Modern and Post-Modern

Modern art begins with the art period before it, romanticism. An art period concerning the range of human emotions and the variety of what nature had to offer, many paintings drew responses and emotions from the scene of the painting.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah, John Martin
The Destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah, John Martin

This one invokes feelings of fear and evil, with a ghastly image of fire and humans cowering from it. The emotion in this painting is done so elegantly with oil paint, the effort and skill required is also something to marvel as well.

Stormy Coast Scene after a Shipwreck, Horace Vernet
Stormy Coast Scene after a Shipwreck, Horace Vernet

The destructive power of the ocean is amazing and absolutely terrifying. This painting shows a man caught in waves bashing against rocks, his death imminent. It has a man carrying a woman who appears to be dead, a man with an outstretched arm offering help. This painting has sympathy, struggle, pain and fears on a emotional scale and just one mood of the ocean, but it says so much emotionally. This is romanticism.

This my friends, is modernism.

Composition with Yellow,  Blue and Red, Piet Mondrain
Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red, Piet Mondrain

A time of art where I have seen paintings come out of and I never understood them, but now I get it. It is all about looks and being “new”. This painting gives you an emotional response, just like a romantic painting, but in a different way. The composition alone has you looking for something, searching for meaning to it.  It is so radically different from Romanticism but similar in attempting to show emotion in a new way.

Architecture was also becoming modern, and many influences of this style still live today. Take for example, This National Monument in Chicago.

Robie House, 1910, Frank Lloyd Wright
Robie House, 1910, Frank Lloyd Wright

This house may not seem very different from what you find in America today, but this house is one of the very first truly original American styles of architecture. Sleek, “Modern”, expensive are words you would use to describe it, and that is just from the look of it.

I was watching and special Germany edition of Treehouse Masters, a show where cameras follow this guy building treehouses. He met a man by the name of Andreas Wenning whose style of treehouse has a very modern feel to it

Modern Tree houseThis is a perfect example of recent architecture influenced and labeled as Modern. Its shape is very egg-like. The aesthetic nature of it screams modern, and it looks cool!

This is what modern art is, very visual and very purposeful. The intent in which is was made was to visually please the viewers with something other than paintings of people and their feels. So what is Post Modernism?

The easiest way to understand to me was saying “its a version of itself, with a twist”.

Post modern art includes almost anything. Art now had an even larger range of what you could label it. Installation art and street art, ads and video art, and even film.


Take Andy Wharhol for example, an artist who most of my generation should be familiar with. His Campbell’s soup exhibit was just a bunch of cans over and over again, all different. But hey were versions of versions of themselves and it was art that every level of art enthusiast could enjoy.

If you look at film, you can already see that there have been three different tellings of the Incredible Hulk on the big screen, three different versions of the big green lovable guy!


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