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Modernism is an artistic style, also called Art Nouveau, that mainly developed between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Although the word "modern" is synonymous with "recent," modernism refers to a limited time period, since the word is not used as an adjective, but as a proper noun.

Notable Artists

Plastic arts, architecture, and literature are the disciplines where modernism had a significant influence. In painting, the essence of the style was a notable break from any artistic canon existing up to that time.

To achieve this, new techniques brought about by the industrial revolution were leveraged, which for the first time allowed art to be replicated on a large scale: printing techniques and screen printing. These technologies themselves largely shaped the type of figures, colors, illustrations, and mixes that would characterize the style.

There is no unanimous agreement among academics on what should be classified as "modernist," with not a few authors including even impressionism and cubism as part of the movement.

Some examples of modernist paintings and posters, in the strictest sense, are:

  • "Tournée du Chat Noir"

    This is a poster used as an advertisement, installed in a nightclub named "The Black Cat," located in Paris. It is an emblematic work of the modernist aesthetic that would soon develop strongly in France.

  • "Champeonis" by .

    This is another example of the aesthetic cultivated in France, this work can be considered as a "classic" example of the style.

  • "Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow" by .

    Painted in 1930, though Mondrian is characterized with movements such as cubism and neoplasticism, the period during which he made his main contributions allows him to be classified as a modernist painter, at least during part of his career.

Modern Paintings
Modern Art

Painters considered modernists include Gustav Klimt and Pablo Picasso, here you can see some works: