Modernism: A Radical Break From The Past

Every once in a while; Everything changes.

Especially when the world is going through a rapid stage of industrialisation. And even more so when there are so many wars going on right alongside.

And during a time of external – sometimes – chaotic change, a massive reorganisation of thought, attitude and behaviour happens. This period I’m referring to in particular is called Modernism and it was one historical movement that we covered in our last lecture.

If I may interject with my own personal opinion at this point; I dislike change. I may be aware and accepting of the fact that changes big or small are inevitable and often necessary yet it is hard to make peace with the major changes in one’s life that often come about- and not in the way you plan or hope.

Modernism marks a revolution of change in art and it’s history. From the late 19th Century and well into the 1970’s there was the breakaway of traditional thought and cultural views. Modernists within the arts and science community rejected almost everything that was once valued in the past and re-established their own intellectual philosophies.

Modernism had it’s own set of goals and aspirations that the movement was determined to realise. The ideal goal of a society stripped of past restrictions and over reliance on religion to act as a divine barometer and dictate one’s worthiness as a human being. Artists, scientists and philosophers turned the tide and paved the way towards what they believed to be a more organised, rational and utopian society.

Artists began to express themselves through the abstract, focusing on the concept of human thought and perception and expressing that exploration in art form. As opposed to simply painting a pretty picture with no obvious deeper meaning. They wanted to explore the inner workings of everything and how human thought and rationale, the human body and the external influences could affect the surrounding environment or even the whole world.

Modernism was a time when people experimented and explored the different ways on how they, either as a single individual or a group can influence change through the written word and through art in it’s many shapes and forms.

(Source) (1) (2) (3)

Image (Source)

As Bob Dylan said and then immortalised in song; The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)

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