From post-impressionism to abstract expressionism, modern art has always been a fascinating part of our cultural history. But it can be difficult to get your head around all the different movements, styles, and techniques that are associated with modern art; whether you’re experiencing it in person or exploring online modern art exhibitions.
That’s why we’ve created this guide – to help you explore the evolution of modern art, from the mid-19th Century to the present day.
The Roots of Modern Art: Realism & Impressionism
Modern art as we know it today began in the mid-19th Century, with a movement known as realism. This style focused on painting everyday life in a realistic manner, often depicting scenes from everyday life on canvas. Perhaps the most famous example of realism is Édouard Manet’s painting “Luncheon on the Grass” (1863).
Impressionism followed shortly afterwards, and was led by some of the same painters who had previously worked in realism, such as Claude Monet. This style focused on capturing light and natural forms with brushstrokes that were both visible and gestural. Examples of impressionist paintings include Monet’s “Impression Sunrise”(1872) and Edgar Degas’ “The Dance Class” (1884).
From Post-Impressionism to Expressionism
Post-impressionism emerged at the end of the 19th Century and was characterised by its vibrant colours and intense brushstrokes. The most famous example is arguably Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”(1889).
Post-impressionists sought to move away from realism and create works that explored their own emotions or ideas about life. They also experimented with new techniques such as pointillism (Georges Seurat) or cubism (Pablo Picasso). Expressionism developed at around the same time as post-impressionism, but its focus was entirely different – it sought to convey emotion through distorted figures or bright colours. Famous examples of this include Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract works or Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream” (1893).
Contemporary Art: From Pop Art to Abstract Expressionism
In recent years, modern art has moved away from its traditional roots towards more contemporary styles such as pop art or abstract expressionism. Pop art emerged in the mid-20th Century as an ironic take on consumer culture – artists like Andy Warhol used popular images such as soup cans or movie stars to make statements about society.
Abstract expressionism developed later in response to pop art, and emphasised personal expression through colour, shape, texture, and line rather than recognisable images. Jackson Pollock is perhaps one of the most famous abstract expressionists – his drip paintings are instantly recognisable for their unique approach to colour and composition.
Whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply want to gain a better understanding of modern art history, this guide will help you explore the evolution of modern art from its roots up until today’s contemporary movements
From realism and impressionism through post-impressionist works right up until abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock; there are countless ways you can engage with modern art history today! With this guide in hand, you’ll be able take your exploration further than ever before.