What is Modern Art? What are modern art movements?

When modern art is mentioned, contemporary art may come to mind first. In fact, these two terms are often used interchangeably. We have prepared an extensive article about modern art for you.

What is Modern Art?

Modern art represents a new understanding of art, separated from the traditional understanding of art. This understanding of art is mainly concerned with questioning the purpose and function of art. Modern art encompasses a wide variety of works by artists in various disciplines and does not define a specific style or technique. For this reason, the works in modern art are quite diverse.

One of the main features of modern art is its emphasis on freedom. Artists can work in a free environment to show their creativity and innovation. This freedom allows artists to approach their work more subjectively. Another important feature of modern art is the emphasis on functionality. Artworks can be used not only for aesthetic purposes but also to convey an idea or message.

The origins of modern art

Modern Art

Of course, The Origins of Modern Art stems from the historical, social, cultural and political changes that took place in Europe towards the end of the 19th century. The development of art in response to these changes on the one hand and its contribution to these changes on the other hand formed the origin of modern art.

One of the origins of modern art is the industrialization and technological developments that took place at the end of the 19th century. With the industrial revolution, mechanization and mass production began to be used in manufacturing processes. This situation made the artists question traditional methods in their production processes and look for innovative techniques.

The origins of modern art are also linked to social change and class struggle. In the 19th century, Europe underwent a major economic and social transformation. During this period, the struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie continued. These social changes also affected art. Artists developed ideas about the social function of art and its social position.

The origins of modern art are also linked to developments in other disciplines such as science and philosophy. Scientific discoveries and philosophical thoughts caused artists to approach their world view and work differently.

Modern art movements

Modern Art

Modern art movements express different conceptions and styles of art that have emerged since the late 19th century. These movements reflect the diversity and richness of modern art.


Impressionism is a movement that emerged in France at the end of the 19th century. Artists try to capture the light, color and atmosphere of nature outdoors. Impressionists reject realism and strive to represent the emotional effects of the perceived object.


Artists focus on the symbolic meaning of objects rather than their natural appearance. Artists try to discover the secrets of the spiritual world and try to express them with images.


Fauvism is a movement that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Artists are known for striking colors and wild paint applications. They move away from realism and focus on the effect of colors.


Artists show objects by dividing, flattening and dividing them into geometric shapes. Cubism deals with the formal elements of art rather than visual reality.


Dadaism is a movement that emerged in Zurich in 1916. Artists challenge traditional notions of art by turning ordinary objects into works of art. Dadaists criticize social structures and produce absurd works.


Artists are drawn to the world of the unconscious, dreams and fantasies. Periodalists criticize social structures and produce surrealist works.

Difference between modern art and contemporary art

Modern Art

You may be wondering what is the difference between modern art and contemporary art. Let’s explain it like this; Although modern art refers to a temporary phrase, it is used to describe a broader period of time than the phrase “Contemporary” which is used to describe contemporary art. If we look at it in general, the relationship between modern and contemporary is mutually nourishing of each other. However, it is necessary to view both concepts differently than a time period with a clear beginning and end. Just as ‘modern’ is not just a temporary term meaning ‘most recent’, contemporary is not a term that means what is currently being done.

Modern art is a branch of art that reflects features of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The goal of modern art is a revolt against traditional rules and patterns. Thanks to modern art, personal perspectives have been transferred to art.

Overview of modern works of art

Modern Art

The viewer looking at modern art often asks, “Is this art?” he asks himself the question. Performances, collages, paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, etc. all involve the viewer within the confines of ‘modern’ art. Modern art gives people the chance to think about art, to question it and, above all, to be involved in art as ordinary people, and offers a different perspective.

For example, if you go to an exhibition of modern art, you will see that an object that you encounter in everyday life has a special place in modern art. The main reason for this is that art has occupied an inaccessible or superhuman aesthetic position in people’s perceptions for years, but modern art resists this.

As a result, although there are minor differences between modern art and contemporary art, they both feed on each other and modern art somewhat opposes tradition.

What is the origin of modern art?

The origins of modern art stem from the artistic and social changes of the late 19th century. The industrial revolution, urbanization, scientific developments and changes in social structure have enabled artists to challenge traditional conceptions of art.

What are the modern art movements?

Modern art movements express different conceptions and styles of art that have emerged since the late 19th century. Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism and Temporalism are among the most important movements in modern art.

What can I do to understand modern art?

To understand modern art, it is important to understand the historical and social context of art. It is important to understand the social and cultural changes of the artists in the period in which they live and the forms of expression in the artworks. In addition, it will be useful to understand the different movements and representatives of modern art.

What are the characteristics of modern art?

Among the characteristics of modern art, there are characteristics such as breaking with traditional conceptions of art, seeking new forms of expression, freedom of personal expression in works of art, challenging visual reality and moving away from expressiveness.

Do you have to understand it to love modern art?

To love modern art, understanding is important, but understanding does not always mean loving. It is important to remember that art is a personal preference and everyone has a different taste.

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