Art in the 20th Century
In the first half of the 20th century, the world was in complete upheaval. Between 1900 and 1945, there were two global wars, and people everywhere saw the rise in Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and the Great Depression (Gardner 724). In this time, there was an extreme change in art; artists questioned the meaning, purpose, form, and overall traditional outlook on the arts. These painters and sculptors explored the boundaries of art and they openly rejected classical, academic, and conventional examples of what art was 'supposed' to be (Video Notes). At this time in history, social, political, and economic terms were being reshaped and redefined, and the artistic world followed suit. There were many different artistic movements that were sparked by the chaos and instability of the world before World War II. These include, but are not limited to Fauvism, Cubism, and Dadaism (Gardner 724). Fauvism refers to wild beasts (artists/fauves), a name given by a critic, who expressed whatever they wanted to – however they wanted to. Cubism emerged with Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which was a painting that presented a radical new way to represent form and space. This particular painting had figures that were inspired by the rediscovery of primitive art (with African and ancient Iberian influence). Picasso experimented with visual expression, and he took a dramatic departure from careful representation of a visual reality. It seems as though the figures in his paintings were put onto canvas as he thought them, not in a rational or organized way (Video Notes). As a result of WWI, Dadaism also hit the artistic world. Dada was a massive movement and response to the corruption and homicide that was going on in the war. The Dadaists had a particular attitude and mind set, rather than a specific style. They believed that Enlightenment and reason had produced global devastation, and they turned away from logic to prize the irrational (Video...
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