Is Postmodernism A Continuation Or Critique Of Mod

3824 words - 15 pages

Is Postmodernism a continuation or critique of Modernism ? Postmodernism can be seen as both a continuation and critique of modernism. The difficulty in presiding between a continuation and a critique is that postmodernism , as with modernism, has a scope wider than the arts alone. To answer the question accurately one must consider important factors such as culture and historical periodising amongst a whole host of things. Postmodernism is really up for debate here if we breakdown the question. I will give a general outline of the main aspects of modernism which I feel is relevant to the task at hand. An historical low-down of modernism would not help to answer the question as some aspects are less important than others. The same could be said of postmodernism but to a lesser extent as it is the main focus of the essay. I will again be pinpointing specific factors which I will contrast and compare in trying to arrive at a sound judgement within my conclusion.It is then important to have a clear idea of what the term 'modernism' actually entails.Modernism was the precursor to postmodernism so it is the logical starting point. There are three area's in which it's thought 'the modern world and it's culture has tended to revolve. ' (1) Modernisation is the first area which refers to a range of technological , economic and political processes associated with the industrial revolution and it's aftermath. The second, modernity, to social conditions and modes of experience that are seen as effects of these processes. However, modernism can fall into two categories. Most obviously would be a kind of dictionary definition of having modern tendencies, thoughts and being up-to-date. At the same time it implies a type of response to the notions of modernisation and modernity .We can locate modernism at times between the late eighteenth century and early twentieth. The problem is that there appears to be differing views as to when it was initiated and whether it had or has run it's course. This lack of clarity in periodisation , J" occurs due to an overlapping from one period into another. Romanticism into modernism into postmodernism.1 " It is widely acknowledged that Edouard Manet's painting Les Dejeuner sur I'herbe was the first modernist painting and he the first modernist painter. This was due to the 'frankness with which they declared the flat surfaces on which they were painted.'(2) We can define modernist art thus by reference to a particular style where shape, colour and exaggeration take preference to the subject itself. It is almost a value that we associate with modern art. The avant-garde were the first artists to show signs of these symptoms but it was 'the development of Cubism in the years after 1907 that most clearly marked a break with previous styles. '(3) At this point I think it necessary to mention the cubist artist Pablo Picasso. It is important to mention him and his work for two reasons which will become apparent in answering the...

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