Modern Art Traced Back to Its Roots essay

The development of modern art is often characterized by uniqueness and difference from the art that was typical to previous epochs. Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that the modern art did not appear in a day. In stark contrast it is rather a long lasting evolution of the art throughout the late 19th – 20th centuries. In this respect, it should be said that it is possible to trace the roots of the modern art in the major artistic trends typical to the late 19th ”“ early 20th century.

First of all, it should be said that the late 19th ”“ early 20th century was characterized the rapid development of various art movements which were characterized by significant changes and experiments which were very unusual to the traditional art. In this respect, it is worthy of mention the fact that it is during this period such artistic movements as cubism, Dadaism, impressionism have started to progress rapidly. Obviously, each of these movements was unique and had certain characteristic that distinguished it from the rest of art movements existing at the epoch.

In fact, it is possible to view the development of the art in the late 19th ”“ early 20th century as the first stage of the development of the modern art which progressed considerably in the 20th century. At the same time, it should be said that the development of art in that epoch inevitably affected the art of the second half of the 20th century and even the modern art which, though, is often perceived as postmodern art but, nevertheless, it still remains to be a kind of variation of the modern art movement. In other words, the development of new movements in the late 19th ”“ early 20th century was the backbone of the modern art and current trends with slight variations determined by the change in the surrounding world and in the artists’ perception of the surrounding reality and new ideas which naturally appear in art.

In order to trace the evolution of the art from the beginning of modernist movements to the late 20th century, it is necessary to dwell upon the works of the major representatives of  art of the historical epoch discussed. This will help better understand the extent to which the trends of modernist movements of the late 19th ”“ early 20th century are deep rooted in the modern art. In such a situation, it is possible to refer to the works of an outstanding representative of modern art of the early 20th century, Piet Mondrian. For instance, one of his works, “Composition in White, Black and Red” (1936), is considered one of the typical paintings that were the characteristic of this artist.

In fact, in this work it is possible to trace the evolution of the artist from cubism to abstract art and neoplasticism which he actually found as the new movement in the art of the 20th century. This is why it is possible to estimate that Piet Mondrian was characterized by his inclinations to experiments and innovations, which are traits typical to modern artists too. It should be said that this painting is executed in a precise, accurate, geometric style which was traditionally typical to cubists.

However, the artist did not want to reproduce the real world, he tended to abstraction. Obviously, intuition played the dominant role while he had been creating this painting since there is no rational order or calculations that would indicated at the domination of rationalism and logic over the painter’s intuition. Nevertheless, paradoxically in a way, it did not make his painting less precise and full of geometric figures. In fact, his “Composition in White, Black and Red” may be viewed as a classical work of this artist. This painting is well balanced and the artist has managed to carefully and precisely arrange all lines, colors and shape. On the other hand, the painting is not emphatic on some particular feature that would dominate over the entire painting. It seems as if every element of this work is equally important and naturally accomplishes the whole painting. In fact, this painting perfectly meets Piet Mondrian’s views on the necessity of making paintings on the principle of equilibrium and harmony. It is also worthy of mention that the artist skillfully creates a two-dimensional space and this trend still may be traced in the works of modern artists. Anyway, this painting may be viewed as an original way of self-expression of the artist and his unique perception of the surrounding world.

Nevertheless, his style and major trends did not vanish completely neither they remained unnoticed by other artists in the second half of the 20th century. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the works by Andy Warhol who is considered to be one of the most outstanding pop artists of the 20th century. At the same time, it should be pointed out that the cubist tradition and trends to the creation of precise, accurate, and well-balanced work was also the characteristic of many of his works which make Andy Warhol similar in a way to Piet Mondrian and, consequently, it proves the fact that the roots of the modern art of the late 20th century may be traced in the works of artists that created their paintings in the early 20th century.

Speaking about Andy Warhol’s works and his unique style, it is necessary to dwell upon one of the most famous works created by this artist, “The Orange Disaster5”(1963). To a certain extent, this work created three decades after “Composition in White, Black and Red” is similar to the painting by Piet Mondrian. This painting represents a combination of black and bright yellow colors arranged in a proportionally divided set of squares. This combination of colors is quite contrasting and creates a profound effect of the combination of bright yellow and dark black. At the same time, it seems that the painter had brought in more logic in the painting since, even though there are still the same geometric figures as Piet Mondrian used in his work discussed above, but they are more logically and proportionally arranged.

Thus, it is obvious that the works created by different artists in different epochs and, even formally, in different styles are, to a significant extent similar. This is why it is possible to estimate that even though Piet Mondrian and Andy Warhol created their unique style but their works were considerably influenced by cubist movement that were popular at the beginning of the 20th century and was apparently the basis for many other art movements in the late 20th century art.

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