Type of Modern Art

For most of us, when we imagine the type of modern art, the first thing that comes to mind is masters such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.  With their bold use of color and geometric shapes, these artists created works that challenged conventional notions about art and inspired other artists to explore new modes of representation.

Modern art is a broad term that describes the wide range of art produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1960s. The focus of modern art was on expression, personal style, and new ideas in art, which led to innovative and sometimes completely abstract forms.

The type of modern art is designed to convey information artistically. It may also be used to create a specific emotional response. A type of art, or mode of presentation for visual arts, may include a form, model, method, and technique of production, expression, and fabrication.  In the following article, we will discuss in detail the various type of modern art. Let’s find out more about the type of modern art in the following paragraphs.

Type of Modern Art: Modern Art Movements

Modern art is a broad term used to describe the visual art created roughly between the 1860s to the 1960s and indicates movements in philosophy, the arts, architecture, and culture.


Claude Monet's landscape painting

Impressionism sought to capture the momentary beauty of light and color, as exemplified by Claude Monet’s landscape painting (1840-1926). Color schemes introduced non-naturalistic and loose brushwork – often highly textured. The paintings of the Impressionist movement were difficult to recognize at close quarters. Highly regarded by other modern artists, dealers, and collectors, but unpopular with the public and the art authorities. The movement ultimately became the most famous in the world. “Modern art” owes its existence to Impressionism for legitimizing the use of non-naturalistic colors, paving the way for abstract art that was entirely non-naturalistic in nature.


fauvism art example

The famous avant-garde movement that flourished at the dawn of the 20th century is regarded as one of its pioneering manifestations. Fauvism was founded by Henri Matisse, who applied vibrant colors to landscapes and still lifes in order to capture Impressionism’s spirit. However, fauvists, such as Matisse, soon used harsh brushstrokes and vibrant colors straight from their tubes to instill a sense of emotionalism in their works, causing audiences to laugh at first before they became a phenomenon in their own right. Louis Vauxcelles christened such painters Fauves (“wild beasts”) because of the overly expressive nature of their techniques. Georges Braque is viewed as the direct descendant of Fauvism, while André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Georges Derain were other noteworthy Fauvists.


cubism in art

Cubism is perhaps the most famous art movement associated with the Modernist era, and Picasso, in particular, is associated with it. At the height of Cubism’s reign, however, Georges Braque was also a leader of this movement and his paintings were virtually identical to Picasso’s, proving that these two artists worked so well together. It is often noted that Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) was a crucial work for the development of Cubism. It shows nude women in a fractured perspective and shows a strong African influence.

Art critic Louis Vauxcelles hinted at the movement’s name when he depicted Braque’s House at L’Estaque as shaped like bricks in 1908 (again!). The main goal of Cubist art was to move away from mimicking nature and start from scratch by emphasizing the flat, two-dimensionality of the canvas. In order to achieve this effect, used various viewpoints to paint images of common objects like pitchers, bottles, and musical instruments. As their work progressed, Braque and Picasso used monochrome scales to emphasize how they focused on the structure of their paintings. Cubism influenced lots of sculptors and architects, even though it is predominantly associated with painting.


As part of the modernist era, Futurism was one of the most controversial movements, which at first glance chose to equate humans with machines and vice versa for the sake of embracing change, speed, and innovation in society while doing away with artistic and cultural expressions and traditions of the past. Futurist platforms were however characterized by pro-war and pro-misogynistic sentiment.

Filippo Marinetti drew the inspiration for futurism in a 1909 manifesto, and the movement was not limited to any one art form, embracing sculptors, architects, painters, and writers as well. The most common subjects portrayed in paintings were automobiles, trains, animals, dancers, and crowds during this period. Painters borrowed the fragmented and intersecting planes of Cubism into their works in order to emphasize the beauty of movement and speed.

During this period, poets emphasized removing unnecessary adjectives and adverbs from their poetry to focus on infinitive verbs. By using this technique and integrating mathematical symbols, they were able to make more explicit statements with an incredible sense of audacity. As the devastation of World War I became apparent, the Futurists lost steam as their enthusiasm for war faded.


Expressionism in art

Objects and events evoke within a person’s subjective emotions and reactions, which are the subjects of expressionist art. Formal elements are applied to create vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic effects through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy. A large range of modern artists and art movements use Expressionistic principles to express themselves in their work.

As a general term, expressionism is one of the most important currents of art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Especially during periods of social or spiritual crisis, Germanic and Nordic art expressionism can be thought of as the contrast to the rationalist and classicalizing tendencies in Italy and France, beginning at least in the European Middle Ages.

German Expressionism as a distinctive style or movement is more closely associated with various Austrian, French, and Russian artists who emerged before World War I and continued to remain active during the interwar period.


Hugo Ball sums it up well when he mentions the Dadaist goal of art when he writes that it should not be “a means to an end in itself, but rather a means to reflect on and critique the times we are living in.”. Certainly, the Dadaist era witnessed grief, devastation, and chaos as a result of World War I. Several large cities throughout Europe were represented in the movement, including Zürich, Switzerland; New York City; Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, Germany; and Paris. There was no connection between Dadaist styles, mediums, or techniques. Their common beliefs and practices connected them instead.

By fighting rational thought, they saw themselves as crusaders against social decay, corruption and nationalism, and the spread of war and violence. With works such as Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), which was a porcelain urinal, and with photomontages, they ridiculed the nascent Nazi party and challenged and mocked their elitist establishment. While Dadaists fought pernicious social institutions across the globe, they were dismissed by some as mere antics and inconsequential due to their widespread antics.

Abstract Expressionism

type of modern art

New York School refers to a general style of abstract painting that appeared shortly after World War II in New York City. Artists from the United States spearheaded this movement, who were themselves strongly influenced by European expatriates. There were two main styles: gestural painting, which was highly animated, and color field painting, which was much more passive and mood-oriented.

Modern art owes its popularity to abstract expressionism, which promoted abstraction. Rothko’s goal was to elicit an emotional response from the viewer through the use of color. Pollock’s method was to create what became known as “action painting” – see photos by text.

Pop Art

campbell soup pop art

In the 1960s, mass consumerism and popular culture influenced the art of the 1960s. This avant-garde style emerged in New York and London in the late 1950s and dominated the art world until the late 1960s. The Pop artists of the 1920s and 1930s, like Andy Warhol (1928-1987), used bold, easily recognizable images, and vibrant block colors to create an iconography that helped to dissolve the distinction between the commercial and fine arts. Modern art is primarily known for its contribution to showing that good art can be low-brow and be made of anything. Abstract expressionism made this possible.


The Supremacist movement also originated in Russia, along with Constructivism, but with a greater emphasis on abstraction and its embracing. It is considered to be the first painting movement to incorporate pure geometric abstractions. Kasimir Malevich is credited as its creator since he wrote the Suprematist manifesto with the help of a number of his contemporaries.

The movement’s name originates from a quote from Malevich. In it, Malevich expresses the concept of the superiority of pure feeling or perception in the visual arts. He sought to reduce art to its most basic features in his art, often using basic shapes like squares, triangles, circles, and primary and neutral colors. Malevich’s work progressed as he began to include more forms and colors, but his “White on White” paintings exemplified the movement in which a faintly outlined square just barely appeared.

De Stijl

De Stijl type of modern art

As well as expressing what this movement is about, the name De Stijl also sums up how they intend to achieve their goal: with a simple, direct approach. It was founded in Amsterdam by a group of Dutch artists, including Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, and Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud, whose devotion to Theosophy was the primary component of De Stijl’s mysticism. Also influencing the movement, Parisian Cubism was viewed by De Stijl members as falling short of pure abstraction, although Picasso and Braque had a lot to do with it. The Suprematists mostly used unadorned shapes, primary colors, and neutral tones to illustrate their abstract compositions. Both in life and art, they utilized these techniques to examine laws of equilibrium. The movement was led by architects even though it included painters, sculptors, typewriters, poets, and decorators. They best captured the austere, harmonic essence of the movement.


Constructivism emerged at the end of the 1910s when Cubism and Futurism spread west to Russia in the wake of the October Revolution. A constructivist believes art should be created using modern materials like plastic, steel, and glass to serve a social purpose instead of just creating abstract art. Tatlin, who was heavily influenced by Picasso’s geometric constructions while in Paris in 1913, is often credited with starting the movement. The Realist Manifesto was published in 1920 by Pevsner, Gabo, and Antoine Pevsner.

Like the Futurists and Vorticists, they admired machines, technology, and functionalism. There are many notable works of art from this period, but Tatlin’s Monument for the Third International (1919-20) bursts to mind as one of the most famous. This structure transforms into a spiral upon impact, significantly resembling an egg. The majority of Constructivists, like Tatlin, were convinced that paintings weren’t much more than dead art forms unless they were to serve as blueprints for something that might be built in the future. They were primarily involved in ceramics, fashion design, graphic design, and architecture. The movement gained a great deal of popularity in Western countries when Soviet opposition to their movement increased.

Final Words

It is difficult to classify and assign the author’s work to a particular type of modern art in some works. But despite this, some generalizations allow us to understand the artist’s intention and mood by describing his work from the point of view of genres of modern art. They are cultural context and historical background, the genealogy of artistic traditions and masterpieces.

In conclusion, art is very personal and different for everyone. The great thing about modern art is that it makes you think in new ways that have the potential to change your life. There are too many things in the world that make it easy to not think deeper, but with art, you should let yourself go and decide how you feel. Because there is not a right or wrong way to respond to art, let your heart guide you and hopefully learn something along the way.

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