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Phenomenon of Modernism in Art

The modernism phenomenon began to take foothold from mid-19th century to mid-20th century. During this period of art history, art was characterized by a detour from the conventional realism and took a direction of reforming the works of art through reprise of past works via recapitulation, parody and incorporation of new forms into the works. One of the salient attributes of the period was self-consciousness and a deviation from enlightenment thinking that characterized previous artworks. The self-consciousness served the artists of the period with the ability and chance to experiment with their works and previous works and amalgamate the artworks with the materials used. This drove attention to the materials used in the works and the processes of producing the works of art (Michelle, 2006). The added attention led to use of abstraction as a characteristic of the period. There was criticism of ideologies such as coherence and harmony in appearance and phenomenal deviation from the old orthodoxy ideological mindset of a compassionate all-powerful creator. Originality also characterized modernism era by shaping the general view of the artist as individual and created an intricate connection between the works of art and the artist that produced them.

Examples of Major Artists during Modernism Period

Andy Warhol is one of the great masters of the modernism period who mainly produced works of art through paintings. He helped in development and growth of the pop art era and contributed immensely to the concept of originality as an important aspect of paintings. Actually, the concept of originality during this period was not portrayed the same way it was portrayed by the previous mandarins of art. Rather, it was created by parodying of the established notion of originality (Fischer & Huxley 2000). However, the concept of originality, as portrayed in Warhol’s artworks, can be evaluated from another angle by looking at the processes and materials incorporated into them. Warhol used photographs as the main source of his images to produce paintings. This aspect was unique during Warhol’s period that it changed the meaning of originality in artwork as it was previously understood. Thus, Andy Warhol redefined modernism and modernity through his woks by introducing new techniques of using existing photographs as sources of images for his paintings.

Jackson Pollock contributed to modernism in the 20th century through the use of abstract expressionism or artistic communication through nonrepresentational approach (Pam & Sheldon 2000). He employed paint spatter technique in conjunction with acrylic to produce a vivid nonrepresentational painting of white, black and grey.