each of the types of repetition that we have examined is not limited
to the mass media but belongs by right to the entire history of
artistic creativity; plagiarism, quotation, parody, the ironic retake
are typical of the entire artistic-literary tradition.
Much art has been and is repetitive. The concept of absolute
originality is a contemporary one, born with Romanticism; classical
art was in vast measure serial, and the "modern" avant-garde (at the
beginning of this century) challenged the Romantic idea of "creation
from nothingness," with its techniques of collage, mustachios on the
Mona Lisa, art about art, and so on.
^ a b Steiner (1998) pp. 489–90 quote:
(pp. 489–90) The Modernist movement which dominated art, music,
letters during the first half of the century was, at critical points,
a strategy of conservation, of custodianship. Stravinsky's genius
developed through phases of recapitulation. He took from Machaut,
Gesualdo, Monteverdi. He mimed Tchaikovsky and Gounod, the Beethoven
piano sonatas, the symphonies of Haydn, the operas of Pergolesi and
Glinka. He incorporated Debussy and Webern into his own idiom. In each
instance the listener was meant to recognize the source, to grasp the
intent of a transformation which left salient aspects of the original
intact. The history of Picasso is marked by retrospection. The
explicit variations on classical pastoral themes, the citations from
and pastiches of Rembrandt, Goya, Velázquez, Manet, are external
products of a constant revision, a 'seeing again' in the light of
technical and cultural shifts. Had we only Picasso's sculptures,
graphics, and paintings, we could reconstruct a fair portion of the
development of the arts from the Minoan to Cézanne. In 20th-century
literature, the elements of reprise have been obsessive, and they have
organized precisely those texts which at first seemed most
revolutionary. The Waste Land, Ulysses, Pound's Cantos are deliberate
assemblages, in-gatherings of a cultural past felt to be in danger of
dissolution. The long sequence of imitations, translations, masked
quotations, and explicit historical paintings in Robert Lowell's
History has carried the same technique into the 1970s. [...] In
Modernism collage has been the representative device. The new, even at
its most scandalous, has been set against an informing background and
framework of tradition. Stravinsky, Picasso, Braque, Eliot, Joyce,
Pound—the 'makers of the new'—have been neo-classics, often as
observant of canonic precedent as their 17th-century forebears.
^ a b Childs, Peter
Modernism (Routledge, 2000).
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Twentieth Century Thought,
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Press, 1997,
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maelstrom into being, and keep it in a state of perpetual becoming,
have come to be called 'modernization'. These world-historical
processes have nourished an amazing variety of visions and ideas that
aim to make men and women the subjects as well as the objects of
modernization, to give them the power to change the world that is
changing them, to make their way through the maelstrom and make it
their own. Over the past century, these visions and values have come
to be loosely grouped together under the name of 'modernism'." (Berman
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Ethics of Modernism: Moral Ideas in Yeats, Eliot,
Joyce, Woolf and Beckett (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
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Fauvism and the English Vorticism:
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projecting brilliant colors and spontaneous brushwork, and indebted to
the same late nineteenth-century sources, especially Van Gogh." Sabine
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^ Morris Dickstein, "An Outsider to His Own Life", Books, The New York
Times, 3 August 1997.
^ The Cambridge Companion to Irish Literature, ed. John Wilson Foster.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
^ Late Modernist Poetics: From Pound to Prynne by Anthony Mellors; see
also Prynne's publisher, Bloodaxe Books.
^ Anthony Mellors, Late Modernist Poetics: From Pound to Prynne
^ Juliette Bessette (23 January 2018). "The Machine as
Art (in the
20th Century): An Introduction". Arts. doi:10.3390/arts7010004.
Retrieved 27 January 2018.
^ The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Millennium Edition, Helicon 1999
^ University of Glasgow, School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Archived 23 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Nochlin, Linda, Ch.1 in: Women Artists at the Millennium (edited by
C. Armstrong and C. de Zegher) MIT Press, 2006.
^ Pollock, Griselda, Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum: Time,
Space and the Archive. Routledge, 2007.
^ De Zegher, Catherine, and Teicher, Hendel (eds.), 3 X Abstraction.
New Haven: Yale University Press. 2005.
^ "Moore, Henry". UNESCO. Retrieved on 16 August 2008.
^ 3:36 p.m., 2 December 1967. In: McNally, Rand. "Illinois; Guide
& Gazetteer". Illinois Sesquicentennial Commission. University of
Virginia, 1969. 199
^ Jane Beckett and Fiona Russell. Henry Moore: Space, Sculpture,
Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2003. p. 221.
^ Enscripted on the plaque at the base of the sculpture.
^ Walker, 219-225
^ Martin Harrison, In Camera: Francis Bacon: Photography,
Film and the
Practice of Painting, London: Thames and Hudson, 2006, 7
^ Ken Johnson (3 December 2015). "Francis Bacon".
^ New York Times, "Obituary", 29 April 1992.
^ a b William Grimes. "Lucian Freud, Figurative Painter Who Redefined
Portraiture, Is Dead at 88". The New York Times. 21 July 2011
^ Rimanelli, David (January 2012), "Damien Hirst", Artforum: "With the
recent death of Lucían Freud, some might argue that Hirst is now the
greatest living British artist." Retrieved 28 October 2012.
^ Also see Kennedy, Maev (21 December 2001), "Palace unveils Freud's
gift to Queen", The Guardian, who calls Freud "the artist regarded as
the greatest living British painter". Retrieved 28 October 2012.
^ Darwent, Charles (28 November 1999), "The 1990s in Review: Visual
Arts", The Independent, says "Freud becomes the greatest living
British artist after his Whitechapel show [of 1993]". Retrieved 28
Lucian Freud Stripped Bare". The New York Times. 14 December 2007.
Retrieved 22 July 2011.
^ "'Girl with a White Dog',
Lucian Freud - Tate". Tate.
^ Aldrich, Larry. "Young Lyrical Painters",
Art in America, v.57, n6,
November–December 1969, pp. 104–113.
^ a b c Sarah Douglas, Movers and Shakers, New York, "Leaving
C&M", Art+Auction, March 2007, V.XXXNo7.
^ Martin, Ann Ray, and Howard Junker. "The New Art: It's Way, Way
Out", Newsweek, 29 July 1968: pp. 3, 55–63.
^ Christopher Want, "Minimalism" in Grove
Art Online. Oxford
University Press, 2009.
^ "Minimalism". Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ a b c Hal Foster, The Return of the Real: The
Avant-garde at the End
of the Century, MIT Press, 1996, pp. 44–53. ISBN 0-262-56107-7
^ "'Fountain', Marcel Duchamp: Summary - - Tate". Tate.
^ "Blindman No. 2".
^ Craig Owens, Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture,
London and Berkeley: University of California Press (1992), pp.
^ Steven Best, Douglas Kellner, The
Postmodern Turn, Guilford Press,
1997, p. 174. ISBN 1-57230-221-6
^ "Carolee Schneemann, Biography: Selected Works, Recent and
Fluxus & Happening – Allan Kaprow – Chronology".
Retrieved 4 May 2010.
^ Finkel, Jori (13 April 2008). "Happenings Are
Happening Again". The
New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
Ihab Hassan in Lawrence E. Cahoone, From
Modernism to Postmodernism:
An Anthology, Blackwell Publishing, 2003. p. 13.
^ a b Andreas Huyssen, Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of
Amnesia, Routledge, 1995. p. 192. ISBN 0-415-90934-1
^ Ratcliff, Carter. "The New Informalists",
Art News, v. 68, n. 8,
December 1969, p. 72.
^ Barbara Rose. American Painting. Part Two: The Twentieth Century.
Published by Skira – Rizzoli, New York, 1969
^ Walter Darby Bannard. "Notes on American
Painting of the Sixties."
Artforum, January 1970, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 40–45.
^ "Postmodernism", The Penguin Companion to Classical Music, ed. Paul
Griffiths. London: Penguin, 2004.
^ a b Bokkilden. "
Postmodern Debates". Bokkilden.
^ "Oxford Dictionaries - Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar".
Postmodern - Definition of postmodern by Merriam-Webster".
^ Ruth Reichl, Cook's November 1989; American Heritage Dictionary's
definition of the postmodern Archived 9 December 2008 at the Wayback
^ "The Po-Mo Page:
Postmodern to Post-postmodern".
^ Wagner, British, Irish and American Literature, Trier 2002, pp.
^ Kühnel, Anita. "Entartete Kunst", from Grove
Art Online, MoMA
^ Sass, Louis A. (1992). Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light
of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought. New York: Basic Books. Cited
in Bauer, Amy (2004), "Cognition, Constraints, and Conceptual Blends
in Modernist Music", in The Pleasure of Modernist Music.
^ Jack, Ian (6 June 2009). "Set in Stone". The Guardian. London.
John Barth (1979) The Literature of Replenishment, later republished
in The Friday
Eco, Umberto (1990) Interpreting Serials in The limits of
interpretation, pp. 83–100, excerpt
Everdell, William R. (1997) The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins
of Twentieth Century Thought (Chicago:
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Press).
Gerald Graff (1973) The Myth of the Postmodernist Breakthrough,
TriQuarterly, 26 (Winter, 1973) 383–417; rept in The
Contemporary Writers on Modern Fiction Malcolm Bradbury, ed. (London:
Fontana, 1977); reprinted in Proza Nowa Amerykanska, ed., Szice
Krytyczne (Warsaw, Poland, 1984); reprinted in
American Literature: A Critical Anthology, Manfred Putz and Peter
Freese, eds. (Darmstadt: Thesen Verlag, 1984), 58–81.
Gerald Graff (1975) Babbitt at the Abyss: The Social Context of
Postmodern. American Fiction, TriQuarterly, No. 33 (Spring 1975),
pp. 307–37; reprinted in Putz and Freese, eds., Postmodernism
and American Literature.
Orton, Fred and Pollock, Griselda (1996) Avant-Gardes and Partisans
Reviewed, Manchester University.
Steiner, George (1998) After Babel, ch.6 Topologies of culture, 3rd
Art Berman (1994) Preface to Modernism, University of Illinois Press.
Armstrong, Carol and de Zegher, Catherine (eds.), Women Artists as the
Millennium, Cambridge, MA: October Books, MIT Press, 2006.
Aspray, William & Philip Kitcher, eds., History and
Modern Mathematics, Minnesota Studies in the
Philosophy of Science vol
XI, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988
Baker, Houston A., Jr.,
Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, Chicago:
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Press, 1987
Berman, Marshall, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of
Modernity. Second ed. London: Penguin, 1982. ISBN 0-14-010962-5.
Bradbury, Malcolm, & James McFarlane (eds.), Modernism: A Guide to
European Literature 1890–1930 (Penguin "Penguin Literary Criticism"
series, 1978, ISBN 0-14-013832-3).
Brush, Stephen G., The History of Modern Science: A Guide to the
Second Scientific Revolution, 1800–1950, Ames, IA: Iowa State
University Press, 1988
Centre Georges Pompidou, Face a l'Histoire, 1933–1996. Flammarion,
1996. ISBN 2-85850-898-4.
Modernism in art design and architecture, New
York: St. Martins Press, 2000
Eysteinsson, Astradur, The Concept of Modernism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 1992
Friedman, Julia. Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov's
Synthetic Art, Northwestern University Press, 2010.
ISBN 0-8101-2617-6 (Trade Cloth)
Frascina, Francis, and Charles Harrison (eds.). Modern
Modernism: A Critical Anthology. Published in association with The
Open University. London: Harper and Row, Ltd. Reprinted, London: Paul
Chapman Publishing, Ltd., 1982.
Gates, Henry Louis. The Norton Anthology of African American
Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004.
Hughes, Robert, The Shock of the New:
Art and the Century of Change
(Gardners Books, 1991, ISBN 0-500-27582-3).
Kenner, Hugh, The Pound Era (1971), Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 1973
Kern, Stephen, The Culture of Time and Space, Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1983
Kolocotroni, Vassiliki et al., ed.,Modernism: An Anthology of Sources
and Documents (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998).
Levenson, Michael, (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Modernism
(Cambridge University Press, "Cambridge Companions to Literature"
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Nicholls, Peter, Modernisms: A Literary Guide (Hampshire and London:
Pevsner, Nikolaus, Pioneers of Modern Design: From William Morris to
Walter Gropius (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005,
The Sources of Modern
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Modern Art, Literature, and Thought. New York: Basic Books. Cited in
Bauer, Amy (2004). "Cognition, Constraints, and Conceptual Blends in
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Look up modernism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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Ballard, J.G., on Modernism.
Denzer, Anthony S., PhD, Masters of Modernism.
Hoppé, E.O., photographer, Edwardian Modernists.
Malady of Writing.
Modernism you can dance to An online radio show
that presents a humorous version of Modernism
Modernism Lab @ Yale University
Modernism/Modernity, official publication of the Modernist Studies
Modernism vs. Postmodernism
Pope St. Pius X's encyclical Pascendi, in which he defines Modernism
as "the synthesis of all heresies".
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