The Development of Modernistic Visual Arts

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Modernism is a movement that came as a result of changes and cultural trends that arose from the effects of increased western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Modernism rejected previous cultural values and conventions in favor of innovation and experimentation (Fiero 354). Some of the catalysts of modernism include industrial organizations, World War I and the rapid growth of urban centers. Delving into the role that capitalism, technology, speed, and change has played in the development of modernistic visual arts ensures that one understands the steps made in visual arts from the nineteenth century up to the twentieth century.
Capitalism is one of the critical factors that led to the development of modernism during the early twentieth century. As more people across the globe began appreciating art as a commodity, and not as an item, its value increased. As the world slowly revolutionized in the early twentieth century, visual arts also became popular with more people appreciating the key role that art plays in the society. Additionally, technological advancements across the globe also favored the transformation of visual art from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century. Childs notes that Technical experimentation followed by stylistic innovations made modernism more vigorous (Childs 19). More and more artists became curious about having the urge to try new techniques in visual arts. For instance, an artist like Picasso changed from his Cubism to more advanced paintings with different colors and motifs. From the painting by Picasso from the nineteenth century, Study of a Back to his art from the early twentieth century, The Old Guitarist, there are clear distinctions in style and texture of a picture as a result of improved technology. Therefore, technology rendered old designs absolute with increased preference over old paintings and other forms of art.

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Additionally, the speed at which the new pictures were created also increased their popularity among different artists like Picasso. Picasso’s blue period came to an end when he began introducing brighter colors like soft red and pink to his paintings. In addition to that change in the society also played a crucial role in the changes seen in art. There are different types of social change like cultural change, social relationship change, and civilization change that have profoundly affected art as an industry. However, these factors can be caused by climatic conditions, new attitudes and political wars across different countries. In most cases, modernism proposes various forms of art which are appropriate for the current times. Most of the people during this time were focused on ensuring that they can impact history through their art, which fueled the transformation of art. Additionally, modernism rooted in that the concept of ancient ways of art had become outdated and it was therefore essential to embrace change. Modernism rejected these traditional ways and took artists back to the fundamentals of art that enable artists to experiment with various forms and color as well as given the freedom of speech and expression. Furthermore, modernism transformed the way traditional and classical artists viewed their environment, structures, nature and social norms.

Capitalism, technology, speed, and change have played in the development of modernistic visual arts. Looking at the two paintings by Picasso, there is a clear transformation from his nineteenth-century paintings to his twentieth-century paintings. The Old Guitarist exhibits a lot of features and colors which increase a painting value by making it more presentable to consumers. Various artistic styles reflect the concept of modernity by tackling contemporary issues or images and being their own time. However, the new methods and techniques created through modernism should be keenly analyzed to ensure that they can be put into practice efficiently. The Old Guitarist shows a glimpse of Picasso’s ideas of women and how musicians were treated by the society respectively. Additionally, the art teaches the theories of expressionism and modernism in a way that only the artist can relate to emotionally. Finally, the painting developed multiple meanings which conveyed a universal emotion that is recognizable and can be experienced by all.

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The development of modernistic visual arts. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from
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