Modernism In The 19th Century

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Throughout the 20th century, Europe experienced vast amounts of change. New countries were established, old empires were eliminated, and conflict was common. While many factors in European culture advanced, progress was offset by conflict, economic depression, and political dictatorships. When considering the consequences of change, this 50 year block of time should be considered somewhat progressive due to the advancements in social life, science and technology, and economic recovery following WWI and the Great Depression. However, these advancements were almost counteracted by the regress in politics, namely the rise of fascism and communism, the age of anxiety, and the Cold War.

From the early 1900s to mid century, social life in Europe
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This constant experimentation within art challenged traditional forms of expression(861). Within architecture, architects and designers focused more on functionalism, instead of unneeded fancy decorations. They built buildings for the function of the building’s purpose. This was backed by functional construction, the mass-produced materials of cheap steel, reinforced concrete, and electrical elevators. Modernism took over schools, such as the Bauhaus, a german interdisciplinary school for architects, designers, and innovators, influencing builders for “public works, factories, and even private homes” (861). When they were shut down by Hitler, many fled to the U.S. to spread ideas. Art was also experiencing new movements, such as impressionism and expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, and surrealism from artists such as Degas, Gustav Klimt, Picasso, Dali, and more. The movements grew increasingly abstract, and commercial art galleries and halls trained in modern techniques (864). Cities such as Paris, Berlin Moscow, and NYC were famous for their radical artists, who became increasingly political in the art work after the 1920s. Music, like art, also became more radical. No longer did composers hold onto the traditional forms of composition, but wrote music in several keys. Musicians such as Stravinsky and Berg’s productions produced riots and rejection for their out-there creations. It wasn’t until after WWII that the general public accepted
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