• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the Term "Modernism" with reference to two or three works of Art

Extracts from this document...


Anna Harmsen Corcuera Examine the Term "Modernism" with reference to two or three works of Art The terms "modern", "modernity" and "modernism" are commonly used to specify a break in history, marking a definition between the present and the past, between the fashionable and the out of date, and carry as part of their meaning an almost criticism of tradition. By calling himself a "modernist", the artist is instantly free to work on a clean plate, without the limitations of tradition with its set of rules or its fixed criteria. It is commonly thought that the Modernist movement was only properly established during the late nineteenth Century, being triggered by ground breaking developments in the areas of science, technology and the economic market. Art was suddenly discovered to be an increasingly useful tool in science, whilst technology was developing new means of reproducing graphic images that widened and spread the use and influence of art. At the same time, the growth in market and social consumption was turning art into a product to be sold, rather than commissioned. These three factors created a need for a new form of art, which like capitalism was in a constant state of change. Other factors that triggered the development of modernism include a "major cultural shift from a time-honored aesthetics of permanence, based on a belief in an unchanging and transcendental ideal of beauty, to an aesthetics of transitoriness and immanence, whose central values are change and novelty"1. ...read more.


Perhaps this is why the grid so appealed to the public. Firstly it appeared to forget all the sentimentality and wipe out any links with religion, tradition or culture, concentrating on the now, on mathematical calculations, that appeared not to waste our time, but reveal a sense of truth in it's scientific rigidity and numerical planning. The grid also sympathised with us in our complex technological surroundings, while at the same time pointing out our feeling of being trapped in the middle of a growing world, where the individual counts as nothing more than a number on the grid. Although the grid was a fantastic discovery and plays an important role in modernism, it left the artist little room for development or experimentation. While this lack of variety didn't worry the artist Mondrian, who dedicated most of his career to this type of art, other artists evolved further by creating a new style; Cubism. Though Cubism showed it's modernity through it's rejection of the natural world and its affinity for geometrical shapes, distorted colouring, and later on the use of collage, it still had some connection to the visual world and most works give the viewer a number of clues in order for them to work out what they are looking at. ...read more.


In a similar way to Picasso's 'Jou', artist's like Duchamp have taken a frivolous, sarcastic view on Modernism's society and beliefs. His 'Fountain' is definitely a joke played on the masses as spectators, which voices; "How can you take any of this seriously? To what extent can we fool you?" Other styles in art up to the end of the first half of the twentieth century include Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, Abstraction, Surrealism, and Pop Art. It is impossible to go into each of these avenues in detail in this essay, so I shall finish with a passage written by the great intellectual, John of Salisbury; "We frequently know more, not because we have moved ahead by our own natural ability, but because we are supported by the mental strength of others, and possess riches that we have inherited from our forefathers. Bernard and Chartres used to compare us to dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than the predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature."3 I think I am justified to say that the Modernists no longer wanted to be the 'Dwarves on the shoulders of giants'. Quite the opposite. These were a new breed, anxious to stand on their own two feet, not afraid to start from naught, in order to concentrate on the now and create pure and unrestricted Modern art. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Art & Design section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Art & Design essays

  1. How have beauty and the grotesque been portrayed in art?

    There are numerable counterparts to Sutherlands grotesque depiction of Christ. Warner Sallman was a very adamant believer and produced countless paintings of the beauty he called Christ. He was fascinated by all kinds of religious art, such as stained glass windows and paintings of Biblical scenes.

  2. Show the Links Between Dada/Surrealism and Pop Art.

    The id can be equated with the unconscious of common usage, which is the reservoir of the instinctual drives of the individual-biological urges, wishes, and affective motives. The id is dominated by the pleasure principle, through which the individual is pressed for immediate gratification of desires.

  1. In What Ways Did Art Become More Widely Accessible in England in the Eighteenth ...

    to the RA, and this was critical for its status as the most prominent establishment in British artistic life of that time. Founded in 1768 the RA's membership comprised of forty academicians and twenty associates, "the founders' intentions were to raise the status of their profession by providing thorough academic

  2. Art Essay - Georges Braque.

    Their close artistic relationship lasted until the start of the First World War when Braque was called up to serve in the French army, however he was severely wounded in the head in 1915 and following a long period of recovery was discharged as permanently unfit in 1916.

  1. Art essay Thesis: what elements of Dada and Surrealism suggest the influence of ...

    For this, the mind may use the image of a similar sounding (more recognisable) word instead or use a similar looking less intrusive object. According to Freud, dream symbols are for the most part sexual in meaning thus many dreams (but not all)

  2. Does Religious Art have any Relevance in Today's Society?

    people and cause controversy to hopefully get their name or work in the papers and therefore become better known, and why wouldn't they? It works! As I said 'The Da Vinci Code' sold over 80 million copies, Lady Gaga's video for Alejandro has over 120 million veiws on Youtube while

  1. Biography and Works of Jackson Pollock

    Jackson Pollock seem to have created some sort of a landscape, jungle, surrealism painting. He used black enamel paint to illustrate the movement and figures of the ?number 14? painting I saw a lot of movements and figures like a man running in a forest with his hands up and a huge tree blowing back and forth.

  2. This essay will discuss how two of Banksys most popular works have been shown ...

    All of these points show how Banksy has critically shown inequality in the painting Rickshaw, as he places the boy in a less powerful position than the obese couple. Banksy?s intent and my response to Rickshaw have brought new meaning to my understanding of this painting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work