Seminars in Art
September 25, 2004
In the mid to late nineteenth century, the word "modernism" was coined and came to represent a kind of lifestyle or set of ideas that was going on at the time. Basically, modernism represented a concept that involved constant change and reflected the consciousness of that period. Throughout this time period, though, the need for creativity had not changed, but artists were integrating this need for modernism in their works. Today, the stylistic nature of their works is still in debate. Additionally, it is clear that the idea of modernism had an effect on the artists' works in terms of originality, sensations, effect, flatness, and moral integrity.
Originality, sensation and moral integrity were three components that artists' integrated into their works which created a fulfilling artistic experience to the works themselves, to the artist, and to art aficionados.
These three elements represented what the artists saw. The portrayal of the real world and capturing its "sensation" were the true goals of these artists in terms of modernism. Examples of these components are easily recognizable in the works of Edouard Manet's "The Bathers". Moreover, the art would only flourish if the artist had moral integrity; that is, if the artist remained pure, sincere to the body of work that he produced.
In theory, art should speak for itself; that is, the artist work, when finished, should convey an overall message and this message is achieved through "effect" which is arrived at by certain conventions or techniques used by the artist. In terms of "modernism", the quality of the work or "the effect" should be recognized first, and the work itself should never distract from this key
element. This key element or effect is...