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Mondernists: Manet & James Joyce

Posted on by Ben Hodson

The momentum for modernism can be seen with artists such as Édouard Manet.  His paintings around the mid 19th century started to hint at breaking away from the conventions of the work that had come before him. Although he was clearly influenced by old masters before him, he set to shake up the art world. He suggested that the composition was more important then the realistic depiction of the scene.  As an artist he was rejected from the Paris Salon, for his crude and unconventional works.  This clear rejection of tradition is a trait that reoccurs across the various modernist movements.  Modernism covers a large range of separate movements and styles, these include cubism, pop art, minimalism, neo – dada and abstract expressionism.  These important movements and many more went on to define 20th century art and set a context for which all contemporary art benefits from. Even in literature, fiction writers such as James Joyce experimented with traditional forms and became known as one of the foremost modernist writers.  A popular modernist view was that in order to do something new, you need to be aware of what came before. This is still widely supported even when many of the other modernist ideas are largely rejected.