Modernism in the late 19th century was a description of modern art and literature but as the years went by perceptions and the definition was altered. Clearly according to Greenberg, modernism is the application of characteristic methods of a given faculty to criticize the discipline itself, not for the purposes of subverting but in a bid to entrench it more firmly in its field of competence. The changes that have spanned through the fields of modern art is synonymous with the changes in Western civilization which have been commonly known for its multiple alternations to perception, beliefs, and ideologies.
Criticism of Modernism is not synonymous with the criticism of enlighten. Kantian Philosophy became symbolical in the 18th century to explain the changes in societal social activities and way of conducting activities. Art was suffering the imminent fall out in the categorization of its principles and the experience that comes with it, into the entertainment sector. Art through artists and its adorers had to find clearly and etch that would clearly bar away criticism and being leveled down. Art had to come out significantly as unique and irreducible in art general, and it should be unique and irreducible particularly in their own setting. This clearly demarcated its areas completely, and no allusions were made to other forms of entertainment whatsoever. The aspect of self-criticism came in; art had to find a way of enabling one form of art to express a given through distinctively without giving an impression that one from is borrowed from the other. Through this, art developed its purity which meant that each art form was able to show its own standards of quality and that of its independence.
The initial principles of naturistic art used art to conceal art. This approach is paradoxical as it means art was for the elites only to decipher, a select few. The current modern art uses art to call attention to art. Old masters of art regarded the medium of painting, the flatness of surface and the shape of the support as negative additional to art. Modernism embraced the flat surface and the colors used in the painting were regarded as a piece of art and not of these new changes were discredited. The Old Masters believed in giving a three-dimensional view in the arts they produced, the flatness of the pictorial art assumes a one-dimensional image that pretty much hides the beauty of a three-dimensional image. This principle was shrugged in the proposition of modernism.
The principle of representation of recognizable object has not been abandoned in the paintings of the modern age. In essence, the illustrations in the piece of art do not represent the uniqueness of art. The outlook of a figurine or a silhouette in a piece of art does not qualify to distinctly describe the art in a certain format; it does not alienate the two-dimensionalities of the art. Modernism art has maintained a strong bond with the artwork of the old masters; the sculptural imagery relates strongly to the art of the late 18th century though the painting is totally modernistic. The flat natures of the pictorial paintings of modern day art do not permit sculptural illusion but allows optical illusion. Modernistic art is a description of the effort on impressionist insistence on the optical as a sense that a completely and typically pictorial art can invoke.
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