Modernism (came from Italian. Modernismo – “modern movement”) – the general name of the directions of art and literature of the late 19-20 century: cubism, Dada, surrealism, modern, futurism, expressionism, abstract art, functionalism, neo-impressionism, post-impressionism, etc. .
Modernism is a set of artistic trends that arose in art in the form of new forms of creativity, in which not so much following the spirit of nature and tradition prevailed, but rather the free look of a master creator who changes the visible world at his discretion, following his personal impression, inner idea or mystical dream . The most significant modernist trends were impressionism, symbolism and modernism, although this includes expressionism, neo- and post-impressionism, Fauvism, cubism, futurism and later movements – abstract art, Dada, surrealism.
In a narrow sense, modernism is seen as an early stage of avant-garde, the beginning of a revision of classical traditions and the time of the emergence of new trends in art. The date of its birth is called 1863 – the year of the opening of the “Salon of the Les Miserables” in Paris, where the works of artists rejected by the jury of the official Salon were accepted. In a broad sense, modernism is “another art”, which is programmatically anti-authoritarian, anti-traditional. The main goal of the movement is the creation of original works based on inner freedom and a special vision of the world by the author and carrying fundamentally new expressive means of the visual language.
In Soviet criticism, the concept of “modernism” was applied to all currents of 20th-century art that did not correspond to the canons of socialist realism, and was often regarded as direct quackery. Such a negative assessment was based on such artistic features of the trend as the rejection of classical traditions, subjectivity and absurdism, a fascination with formal-plastic decisions, and the desire to erase the boundaries between art and reality.
The reasons for the appearance of modernism in the early twentieth century. In the 20th century, culture and art were confronted with complicated reality, with the growing catastrophic nature of social development, aggravation of social contradictions, with conflicts generated by the scientific and technological revolution, with global problems affecting the interests of all mankind and, as a result, the rise of modernism. The beginning of the 20th century in the public mind was the waiting time for the Apocalypse. And therefore, the First World War, as well as, oddly enough, the death of the Titanic, were perceived by the intelligentsia as quite natural phenomena. The intelligentsia of this time eagerly searched for a new word about how to live and where to go. She wanted to have prophets. But those who played this role, as a rule, spoke of the inevitable end of European civilization.
Since the late 1950s, a trend has been emerging in world art to deny modernism, its innovation and modernity, and there is a return to pre-modern forms and styles.
Masters of modernism: Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, Victor Borisov-Musatov, Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley.