Modernism is far from a precise term--in art history or any other aspect of history. Chief objectives for this chapter include: grasping the unifying aspects of the period from 1900 to 1945, and understanding the essential features of each of a number of movements within the developments contained by this time period.
Goals for this chapter include:
- Recognize that Impressionism engendered a range of critical reactions and identify the essential features of each of these reactions as contained within the broad term, Post-Impressionism.
- Identify those aspects of early modernism that were pushed at least in part by resentment towards the developments of modern industrialism.
- Categorize the works and artists talked about in this chapter into one of the two major poles of modernism: formalism and expressionism.
- Understand the centrality of Cubism and German Expressionism to the foundation of twentieth-century modernism.
- Recognize the aesthetic basis of the "invention" and development of non-representational art.
- Recognize new techniques in both painting and sculpture, particularly collage and construction.
- Watch the emergence of a new aesthetic in architecture--an aesthetic that placed fully realized function in the realm of the beautiful.
- Observe the relationship between modern psychoanalysis and art--especially in the realm of Surrealism.
- Witness the growth of regionalism and a documentary impulse in American art between the wars.