Modernist art represents the innovative style and philosophy of art produced during the late 19th century to the mid to late 20th century. Modernism discarded past traditions and attachment to the spiritual and political in favor of experimentation with new materials and ideas. Modern artists were captivated by technology and were influenced by everything from photography, Japanese printmaking and the printing press, to children’s drawings and Native American sand painting.
A quest for originality was the primary desire for 20th century artists, and many experimented with new materials and new ways of portraying common life. They used any material available, and some quite nontraditional to the typical oil and canvas—everything from everyday practical objects such as a bicycle (Marcel Duchamp); to environmental elements such as earth, rocks, and water (Robert Smithson); to even their own bodies as artistic mediums (Allan Kaprow). Although modern art can seem confusing and puzzling, it symbolizes the pure energy that artists had in helping an individual feel stillness and serenity through mystery and the simplification of forms.
Famous Modern Art Artists:
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Example of Modern Art: The Scream, 1893 by Edvard Munch