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Modern Art Paintings
Modern art paintings produced from the middle of the nineteenth century to the later part of the twentieth century represents the philosophy and style of the artists during that era. Modern art, Abstract Art and Contemporary Art have been interchangeably used and they all refer to the creativities that are experimental. These paintings of abstract art discarded the traditional styles and revolutionized the way of seeing art, where the focus shifted from the narrative towards abstraction.


modern art paintings

The modern art is said to have started with the creativities of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who innovated their own styles, very different from those pursued in the past. This was followed by the younger artists of the twentieth century, who all turned Paris “wild” with expressive, multi-colored and figure paints, which defied all the traditional norms and the critics referred to them as Fauvism.


Fauvism is often defined as a style that existed in Paris in 1905 as the use of non-naturalistic colors in oil paintings and wild though vivid expressionism. This style short lived but had a deep influence on the artists of the subsequent era, especially German expressionists. The artists who pursued this form of art were Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Jean Metzinger and Maurice de Vlaminck.


Pablo Picasso greatly influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin created his first cubist painting based on Cezanne’s idea that all the depictions of nature can be reduced to three solids: cube, sphere and cone. His painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) was a dramatic creation of a raw and primitive brothel with five prostitutes. He violently painted women fully using his own cubist inventions.


Cubism evolved as Analytic Cubism and Synthetic Cubism. The former oil painting style was jointly developed by Picasso and Braque, exemplified by Violin and Candlestick from about 1908-1912. The latter oil painting style was developed practiced by Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp and of course also by Picasso and Braque in 1920’s. It is characterized chiefly by an increased use of color and the imitation or introduction of a wide range of textures and materials into contemporary art paintings.

The modern art movements that flowered and caught attention pre-World War 1 were Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and Futurism.

Expressionism, originating in Germany was one of the main currents of art in the later 19th and the 20th centuries. It is highly subjective, personal, spontaneous self-expression that is typical of modern artists. It radically distorted the perspective for enhancing an emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas.


Futurism was an artistic movement with strong social undertones that started in the earlier part of the last century that emphasized that combined advanced technology with urban modernity. The message that its promoters wanted to communicate through their art was the beauty of modern life – the beauty of machine, speed, violence and change.


During the days Cubism was at its height, several movements emerged in Paris. Giorgio de Chirico unconsciously through his three oil paintings Enigma of the Oracle, Enigma of an Afternoon and Self-Portrait – ushered Surrealism. His work was recognized by the key artists of that era – Pablo Picasme Apolliso, Guillaunaire, and several others. His paintings were compelling and mysterious, which made them stand out.

After World War II

The end of World War II moved the art focus from Europe to America, where new art movements started. The decades following the end of the war saw the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, Op Art, Hard-Edge Painting Style, Colour Field Painting, Pop Art, Minimal Art etc.


With the advent of technological inventions, Oil Painting was surely at the taking end. New media art became a category in itself, with a growing number of artists experimenting with technological means such as video art. However, Oil Painting made a comeback with the rise of neo-expressionism and the revival of figurative painting.

Chic Wall (www.chicwall.in) is a major contributor of modern art oil paintings in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Its oil paintings are a mixture of ideas that have evolved over the last 100 years including expressionism, impressionism, cubism etc and are displayed below




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