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The cultural processes of the Enlightenment and the subsequent development of industrial cultures informed the early ideas of Modernism and led to a world of rapid communication, fast cars and cities filled with skyscrapers and consumer goods. This book examines the way in which visual culture reflects its conceptual and physical origins in elite, and mass, cultural practices. The book introduces the ideas of Modernism and their post-modern evolution in a clear and engaging argument that links the development of visual culture to the social and political conditions in which it is produced. It establishes key concepts and critical terms of reference at the outset before taking the reader through the evolution of the 20th century's visual culture in a lively and approachable way.
• The Cultural Background to the Machine Age
• The Arts and Crafts—Revolution and Rusticity, New Languages for Design
• The Machine Ethic—Functionalism and the Collective
• Individualism—The Expressive Voice and the Unconscious
• The Modernist Mass Media
• Realism and Objectivity
• High Modernism? Or Modernism in Crisis?
• After Modernism? Or Developing Modernism?