Thoughts On Modernism Essay

1262 words - 5 pages

Thoughts on ModernismModernism as a term is defined by the perspective of the observer. In the perspective of the historian, Modernism began with the Renaissance, when a flurry of new philosophical theory and societal changes brought about a way of thinking that varied greatly from the previous Greco-Roman standards of being, thinking and living.In the perspective of the art historian, however, Modernism is a term which describes a particular movement in the arts which began in the 1860's and extended through the 1970's, in which artists strove for a better understanding and progression from a humanist standpoint through various new artistic strategies.To observe the results of this new Modernist approach on art in a chronological order is to be able to identify a sort of symbolic dateline of events. Since art is the extract of life and life the extract of art, one can sees similar worldwide artistic movement unlike any seen in any previous generation. Through the dismissal of geocentric notions of the past, people the world around began to feel the same tremors of humanity. As technology and economics began to take the shape of what they now represent today, life began to get considerably more and more complex and confusing. Cities grew, and with them grew the gradual dislocation of society.It was at the end of the WWII that perhaps this worldwide sigh of discontent was at its most supreme. It is of this era that I have chosen to explore as a time period in history when the idea of Modernism was perhaps at its pinnacle.In the late 1940s through the 1950s many artists were exploring new methods of expression about the age and society in which they lived. This was a time of change for America; it was a time of being on the verge of space exploration and science fiction. It was also a time of post WWII, the television and the atomic age. A new threat would soon be issued to America however, and its name would be Communism. Combined, these things would all help shape the ideals and expressions of the artists, architects, writers and designers of the day.There were several artists during this period that were considered to be avant-garde. It was during this period that in art Mark Rothko pushed the patron to their perceptive limits by his duality of simplicity and complexity. It was also a time when Allen Ginsberg posed a similar prose of duality. It is upon these two artist of this generation that I will explore a bit further.Rothko created waves in the world of art with his new approach to the expression of human emotions through his painting style. By using large canvases and primary colors, Rothko painted simple shapes in shades of two or three in an attempt to capture a certain emotion onto the canvas that would evoke the same feeling in the viewer. It goes without saying that Rothko achieved his goal in this and that his contribution to the art world is a great one. His pairing of abstraction, expressionism and surrealism greatly impacted art...

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