Modern Art Styles  

The phase from the 1860s to 1970s marks the era of Modern Art. This period projects a radical change in the ideas and style of the artists. The Industrial Revolution brought in changes in the society, which found its way in the styles of art as well. Leaving behind the conventional styles, the new generation of artists moved towards novel ideas.

Abstract form of art was a predominant feature of this era. Slowly, the phase of modern art graduated to contemporary art.

The era of modern art commenced with Impressionism. This style of art was a rebellious move against the strict norms of painting administered by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1863, the distinguished work of Edouard Manet represented by his painting, Dejeuner sur l'herbe, caused an upheaval, thereby marking the onset of Impressionism. The artists in this league such as Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre Auguste Renoir in France, and Alfred Sisley in England; retaliated against the traditional set up of painting in closed studios and preferred to paint in open air, their favorite themes being landscapes. These artists also researched the influence of light on objects.

Fauvism was the next style of art that gained prominence. The term taking its inspiration from the French word ‘fauve’ meaning wild animals was truly wild in its outlook. The usage of strong and vibrant colors was an important characteristic of this regime. The artists depicting this style created simple designs expressed in pure vivid colors. The eminent artists of Fauvism include Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminch, Kees van Dongen and Raoul Dufy.

Expressionism was virtually the German interpretation of Fauvism. This movement was represented by two groups, Die Bruecke meaning The Bridge and Der Blaue Reiter meaning The Blue Rider. Next came in an international style of art represented by the Art Nouveau movement. The style focused on natural forms. One of the most significant artists of this style was Gustav Klimt. The Art Deco movement was an extension of Art Nouveau but projected a simpler format. This style found way in fashion, furniture, jewelry, textiles, architecture, commercial printmaking and interior decoration.

Another very momentous style of modern art was highlighted by Cubism. Initiated by Pablo Picasso, this style was dominated by geometrical forms displaying varied facets of a solo subject. Surrealism stressed on the psychological aspect of art. The paintings of this style showcase a world of make believe. Salvador Dali was known for his work personifying this style. Surrealism paved way for Abstract art. Bringing art from the classes to the masses, Pop (Popular) art was initiated as a move against abstract art. Finally, came in the Op (Optical) art depicting geometrical forms painted either in black and white or vibrant colors. However, this movement did not gain much popularity.

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Modern Art Styles




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