Agnes Martin: Analyzing 'Play'

Topics: Modernism, Abstract expressionism, Modern art Pages: 4 (1539 words) Published: January 26, 2013
The Modernist period was a manifestation of those who embraced the need for change and the discovery of the new. It seemed that ‘change’ became a constant in Modernism as those who took for modern advancment renounced traditional arts forms to persue a difference. However, it was not to eradicate traditional art forms but to re-establish the relationship between the traditional and the modern artist to suit the modern world. Early Modern artists realised that with the Industrial Revolution, the deemed representation and rules of accepted traditional art was too conservative and it was thought to be regressive. Countless wars in the early 19th century spurred the arts to take on a more expressive and romantic approach where realities and political turmoil of society were turned away from. It was believed that experimenting would lead to new ideals and views that would help redefine the boundaries that have constituted the many disciplines in Traditional art. More so, it was an onlook towards progress that was to transform with the modern world in all social, economic and political aspects.

A central feature to Modernist art is the Avant-garde, a term that stresses originality, innovation and an advanced outlook to the visual arts. Avant-garde holds an importance to be ahead; it’s to be the newest and most authentic at the same time. However, as inspiring as the Avant-garde art reads, there is a connotation of radicalism and it carries the implication that for artists to be truly Avant-garde they must challenge all aesthetic conventions, criteria and considerations of taste that already exists. This is also a reason why Avant-garde can be seen as subversive, it wants to challenge all the fundamentals of western culture. Avant-garde has determination and because of it many revolutionary movements emerged. Towards the latter end of the Modernist era the first lightly received movement came about with an opposed idea to abstract expressionism; Minimalism. Taking...
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