What is modernism? The term is used generally to convey a faith in progress and a healthy skepticism for received ideas and traditional values. More specifically, the modernist tendency has often been associated with the most vital developments and highest achievements in the art of the past 150 years. However, those concerned with maintaining traditional values in one form or another see "modernist" art as merely one alternative among many, and perhaps even an empty or misguided one. This introduction looks at modernist works in order to consider what are the defining characteristics of modernism, and also explores the critical terms in which this art has been represented.
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Table of Contents
Introduction; What is Modernism?; 1. Modernism and self-consciousness; 2. Sensations and effects; 3. Realism and symbolism; 4. Significant form; 5. Cubism and abstraction; 6. High modernism in the United States; 7. Modernist painting; 8. Modernist sculpture; 9. The idea of the Postmodern.