Impact of Industrial Revolution on Modern Art at the turn of the 20th Century.
To understand most period and movements in modern art, one must first understand the context in which they occurred. When one looks at the various artistic styles, one will realize how artists react to historical and cultural changes and how artists perceive their relation to society.
The transition between the 19th and 20th century has brought further development of modernistic ideas, concepts and techniques in art. Inspired by Cezanne’s idea, saying that all nature objects can be illustrated with just three geometrical figures: cube, sphere and cone, Pablo Picasso created his first paintings, which became the icons of modern art and cubism movement in particular. The industrial revolution and the early 20th century introduced fauvism with its expressively vivid colours verging on aggression in the works of Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminch and Raoul Dufy. German painters Franz Marc, August Macke, Gabriele Münter and others developed their own version of fauvism and called it expressionism. Italian artists, refusing everything with old roots and inspired by the rapid development of technology, appearance of first cars and airplanes, developed in their turn the art movement under the name “futurism”. Finally, surrealism, exploring the secrets of dreams and filling art with psychological meaning, reached its apogee during the early 20th century with the works of Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Rene Margritte and fantastic Salvador Dali.
Origins of Modern Art
In the second half of the 19th century painters began to revolt against the classic codes of composition, careful execution, harmonious colouring, and heroic subject matter. Patronage by the church and state sharply declined at the same time that artists' views became more independent and subjective. Such artists as Courbet, Corot and others of the Barbizon School, Manet, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec chose to paint scenes of ordinary daily and nocturnal life that often offended the sense of decorum of their contemporaries.
Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, the great masters of impressionism, painted café and city life, as well as landscapes, working most often directly from nature and using new modes of representation. While art had always been to a certain extent abstract in that formal considerations had frequently been of primary importance, painters, beginning with the impressionists in the 1870s, took new delight in freedom of brushwork. They made random spots of colour and encrusted the canvas with strokes that did not always correspond to the object that they were depicting but that formed coherent internal relationships. Thus began a definite separation of the image and the subject. The impressionists exploited the range of the colour spectrum, directly applying strokes of pure pigment to the canvas rather than mixing colours on the palette. In sculpture, dynamic forms and variations of impressionism were created by Rodin, Renoir, Degas, and the Italian Medardo Rosso.
Nineteenth-Century Painting after Impressionism
In the 1880s, Seurat and Signac developed the more detailed and systematic approach of neo-impressionism, while Van Gogh and Gauguin, using bold masses, gave to colour an unprecedented excitement and emotional intensity (see postimpressionism). At the same time, Cézanne painted subtler nuances of tone and sought to achieve greater structural clarity. Flouting the laws of perspective, he extracted geometrical forms from nature and created radically new spatial patterns in his landscapes and still lives. Other important innovations of the late 19th century can be seen in the starkly expressionistic paintings of the Norwegian Edvard Munch and the vivid fantasies of the Belgian James Ensor. In the 1890s the Nabis developed pictorial ideas from Gauguin, while sinuous linear decorations were produced throughout Europe by the designers of art...
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