Definition of Modernism:
[n] practices typical of contemporary life or thought
[n] genre of art and literature that makes a self-conscious break with previous genres
[n] the quality of being current or of the present; a shopping mall would instill a spirit of modernity into this village
A working definition of Modernism was the rejection of Victorian ways. Victorian culture emphasized nationalism and cultural absolutism. Victorians placed humans over and outside of nature. They believed in a single way of looking at the world, and in absolute and clear-cut dichotomies between right and wrong, good and bad, and hero and villain. Further, they saw the world as being governed by God's will, and that each person and thing in this world had a specific use. Finally, they saw the world as neatly divided between civilized and savage peoples. According to Victorians, the civilized were those from industrialized nations, cash-based economies, Protestant Christian traditions, and patriarchal societies; the savage were those from agrarian or hunter-gatherer tribes, barter-based economies, pagan or totemistic traditions, and matriarchal (or at least unmanly societies).
The Blue Rider Group:
The Blue Rider was an association of artists located in and around Munich. The group was founded by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc in 1911. Together with another group of artists, The Bridge, centered around Berlin, they represented the movement of German Expressionism.
The Blue Rider had a short life and a tragic end. At the outbreak of World War I, the group practically ceased to exist. Two of its founding members, Franz Marc and August Macke were called to the military and died in a senseless and barbaric war of unprecedented dimensions. After World War I, the German art scene was a different one - shell-shocked by the experience of war. The members of this group refused...