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Art, Modern

Summary Article: modern art from The Macmillan Encyclopedia
Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night (1889) is an...
Image from: Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night (1889) is an... in The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
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The art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, which has largely abandoned traditional subjects, aesthetic standards, and techniques of art. The development of modern art was stimulated by the decline of artistic patronage by church and state, giving the artist more freedom to experiment. These experiments have largely centred round the use of colour and form as properties in their own right and not only as a means to mirror the real world (See photography). They can be traced back to Manet and the impressionists. Cézanne began the dissolution of one of the main foundations of Western painting since the Renaissance—the use of linear perspective. This was completed by cubism in the early 20th century and formed the basis for subsequent work by Picasso. Parallel movements were futurism in Italy and vorticism in England. In Russia a completely nonrepresentational geometric art developed in the form of suprematism and constructivism. Suprematism, constructivism, and neoplasticism (See Stijl, de) were highly influential in the 1920s at the German Bauhaus school of design and geometric abstraction has remained a leading artistic trend in the form of Op art and minimal art. Colour used for its own sake was a major feature of French fauvism in the early 1900s. Die Brücke, the German counterpart of fauvism, was also part of another modern movement—expressionism. These two trends were fused in the work of Kandinsky, who produced the first abstract painting in about 1910. His heir in the 1940s, when the centre of modern art shifted to New York, was Jackson Pollock, the leading exponent of abstract expressionism. Other movements have explored such concerns as the world of dreams and the subconscious (See surrealism), the role of the mass media in society (See pop art), and the status of art itself (See conceptual art; dada; performance art). See also abstract art; sculpture.

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