Modern art

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Modern art is a relatively fuzzy but colloquial term for avant-garde art of the 20th century , but this term has been used since the late 18th century.

In technical jargon, modern art is more used today , in order to differentiate the term more clearly from the term contemporary art . As a generic term, modern here mostly stands for all artistic developments since around 1870.

Since the modern - postmodern discussion, which intensified in the 1970s, there have been different views as to whether contemporary art still belongs to modernity or not, or whether individual contemporary movements are to be assigned to modernity, others to postmodernism. This is also strongly related to how the term modern is defined in each case, i.e. H. which concept is attributed to modernity.


Still arrested in the 19th century with regard to the illusionistic image conception, Impressionism already points to modern art through painting style and color design , as did Art Nouveau around 1900 with its decorative ornamentation .

But expressionism with its preceding development broke with previous art more clearly : at the expense of perspective and realistic reproduction of the motif , subjective experience is to be represented, recognizable in works by Vincent van Gogh , Paul Gauguin , Paul Cézanne , Edvard Munch and the artist groups of the Fauvists , Brücke , the Neue Künstlervereinigung München or the editorial team of the Blauer Reiters . Expressionism worked in Tachism until the 1950s . Neo-expressionist pathos formed the style of New Objectivity in works by Otto Dix , George Grosz and Christian Schad , which combined realistic portrayals with satirical social criticism. In 1916 Dadaism , the first anti-art movement of the avant-garde , emerged as a protest against established art.

The abstract painting in its various styles exemplifies the transition to a modern art. Based on her, such different directions as Pop Art , Minimal Art , Neue Wilde , but also Happening , Fluxus , Land Art , the social art of Joseph Beuys , Wolf Vostell , the Situationists and conceptual art develop .


At first, modern art repeatedly encountered contradictions in the mainstream . It is thanks to individual collectors that artists were recognized and promoted. A high point in this argument made in the era of National Socialism , the exhibition "Degenerate Art" in 1937 , in which the Nazis works of modern art as "degenerate" presented, away from museums and collections, sold einlagerten or destroyed. The official term of "German Art" condemned works with abstract and modern tendencies as well as all works by artists with a Jewish background and assigned clear tasks to art under National Socialism . To this day, modern art is rejected by some conservative circles who prefer an ancient or classical concept of art.

See also


Web links

Commons : Modern Art  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Contemporary Art  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. [1] .
  2. Modern. In: Markus Stegmann, René Zey: Lexicon of the graphic arts . (= Small digital library. 25). Directmedia Publishing, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89853-325-6 .