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The Modernism Movement

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Modernism started as a movement around late 19th and 20th centuries. It rejected the conventional forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organisation and everyday life as they felt it was incompatible with the new economical, social and political conditions that was emerging at that period of time. Many distinctive styles can be defined as modernist, but majority of them had very similar values and theories on different aspects of society. It gave birth to a whole array of art, cultural and political movements. Often referred to as an avant-garde movement at that time, it was a loose assembly of ideas. They believed in creating a better world. Mainly consisting of left-leaning political ideology followers, they had a vision of transforming every aspect of the society through the medium of art, design, architecture, literature, etc. During the early 19th century, Europe was marked by a number of wars and revolutions, it led way and gave birth to different movements including Modernism. Modern day historians conceive, that the movement played an integral role and had a big impact in shaping the modern society we live in. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse were part of the movement embracing abstraction in the medium of painting. Bauhaus was one of the key institution that helped define the ideology of modernism in architecture.

The illustrations commissioned for the book "The world in 2030 A.D." can be seen as a prime example of modernist illustration. Edward McKnight Kauffer, an influential American-born artist known for his unique poster art was responsible for the images. The images were created using airbrush. The form and shape of the images were very intriguing and futuristic ...

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...f living. A world where the ruling class undermined the workforce, no wonder Grosz's images ruthlessly depicted the characters in such way. Seeking a change in the socio-economic condition was many of the vital ethic modernists promoted. 'Modernism seems to define the cultural turmoil provoked by the industrial revolution for most of a century, 1880 to 1950. Its distinctive, perhaps defining, characteristics was a constant search of novelty.'(http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/blog/735.htm) Industrial revolution was one of the decisive factor that saw the emergence of illustrations during the modernist era. Products were produced in scale that had never been made before. Imagery was required to appeal the masses on behalf of the product. A modernist ideology did exist in illustration world but they were more dictated to certain extent by the commercial sector.
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