The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Modern Art by Shalisjordan -
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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Modern Art

  • Joined Jun 2022
  • Published Books 2

Modern art is renowned for its avant-garde aesthetics, which are lauded by artists who were ahead of their time. This stream encompasses several key art movements and, as a result, offers an eclectic spectrum of styles. It has been evolving for around 100 years. We must identify and comprehend the different genres that make up contemporary art in order to grasp its particular growth. However, the most essential thing to do in order to do this is to develop some current art facts for art lovers.

What is modern art?

Art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries is referred to as “modern art.” During this period, the artists’ interest in reinventing, reinterpreting, and even rejecting the established aesthetic standards of preceding styles was evident in their work. It is not to be confused with modern art.

What does modern art represent?

Modern art, or modernism, is a unique notion in the art world since it encompasses a variety of topics, including aesthetics, history, the philosophy of what art is, and the market. And it is this kind of art that seeks to distinguish between the creative portion of art and the part of art that will be associated with specific conceptions of modernity. As a result, you have a greater understanding of it. Academic art, for example, represents all that is conventional in art. This kind of art tries new things to come up with new ideas.



This is why this is an aesthetic rather than a chronological notion since any time constraint would be troublesome for this style of work. Let’s look at an example to help you grasp it better: The art created throughout the modern era (from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries) was not the same as the notion of “modern art” as we know it now. The work created in the Contemporary Age, on the other hand, does fulfill the description of this notion.

What are the differences between contemporary art and modern art?

They’re commonly used in the same sentence. They are often traded between institutions or in specialist biographies. There are also times when comparable places are utilized against one other. In other words, they set aside an unlimited period for contemporary art, which might be anywhere from the nineteenth through the twentieth centuries. This occurs because there is sometimes a lack of consistency between contemporary and modern art, and as a result, many people conflate the two, which is understandable.

To distinguish modern art from contemporary art, all we need to know is that the distinction is aesthetic rather than chronological (as could be the case with contemporary art). To help you grasp it better, we’ll use the example of a painter named William Adolphe Bouguereau, who may or may not have created works in this manner, although Vincent Van Gogh did. You can tell the difference between two of these artists’ paintings by looking at them side by side. To summarize this art form, we must state that contemporary art was a development of traditional art. This form of work represents a new way of thinking about the role of art and philosophy.

What makes contemporary art unique?

Here are some interesting facts about important trends and movements in contemporary art that you probably didn’t know, roughly dated to when they started or gained notoriety.


French Impressionist artists explored new methods to show emotions between light and movement, frequently employing rich and vivid colors, as a release from the stress of high finish and accurate portrayals in academic painting. They commonly painted the city, but they also portrayed landscapes and images of middle-class relaxation in the surrounding areas, since they were allied to contemporary life.

Fact: By the beginning of 1872, the term “Impressionism” had become synonymous with this style. Impression, soleil levant (Sunrise – Impression) by Claude Monet was the inspiration for the term “Impressionism.”


Symbolism is a visual arts movement that is frequently considered a subset of post-Impressionism and a response to Impressionism. This style is described as having an incomprehensible focus on mystical and emotional subjects. Icons and emotional motifs are often used in symbolist artworks. These would go on to have a big effect on Expressionism.

This literary and artistic movement began in the late nineteenth century with a group of French poets, who helped the movement expand as a visual art movement, affecting European and American literatures in varied degrees throughout the twentieth century.


Roger Fry, a critic, proposed the term “Post Impressionism” as a new medium to depict the varied replies to Impressionism, which started about 1886. Before succumbing to Fauvism in 1905, the movement included Symbolism and Neo-Impressionism. The liquefaction of dazzling effects of light and atmosphere by the post-Impressionists allowed them to explore new directions like as color theory and self-expression. Post-Impressionism is an expansion of Impressionism as well as a rejection of the style’s inherent limits.

Art Nouveau

Jugendstil, stile Liberty, and Sezessionsstil were all used to describe Art Nouveau during its short time of popularity. Art Nouveau has had a huge effect on style and has sponsored a lot of people all across Europe. Despite the fact that it was only a highly contemporary twist on ornamental design. Regardless the media, the subject matter was simple flower patterns, curves, and waves. The movement’s impact may still be seen today in iconic twentieth-century architecture, furniture, and jewelry design, as well as in Gustav Klimt’s paintings.

Art Nouveau sprang from the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, which favored traditional workmanship above the mass-produced aspects of the industrial revolution.

Final words

The goal of Modern Art, or modernism, was to produce fresh, youthful, free, and avant-garde art that defied established trends, both academic and artistic ones. It was attempted to produce an art of inspiration in nature while also using new aspects acquired from the industrial revolution, such as iron and glass.


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