A very short History of Modernism

The 20th and 21st centuries saw a wide variety of art movements, each with its own unique characteristics and styles. Here is an overview of some of the most significant art movements:

 

Modernism (late 19th-mid 20th century)

This movement emphasized individualism, innovation, and a break from traditional forms and styles. Artists working within the modernist tradition explored a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and performance art.

 

Abstract Expressionism (mid 20th century)

This movement, which emerged in the United States after World War II, was characterized by abstract, expressive brushwork and gestural marks. Artists working within this tradition sought to convey emotions and ideas through non-representational forms.

 

Pop Art (mid 20th century)

This movement emerged in the 1950s and 60s and was characterized by the use of mass-produced, commercial imagery and a bright, bold color palette. Pop artists sought to challenge traditional notions of high and low art and to comment on the increasing commercialization of society.

 

Minimalism (late 20th century)

This movement emerged in the 1960s and was characterized by the use of simple, geometric forms and a focus on the inherent qualities of materials. Minimalist artists sought to strip away unnecessary elements and to emphasize the purity and simplicity of form.

 

Conceptual Art (late 20th century)

This movement emerged in the 1960s and was characterized by the idea that the concept or idea behind an artwork is more important than its physical form. Conceptual artists often used text, performance, and other non-traditional mediums to convey their ideas.

 

Contemporary Art (late 20th-21st century)

This broad term refers to art made in the present day and encompasses a wide range of styles and mediums. Contemporary artists often draw on a variety of traditions and approaches, and may challenge traditional definitions of art and its role in society.

 

There are obviously several differentiations of the art movement modernism. Modernism is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of artistic styles and approaches, and it has evolved and changed over time. Here are some key differentiations of modernism:

 

Early Modernism (late 19th-early 20th century)

This period of modernism was characterized by a break from traditional forms and styles, and a focus on innovation and experimentation. Artists working within this tradition sought to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in art, and explored new mediums and techniques.

 

High Modernism (mid 20th century)

This period of modernism was characterized by a focus on formal elements, such as line, color, and composition. Artists working within this tradition sought to create pure, abstract works that focused on the inherent qualities of the medium.

 

Late Modernism (late 20th century)

This period of modernism saw the emergence of a more diverse range of styles and approaches, as artists sought to challenge traditional notions of what constituted modern art. Late modernism encompasses a wide range of styles, including postmodernism and conceptual art.

 

Modernism has had a significant influence on the development of other art movements, such as abstract expressionism and minimalism.

 

 

Early Modernism (late 19th-early 20th century)

Pablo Picasso: One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso is known for co-founding the cubist movement and for his innovative use of form and perspective.

Henri Matisse: Matisse is known for his use of bright, bold colors and his simplified, expressive forms.

Marcel Duchamp: Duchamp is known for his contributions to the Dada movement, which rejected traditional artistic conventions and sought to challenge the role of art in society.

High Modernism (mid 20th century)

Jackson Pollock: Pollock is known for his drip paintings, in which he used gestural marks and dripped and poured paint onto the canvas.

Mark Rothko: Rothko is known for his large, abstract paintings featuring blocks of color.

Barnett Newman: Newman is known for his paintings featuring large fields of color separated by thin lines, which he called "zip" paintings.

Late Modernism (late 20th century):

Andy Warhol: Warhol is known for his Pop Art paintings and screen prints featuring images of celebrities and everyday objects.

Donald Judd: Judd is known for his minimalist sculptures, which often featured simple geometric forms.

Joseph Kosuth: Kosuth is known for his conceptual artworks, which often took the form of text-based installations.

It's important to note that these are just a few examples of the many influential artists of each period of modernism, and there are many others who have made significant contributions to the development of modern art.

 

Donald Judd, for instance, was a significant figure in the development of minimalist art in the late 20th century. Some other important visual artists who were associated with the minimalist movement are:

 

Dan Flavin: Flavin is known for his minimalist sculptures made from fluorescent light tubes.

Donald Judd: As mentioned earlier, Judd is known for his minimalist sculptures made from simple geometric forms.

Carl Andre: Andre is known for his minimalist sculptures made from basic materials, such as metal plates and bricks.

John McCracken: McCracken is known for his minimalist sculptures made from wood, resin, and other materials.

Robert Morris: Morris is known for his minimalist sculptures, performances, and installations.

Sol LeWitt: LeWitt is known for his minimalist sculptures and drawings featuring geometric forms and structures.

Robert Ryman: Ryman is known for his minimalist paintings featuring a single, monochromatic color.

Agnes Martin: Martin is known for her minimalist paintings featuring subtle, repetitive patterns.

Ellsworth Kelly: Kelly is known for his minimalist paintings and sculptures featuring simple, geometric forms.

Brice Marden: Marden is known for his minimalist paintings featuring subtle gradations of color.

It's important to note that these are just a few examples of the many artists associated with the minimalist movement, and there are many others who have made significant contributions to the development of minimalist art.