Understanding Modern Art

Modern art: the art form to which a majority of people say, “I can do that” or the classic, “That’s not even art!” This is not an artist style of expression reserved only for the pretentious people in the world. Modern art is about experimenting and trying new things, and it has always been met with tension, especially in the early days of abstract act. A lot of what we accept as classic forms of art today was formerly modern art. We can look to the 1960’s, when the Post Pop Art movement allowed conceptual art to make its way to the forefront. What is conceptual art?  First, a conceptual piece is not meant to be considered classical art. The goal of conceptual art is to make you feel uncomfortable and invoke a strong feeling. Here is an easy test you can do for a conceptual piece: if the piece had a strong effect on you, then it is good and successful, but if it made you feel “eh,” then it is a failure. That is the simplest test you can use to impress your friends when you are at MOMA. Unlike a classical piece of art, a conceptual piece of art is all about the backstory and the idea behind it. This adds more of a dimension to the piece.

One thing that we have to take into account is that we need to compare these art forms fairly. When we think of classical art, we consider the most famous pieces of art from “Water Lilies” to the “Mona Lisa.” These are the top 0.01% of the art world. Modern art was never made to be compared to such works. So, I just ask you to compare them fairly.

When we look at modern architecture and design, the same thing goes. You can’t compare a Sir Norman Foster to your 3-bedroom house; they are going to be completely different. I could spend hours talking about how inspiring modern architecture is, but I have a word count to stay within, so I will say one thing: modern architecture is all about lines and pushing the norm of shelter/buildings. Without these people we would be living in a very boring city landscape

Lastly modern art is NOT FOR EVERYONE, but we should still respect the work for what it is. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean that you should denounce it and call it garbage or just paint just splattered on canvas. You might not see the organization that lays in the chaos of a piece by Jackson Pollock. We must also remember that art is a form of expression, and no one is in a position to tell someone how to express themselves. So next time you see a piece of modern art, take a step back and look at the piece, invest time in exploring it, and consider the artfulness of it all.

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