Modernism: 1850 to 1945

Important Dates

1901 First transatlantic radio signal
1903 Wright Brothers’ first flight
1920’s Commercial television
1924 Mexican Revolution ends
1936-1939 Spanish Civil War

Target Concepts

  • Contemporary art is the inheritors of Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism; Academic art lost the war
  • An influx of Japanese objects and culture dramatically influences art being produced in Europe
  • Artists increasingly reveal their techniques, mark-making, and material use in their finished artworks
  • As society begins to change more rapidly, so do artistic movements
  • Increasingly art becomes about the process and nature of art, and less about a narrative

Modernity, Modern Art, and Modernism
Avant Garde

Japanisme

Academic Art

Realism
“ . . . Show me an angel, and I’ll paint one.” -Courbet

The Stone Breakers, Gustave Courbet
France, 1849 CE oil on canvas 5’x9’

Olympia, Edouard Manet
France, 1863 CE oil on canvas 4’x6’

Impressionism

Impression: Sunrise, Claude Monet
France, 1872 CE oil on canvas 2’x2’
Plein air

Gare St.-Lazare, Claude Monet
France, 1877 CE oil on canvas 2’x3’

The Tub, Edgar Degas
France, 1886 CE pastel on cardboard

Bar at the Folies-Bergere, Edouard Manet
France, 1882 CE oil on canvas 3’x4’

The Coiffure Mary Cassatt
France, 1891 CE drypoint and aquatint on laid paper

Post Impressionism

Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh
France, 1889 CE oil on canvas 2’x3’
Broken color, impasto

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, Paul Gauguin
France, 1898 CE oil on canvas 2’x3’

Mt. Ste. Victoire, Paul Cézanne
France, 1902 CE oil on canvas 2’x3’

The Armory Show: 1913

German Expressionism
“A well-painted turnip is as beautiful as a well-painted Madonna.” – Max Lieberman

Improvisation 28, Vassily Kandinsky
Germany, 1912 o/c 4’x5’
abstract vs. non-objective

Self-Portrait as a Soldier, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Germany, 1915 CE o/c

Memorial to Karl Liebknecht, Kathe Kollwitz
Germany, 1919 woodcut

Cubism
“I paint forms as I think them, not as I see them.” – Picasso

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Pablo Picasso
France, 1907 o/c 8’x8’

The Portuguese, George Braque
France, 1911 o/c 4’x3’

Still Life with Chair-Caning, Pablo Picasso
France, 1912 oil and oilcloth on canvas 10”x1’
Synthetic cubism, collage

Guernica, Pablo Picasso
Spain, 1937 o/c 11’x25’

Dada

Fountain (second version), Marcel Duchamp
USA, 1917 ready-made glazed sanitary china with black paint
Ready-made

Cadeau (Gift), Man Ray
USA, 1921 painted flatiron with row of 13 tacks

Illustration from the Results of the First Five-Year Plan, Varvara Stepanova
Russia, 1932 CE photomontage

Surrealism

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali
Spain, 1931 o/c 9”x13”

Le Dejeuner en Fourrure, Meret Oppenheim
France, 1936 fur covered cup, saucer is 9” diameter

The Two Fridas, Frida Khalo
Mexico, 1939 o/c 6’x6’

The Jungle, Wilfredo Lam
USA 1943 CE goache on paper

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Park, Diego Rivera
Mexico, 1948 CE fresco

Architecture

Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament, Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin
England, 1870 CE limestone, masonry, and glass

Carson, Pirie, and Scott Building, Louis Sullivan
USA, 1903 CE iron, steel, glass, and terra cotta
curtain walls

The Bauhaus

Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier
France 1929 CE steel and reinforced concrete
International Style

Falling Water House, Frank Lloyd Wright
USA, 1939
Open floor plan

…and Everything Else

The Valley of Mexico from the Hillside of Santa Isabel, Jose Maria Velasco
Mexico, 1882 CE oil on canvas

Burghers of Calais, Auguste Rodin
France, 1884 CE bronze 8’x7’x11”

The Scream, Edvard Munch
France, 1893 CE oil, pastel, and casein on cardboard, 11”x29”
Symbolism

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt
Austria, 20thc o/c 6’x6’
Fin-De-Siecle

The Steerage, Alfred Stieglitz
USA, 1907 photogravure on tissue

The Kiss, Consantin Brancusi
France, 1908 CE limestone
Truth to the material

Goldfish, Henri Matisse
France, 1912 CE o/c
Fauvism, joie de vivre

Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow, Piet Mondrian
France, 1930 CE oil on canvas
De Stijl

The Migration of the Negro, Panel no. 49, Jacob Lawrence

From the Migration of the Negro series
USA 1941 CE casein tempera on hardboard

Beyond the Class:
Understanding Duchamp
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series