The term ‘modern art’ refers to artistic works created by painters during the period that roughly extends from the 1860s to the 1970s. It symbolizes the philosophy of art produced during that time. Modern art generally refers to works that are quiet distinct from the conventional stuff. Also known as contemporary art, modern art is largely characterized by abstraction. In the following lines, we have provided interesting information on the origin and background of modern art.
Origin & Background Of Modern Art
Although the beginning of modern sculpture and architecture has been traced back to the end of the nineteenth century, the origin of modern art has been recorded a bit earlier. According to historical records, the art form was first noticed in 1863, when Édouard Manet exhibited his painting ‘Le déjeunerd sur l'herbe’ in the Salon des Refusés (Paris). Many people claim that modern art was first displayed by artist Gustave Courbet, in 1855. Then, there is another section of experts who say that that the art form was exhibited, for the first time, in 1784, the year when Jacques-Louis David completed his painting - ‘The Oath of the Horatii’.
Romantics, Realists and Impressionists are regarded as the pioneers of modern art. By the end of the nineteenth century, certain movements began playing a significant role in the emergence of modern art. These included post-Impressionism and Symbolism. These movements were influenced by the search for realism in the depiction of life. The tradition-bound academic art enjoyed public and official favor and the supporters of realism in painting were strictly against this idealism. The renowned painters of that period worked either through commissions, or through public displays of their own work. Public exhibitions of decorative art forms were organized by the governments on a regular basis. Government-sponsored painters’ unions were also established.
According to Impressionists, artists had to paint their works in natural light, rather than the lights of studios, because they believed that viewers don't see objects, rather the light reflected from them. The Impressionists formed a group and organized a series of exhibitions, following which numerous artists, in different nations, adapted this style. The movements that blossomed in the beginning of 20th century included Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and Futurism. Innovative ideas regarding the interrelation between arts, architecture, design and art education were developed by groups of artists, including de Stijl and Bauhaus. In the Armory Show of 1913, modern art was introduced to the United States. The art form was also brought to the country when European artists moved there during the World War I.
United States became the center of new artistic movements after World War II. Abstract Expressionism, Color field painting, Pop art, Op art, Hard-edge painting, Minimal art, Lyrical Abstraction, Post minimalism, Photorealism and various other art movements began to take shape in the 1950s and 1960s. After a decade i.e. in 1970s, a number of new art forms, including Land art, Performance art, Conceptual art, gained popularity and proved to be a hit amongst curators and critics. Larger installations of the works by the artists and performances gained momentum. An important period in the history of modern art was the late 1970’s, when new media art was given the status of a category of art. The form of painting further gained renowned importance in the 1980s and 1990s.