Under the genre of Modern art paintings, we celebrate the aesthetic opinions and avant-garde thinking of the artists. While it incorporates the major art movements within the span of almost 100 years, - we have seen an ever-lasting range of styles and modern art budding from its roots. To trace down the evolution of a remarkable era, you must understand and discover the genre that helped to create it.

Modern Art and its history

While a lot of people get confused between contemporary art and modern art, the latter is the one that is referred to as the late 19th century and the early-mid 20th century. The work produced amidst this period shows the artist’s talent in re-interpretation, re-imaging, and overcoming the traditional, old values and styles.

Initiating with the airy and light impressionism and completing with an eventful and energetic Abstract Expressionism- the groundbreaking genre of Modern Art was born.


Also considered to be the catalyst, Impressionism of Modern Arthas challenged the rigid rules and depictions of academic painting.  This ‘Modern Art Painting’ Movement was initiated in 1872 when the very first Impression was painted by Claude Monet- namely SUNSET. She just innovatively worked with the brush strokes which were blurred- and a delightful focus was given to the light along with the vivid palette of colors.

Post- Impressionism

Propelled by the creative liberty presented by the impressionists, craftsmen like Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec started working in unmistakable, unpredictable styles. Known as post-impressionism, this bright development began during the 1890s. It grandstands an interest in feeling and an inclination for abstract understanding over practical portrayal.


Established by Les Fauves—a cutting-edge gathering of craftsmen including André Derain and Henri Matisse—Fauvism originally showed up in the mid-twentieth century. Like the Post-Impressionists, Fauvists supported unreasonable tones and accentuation on individual discernments in their portrayals, which regularly included unmistakable (yet fairly disconnected) structures.

So, while you find the answer to your question “What is Modern Art?”-  we need to understand that we are not talking about a particular time- but a period amidst the time that will be initiating the century before the present! In the words of an artist- it is said to refer to the various Art and Paintings which were produced between 1860 and 1970. This is when the talented artists sought to decline the methodology and practices of traditional art and paintings to create magic with their very own imagination and highlight the change.

The Rise of Modern Art in India

The movement of Modern Art Paintings started as early as the 1900s. While the global artists wanted to create their own opinions and personal voices- the Riders of Indian Modernism began with the professionals who wished to create Indian modern art. Artists like Rabindranath Tagore were greatly inspired by the Swadeshi Movement and thus rejected the idea of the Western concept being collaborated with modernization. They made sure that the movement was done keeping in mind the Indian Traditions and culture.

The Indian Artist practiced the idea of Modern Art Paintings painted as per the Indian miniature paintings, and as per the fresco styles of Ajanta Murals and Temples. The proponents of the same were part of a School of Art that is known today as the ‘Bengal School of Art’. The significant form of Indian Modern Art is namely the Indian Folk Art by Jamini Roy and the post-impressionistic Canvases by Amrita Shergill.

With an absurd increase in abstraction, the Modern Indian Artists started experimenting with the styles followed by the global modern art. Artists from the Baroda School of Art, in the 1950s, created art which was a combination of Indian Folk Art and trends found in urban areas and the cultures interpreted.

There were also few artists like Jagdish Swaminathan who went back to their Indian roots and rejected the Artistic Styles which were imported. He did this to make space for the traditional Folk Art and Indian Tribal. 

So, to brief it out, Modern Art is known to be about expressing one vernacular and ethnic roots in various modern styles. This means that the art is not made to go away or far from the ‘Indianness’ that it holds. All around the globe, it has been known to create a unique identity through expressive art.

Characteristics of Modern Art

Even though there is no single characterizing component of "Present-day Art", it was noted for various significant attributes, as follows:

(1) New Types of Art

Present-day craftsmen were quick to foster montage workmanship, grouped types of gathering, an assortment of active craftsmanship (inc mobiles), a few classifications of photography, liveliness (drawing in addition to photography) land workmanship, or earthworks, and execution craftsmanship.

(2) Use of New Materials

Present-day painters attached items to their materials, like sections of the paper and different things. Stone carvers utilized "discovered articles", like the "readymades" of Marcel Duchamp, from which they made works of Junk craftsmanship. Collections were made out of the most common regular things, similar to vehicles, timekeepers, bags, wooden boxes, and different things.

(3) Expressive Use of Color

Developments of current workmanship like Fauvism, Expressionism, and Color Field painting were quick to take advantage of shading in a significant manner.

(4) New Techniques

Chromolithography was designed by the banner craftsman Jules Cheret, programmed drawing was created by surrealist painters, as was Frottage and Decalcomania. Gestural painters developed Action Painting. Pop specialists presented "Benday spots", and silkscreen printing into artistic work. Different developments and schools of present-day craftsmanship which presented new composition strategies, included: Neo-Impressionism, the Macchiaioli, Synthetism, Cloisonnism, Gesturalism, Tachisme, Kinetic Art, Neo-Dada, and Op-Art.

Read More: True Objectives of Modern Art Paintings

Wrap Up:

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