The Cambridge History of Modernism

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This 'Cambridge History of Modernism' is the first comprehensive history of modernism in the distinguished Cambridge Histories series. It identifies a distinctive temperament of 'modernism' within the 'modern' period, establishing the circumstances of modernized life as Phrase Searching You can use double quotes to search for a series of words in a particular order. Wildcard Searching If you want to search for multiple variations of a word, you can substitute a special symbol called a "wildcard" for one or more letters.

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Read about Search Operators for some powerful new tools. Other Authors: Sherry, Vincent B. Subjects: Modernism Literature. Modernism Aesthetics. Modernism Art. Modernism Music. Modern movement Architecture. The situation for artists in Europe during the s deteriorated rapidly as the Nazis' power in Germany and across Eastern Europe increased. Degenerate art was a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany for virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions.

These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely. Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in Munich in The climate became so hostile for artists and art associated with modernism and abstraction that many left for the Americas.

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Cambridge Core - European Studies - The Cambridge History of Modernism - edited by Vincent Sherry. 'The Cambridge History of Modernism is ambitious, thorough, and will be invaluable for researchers and educators The volume covers a huge amount of .

In New York City a new generation of young and exciting Modernist painters led by Arshile Gorky , Willem de Kooning , and others were just beginning to come of age. Arshile Gorky's portrait of someone who might be Willem de Kooning is an example of the evolution of abstract expressionism from the context of figure painting, cubism and surrealism. Along with his friends de Kooning and John D. Graham , Gorky created biomorphically shaped and abstracted figurative compositions that by the s evolved into totally abstract paintings. Gorky's work seems to be a careful analysis of memory, emotion and shape, using line and color to express feeling and nature.

The term " late modernism " is also sometimes applied to Modernist works published after Basil Bunting , born in , published his most important Modernist poem Briggflatts in Samuel Beckett , who died in , has been described as a "later Modernist". The terms " minimalist " and " post-Modernist " have also been applied to his later works.

Prynne born are among the writers in the second half of the 20th century who have been described as late modernists. More recently the term "late modernism" has been redefined by at least one critic and used to refer to works written after , rather than With this usage goes the idea that the ideology of modernism was significantly re-shaped by the events of World War II , especially the Holocaust and the dropping of the atom bomb. The postwar period left the capitals of Europe in upheaval with an urgency to economically and physically rebuild and to politically regroup.

In Paris the former center of European culture and the former capital of the art world the climate for art was a disaster. Important collectors, dealers, and Modernist artists, writers, and poets had fled Europe for New York and America. The surrealists and modern artists from every cultural center of Europe had fled the onslaught of the Nazis for safe haven in the United States.

Many of those who didn't flee perished.

Modernism/modernity

The term " Theatre of the Absurd " is applied to plays, written primarily by Europeans, that express the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence. Critic Martin Esslin coined the term in his essay "Theatre of the Absurd". He related these plays based on a broad theme of the Absurd, similar to the way Albert Camus uses the term in his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus.

During the late s Jackson Pollock 's radical approach to painting revolutionized the potential for all contemporary art that followed him. To some extent Pollock realized that the journey toward making a work of art was as important as the work of art itself.

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Like Pablo Picasso 's innovative reinventions of painting and sculpture in the early 20th century via Cubism and constructed sculpture , Pollock redefined the way art is made. His move away from easel painting and conventionality was a liberating signal to the artists of his era and to all who came after. Artists realized that Jackson Pollock's process—placing unstretched raw canvas on the floor where it could be attacked from all four sides using artistic and industrial materials; dripping and throwing linear skeins of paint; drawing, staining, and brushing; using imagery and nonimagery—essentially blasted artmaking beyond any prior boundary.

Abstract expressionism generally expanded and developed the definitions and possibilities available to artists for the creation of new works of art. The other abstract expressionists followed Pollock's breakthrough with new breakthroughs of their own. Rereadings into abstract art by art historians such as Linda Nochlin , [] Griselda Pollock [] and Catherine de Zegher [] critically show, however, that pioneering women artists who produced major innovations in modern art had been ignored by official accounts of its history. He was best known for his semi- abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art.

His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures, usually suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the s when he sculpted family groups. His forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces. The last three decades of Moore's life continued in a similar vein, with several major retrospectives taking place around the world, notably a prominent exhibition in the summer of in the grounds of the Forte di Belvedere overlooking Florence.

By the end of the s, there were some 40 exhibitions a year featuring his work. On the campus of the University of Chicago in December , 25 years to the minute after the team of physicists led by Enrico Fermi achieved the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, Moore's Nuclear Energy was unveiled. The "London School" of figurative painters, including Francis Bacon — , Lucian Freud — , Frank Auerbach born , Leon Kossoff born , and Michael Andrews — , have received widespread international recognition.

The Cambridge History of Modernism

Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Bacon began painting during his early 20s but worked only sporadically until his mids. His breakthrough came with the triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion which sealed his reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition.

These were followed by his early s modern variations of the crucifixion in the triptych format. From the mids to early s, Bacon mainly produced strikingly compassionate portraits of friends. Following the suicide of his lover George Dyer in , his art became more personal, inward-looking, and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death.

During his lifetime, Bacon was equally reviled and acclaimed. Lucian Freud was a German-born British painter, known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, who was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. In paintings like Girl with a White Dog —52 , [] Freud put the pictorial language of traditional European painting in the service of an anti-romantic, confrontational style of portraiture that stripped bare the sitter's social facade.

Ordinary people—many of them his friends—stared wide-eyed from the canvas, vulnerable to the artist's ruthless inspection. In abstract painting during the s and s several new directions like hard-edge painting and other forms of geometric abstraction began to appear in artist studios and in radical avant-garde circles as a reaction against the subjectivism of abstract expressionism. Clement Greenberg became the voice of post-painterly abstraction when he curated an influential exhibition of new painting that toured important art museums throughout the United States in Color Field painting, hard-edge painting and lyrical abstraction [] emerged as radical new directions.

By the late s however, postminimalism , process art and Arte Povera [] also emerged as revolutionary concepts and movements that encompassed both painting and sculpture, via lyrical abstraction and the postminimalist movement, and in early conceptual art. Janis mounted the exhibition in a 57th Street storefront near his gallery. The show sent shockwaves through the New York School and reverberated worldwide.

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This aspect of modernism has often seemed a reaction to consumer culture , which developed in Europe and North America in the late 19th century. Historians, and writers in different disciplines, have suggested various dates as starting points for modernism. Melba Cuddy-Keane. Influential innovations included steam-powered industrialization, and especially the development of railways, starting in Britain in the s, [29] and the subsequent advancements in physics, engineering, and architecture associated with this. The critic and society, Morris Dickstein;

This movement rejected abstract expressionism and its focus on the hermeneutic and psychological interior in favor of art that depicted and often celebrated material consumer culture, advertising, and iconography of the mass production age. The early works of David Hockney and the works of Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi who created the groundbreaking I was a Rich Man's Plaything , are considered seminal examples in the movement. Meanwhile, in the downtown scene in New York's East Village 10th Street galleries, artists were formulating an American version of pop art.

Later Leo Castelli exhibited the works of other American artists, including those of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein for most of their careers. There is a connection between the radical works of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray , the rebellious Dadaists with a sense of humor, and pop artists like Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, whose paintings reproduce the look of Ben-Day dots , a technique used in commercial reproduction.

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music , wherein artists intend to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all nonessential forms, features, or concepts. Minimalism is any design or style wherein the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post—World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the s and early s. By the early s minimalism emerged as an abstract movement in art with roots in the geometric abstraction of Kazimir Malevich , [] the Bauhaus and Piet Mondrian that rejected the idea of relational and subjective painting, the complexity of abstract expressionist surfaces, and the emotional zeitgeist and polemics present in the arena of action painting.

Minimalism argued that extreme simplicity could capture all of the sublime representation needed in art.