Introduction to Modernism week 1Presentation Transcript
Modernism in Art: An Introduction Week 1Salon des Refusés: Breaking with the Academy firstname.lastname@example.org
Aims of this course• To help you understand the various theoretical, historical and methodological developments within society, culture and art from the mid 19th century to 1970.• Help you to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of art during this time period.• To highlight how modernist ideas and core issues still inform contemporary practice.
Aims of this lecture• To provide a general understanding of the broader factors influencing the way European artists worked before and during the 19th century.• To explain what the Salon des Refuses of 1863 signified and how it represented changes in society and culture.• To provide a clear definition of Modernism, Modern Art and Modernity.
What is Modern Art?NOT Contemporary Art: Art from the 1960sor 70s up until this very minute i.e.Postmodern Art.Modernism’s legacydoes have a continuinginfluence oncontemporary art. Tate Modern
ModernismAt the beginning of the twenty-first century our relationship toModernism is complex.We live in an era that still identifies itself in terms ofModernism, as post-Modernist or even post-post-Modernist.
What is Modernism? Discussions of Modernism in art have been couched largely in formal and stylistic terms. Art historians tend to speak of modern painting, for example, as concerned primarily with qualities of colour, shape, and line applied systematically or expressively, and marked over time by an increasing concern with flatness and a declining interest in subject matter.
What is Modernism?• Typically associated with the twentieth-century reaction against realism and romanticism within the arts.• The self-conscious response in the arts to the experience of modernity.• A radically altered aesthetic form and perspective. Picasso Les Demoiselles dAvignon (1907)
ModernismModernism was not conceived as a style but a loose collectionof ideas. It was a term which covered a range of movementsand styles that largely rejected history and applied ornament,and which embraced abstraction.Modernism valorized personal style, generated by an artistspersonal vision. Jackson Pollock
ModernismModernists believed in technology as the key means toachieve social improvement and in the machine as a symbol ofthat aspiration.All of these principles were frequently combined with socialand political beliefs (largely left-leaning) which held that designand art could, and should, transform society. Scene from Metropolis Fritz Lang (1927)
ModernismOften linked with notions of the avant-garde, (avant-gardebeing more political than modernism), modernist artists testedconvention, both aesthetically and materially, and weretroubled by their relationships to politics and institutions. Picasso, Guernica (1937)
ModernismAt the core of Modernism lay the idea that the world had to befundamentally rethought.Many artists were intoxicated by the endless possibilitiesoffered by science and technology. Charlie Chaplin Modern Times (1936)
Modernism is related to but not to be confused with Modernity.Modernity relates to the massive changes in cultureand society due mainly to the developments broughtabout by the industrial revolutions and subsequentpolitical unrest within Europe.Modernism is an answer to modernisation andmodernity.
What is Modernity?Modernity was posited on the notion that progress is basedupon knowledge, and man is capable of discerning objectiveabsolute truths in science and the arts.The project of modernity is one with that of the Enlightenment:to develop spheres of science, morality and art according totheir inner logic. It was dependent on the belief in universallaws and truths, and the idea that knowledge is objective,independent of culture, gender, etc.
The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was a cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th-century Europe, that sought to mobilize the power of reason, in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted science and intellectualDelacroix interchange and opposedlLiberty Leading the People superstition.(1830)
Industrial RevolutionGreat Exhibition set in the vast Crystal Palace in Londons Hyde Park (1851)
The Salon des RefusésAn exhibition of rejectsOne of the defining moments of Modernism
“Let the public decide” Emperor Napoleon II (1863)The first modern painting is known to be Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Manet, 1863)
Modernism: Reading ListKey texts you will find these general works useful as anintroduction to many of the themes covered in the course.Foster, H. ed. (2004) Art since 1900: Modernism, AntiModernism, Postmodernism. London, Thames & Hudson.Cottington, D. (2005) Modern Art – A Very Short Introduction.Oxford, University Press.Lechte, J.(1994) Fifty Key thinkers from Structuralism toPostmodernity. London, Routledge.Clark, TJ (1999) Farewell to an Idea. London, Yale UniversityPress,
Reading List cont…Wood, P. (2004) Varieties of Modernism. Yale, The OpenUniversity. Meecham, P & Sheldon, J. (2000) Modern Art: ACritical Introduction. London, Routledge.Harrison, C. (1997) Modernism. London, Tate Gallery.Harrison, C& Wood, P. ed. (2003) Art in Theory. Oxford, Blackwell.Chadwick, W. (2002) Women, art, and society. New York, Thames& Hudson.Crow, T (1996) Modern Art in the Common Culture. London, OpenUniversity Press.
Reading List cont…Fer & Batchelor & Wood Ed. (1993) Realism, Rationalism,Surrealism – Art between the Wars. London, Open UniversityPress.Harrison, Frascina, Perry. Ed. (1993) Primitivism, Cubism,Abstraction – The early Twentieth Century. London, OpenUniversity Press.Frascina & Harris. Ed. (1992) Art in Modern Culture. London,Phaidon.Perry, G. (1999). Gender and Art.Yale University Press.Wood, Frascina, Harris, Harrison. Ed. (1993) Modernism inDispute – Art Since the Forties. London, Open University Press.