Modern art can be defined as the response or reaction of the creative world to the rationalist way of living and ideas proposed by the industrial age and technological revolution. This pushed the creative artists to pursue their interests towards the modern world through their paintings. Artists only know to express their feelings through painting and modern art was born. Even though modern art is a generic term that can be applied to various artistic genres, in general, it is the artist’s intent to depict a subject he sees in the real world according to his perception.
History of Modern Art
The modern art came into life during the industrial revolution in the latter half of the 19th century. And the industrial revolution is seen by many historians as one of the major turning point in history of the world. It brought with a lot of inventions and technologies like the combustion engine, electrical power, large factories mainly based on huge machines and changed the human way of life drastically. The revolution also witnessed many rural people migrating to urban areas to find work and city life came into prominence. And with the evolution of the industrial revolution, creative artists inspired by these new landscapes and inventions responded with modern art paintings that closely resembled real life and experiences.
Artists like Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and many others played an important role in the evolution of modern art. At the start of the 20th century, several French artists like Henry Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Maurice de Vlaminck created an uproar in the Paris art world by revealing some of their works that involved expressive landscapes and paintings with multi-colored and real-life experiences. French critics called these paintings as a way of Fauvism. Even many art collectors even show a large interest to invest in modern art paintings and try to buy works of upcoming modern artists during the early days of their career.
Why Modern Art Painting was successful?
Modern art paintings became successful as they depicted the real-life experiences and exposed the industrial revolution and the modern life of people through its paintings. It allowed people to easily relate to the paintings when compared to traditional painting. When you look at the art scene from the early days, it just evolved with the passage of time. Every time a major change in human history is made, artists also transformed themselves to the present situation. At times when paintings were generally considered to be done inside a studio, modern artists took it to the open and created beautiful and everlasting creations with new ways with color.
Take for example, place a Jackson Pollock and a Monet side by side and you can see the drastic changes between the two paintings, even though both of them are testaments of their time. But the important aspect that modern art successful is because it broke the rules of traditional painting and created its own set of rules and showed us the world in a newer perspective.
How Modern Art Paintings Can transform the look of your Home?
If you are looking to transform the look of your home and add a personal touch, then better choose modern art paintings to decorate your home. Your personal living space is an important part of the day to day life and we all need that space to make us happy and relaxed. And decorating that space with modern art paintings adds a personal touch and an aesthetic style to it.
Modern art paintings have been one of the most used art pieces in homes or office spaces for decoration purposes. When it comes to modern art paintings, there are thousands of aspiring art collectors around the world who are willing to invest huge sums of money in popular modern art paintings. They see it both as an investment as well as a part of their prized collection to satisfy their artistic pleasure.
Adorning your walls with modern art paintings can literally transform the tone of your room to a great extent. Featuring a large landscape painting in your living room can provide a more serene and peaceful environment. In the same way, a modern art painting featuring water and sea can enhance your desire for travelling and provide a relaxed mind. And a painting that features trees, animals or any natural setting can make for a great compliment to the interior and create an informal setting to your space.
Difference between Modern Art and Contemporary Art
When it comes to modern art and contemporary art, it is modern art that came way ahead of contemporary art. Basically, modern art is the work of art that was created during the period of 1860-1960 whereas contemporary art is the work of art created during the present day. But it is hard to define what present day is meant as to whether it denotes art created by artists living in the present day or art created during our lifetime. Even though there are many questions that linger around the topic of the present day, we can actually separate modern art and contemporary based on the period they were created. So everything that is created during 1860 till the 1960s falls under modern art category and everything after can be classified into contemporary art.
7 Masterpieces of Modern Art Paintings
When it comes to modern art, there is a lot of unique and top class creations made by artists during that period and we try to list out the 7 masterpieces from that period.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
Popular Norwegian expressionist artist, Edward Munch created various versions of a similar painting between 1893 and 1910. Titled “The Scream”, the artwork depicts a figure with an agonized expression with orange sky in the background and two more people coming behind the screaming person. It is said that Munch created 4 versions of this painting and exhibited it in the solo exhibition in 1893 in Berlin. Currently two of the versions are on display in Oslo’s National Gallery and 3rd in the Munch Museum in Norway and the 4th one is held by a private collector. It is presumed that the 4th version for sold to that avid collector for almost 120 million in an auction held at Sotheby’s
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) is a famous oil painting created in 1907 by the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. Basically the art depicts prostitutes of a famous brothel in Avignon street in Barcelona. The five prostitutes are nude and confront a disconcerting look and none of the figures portrayed in the picture look feminine. While 3 figures sport some kind of facial features, other 2 nude figures sport some kind of African mask. the painting clearly evoked a sense of racial primitivism in the painting.
The Dance by Henri Matisse
The Dance by Henri Matisse is another popular piece of modern art. And it is believed that Matisse created two versions of the painting titled “The Dance”. And both the versions portrayed images of 5 dancing figures and the first version was created in 1909 and is currently at display at MoMA and the second version was believed to be created a year later and currently at display at The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Fountain by Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp created this masterpiece titled the Fountain that portrays a porcelain urinal with a sign of R.Mutt. It is largely said to be a fine example of conceptual artwork, but it took more than 5 decades for it to be recognized as an artwork. Created in 1917 to exhibit in the Society of Independent Artists in New York, the panel rejected it saying it is not an artwork. When the original version of the Fountain was lost, Duchamp created a lot of replicas in 1960 which are the ones in the display for art lovers.
On White II by Wassily Kandinsky
On White II by famous Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky is considered to be a masterpiece and is also regarded as the first complete abstract painting. It is also one of the most popular creations of the Russian abstract painter and the painting comprises of various geometric shapes and lines in some kind of contemporary arrangement. As the name suggests, white is predominant color as it is used to denote peace, life and silence. The artists also used various other colors to express his inner emotions. Some say that the abstract shapes in the painting can be compared with a musical composition while some consider it to be various dimensions and opportunities in life. Currently it is held at the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris, France.
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali, the famous Spanish artist, created this masterpiece of modern art painting titled “The Persistence” in 1931. The painting is also considered to be one of the most surrealist piece as it depicts pocket watches melting that represented softness and hardness. It is now currently owned by the MoMA.
The Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol created this masterpiece of a modern art painting that comprises of 50 faces of the famous Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe. It was created in remembrance of the actress shortly after her death in 1962 and 25 images are presented in colors and 25 in black and white denoting the difference between life and death. Currently the painting is owned by Tate, London.
Famous Modern Art Painters and their Masterpieces
Let’s take a look at the famous modern art painters including Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and more along with their masterpieces in the list below:
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, poet, stage designer, ceramicist and printmaker and also considered as one of the most influential modern artists of the 20th century. Picasso along with Georges Braque pioneered the art of Cubism that means to portray a subject in multiple viewpoints to provide the subject with greater context and meaning. Picasso also later changed his style and techniques over the course of his long painting career and experimented with various styles. It is considered that he produced more than 1900 paintings and most of his works are among the most expensive paintings ever sold. Picasso is undoubtedly the greatest artist of all times. Some of his masterpieces include Guernica (1937), Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Girl before a mirror (1932), La Vie (1903), Le Reve (1932), The Weeping Woman (1937) and more.
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh was another great Post-impressionist artists and considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of western art. In his short career, Van Gogh created almost close to 2100 artworks including landscapes, portraits, still life and many more. He had a problem with mental instability and at the age of 37, he shot himself to death. Van Gogh’s works are famous for its bold colors and emotional honesty. Some of his masterpieces include The Starry Night (1889), Sunflowers (1887), Irises series, Sorrow (1882).
In the history of modern art, Surrealism is considered to be an important movement as artists who practiced surrealism travelled in a new path to uncover the magic of your imaginations. Salvador Dali, a popular Spanish modern artist is renowned for creating some of the greatest masterpieces in surrealistic art. Some of his masterpieces include The Persistence of Memory (1931), Lobster Telephone (1936), Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937).
Claude Monet is considered to be one among the best painters the world ever produced and is also regarded as the founder of Impressionism, modern art movement. Monet broke the traditions in using colors, lights and shapes in painting and Water Lilies Series is called as the “The Sistine Chapel of Impressionism”. Some of his masterpieces include Water Lilies series (1896 – 1926), Impression, Sunrise (1872), Rouen Cathedral series (1892 – 1893)
Frida Kahlo was a doctor by profession and when she met with an accident and had to stay in the hospital for a long time as she needed to undergo 35 operations, she got interested in painting and became an artist. Known for her self-portraits, Frida Kahlo is also ranked as one of the greatest artists of self-portrait paintings. Her famous masterpieces include The Two Fridas (1939), Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), The Broken Column (1944).