Art Theory

Types of Modern Art

Several types of modern art exist in today’s world. These include Abstract, Formalistic, Iconography, Minimalism, Post-modern, and Symbolism.

Several types of modern art exist in today’s world. These include Abstract, Formalistic, Iconography, Minimalism, Post-modern, and Symbolism. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned art lover, you will find these types of art to be fascinating.


Using the proper techniques, a modern abstract art piece can give an impression of personality. This type of art has become a trend in the recent past, attracting many artists and aficionados alike.

The most important thing to understand about modern abstract art is that it is not about depicting reality. Although it is appreciated for its technique, it may not be as captivating as a real-life painting.

For starters, it is a bit difficult to figure out when abstract art actually made its mark. Some art experts claim it was around the time of the Renaissance, while others say the 19th century. The earliest known abstract art pieces were paintings on rock. Some inscriptions in cave paintings also displayed more abstract patterns.

For the modern art buff, an abstract modern art painting can be a great addition to the home. Finding abstract art of a quality that you can afford can be challenging, but that does not mean it’s out of the question.

It is also worth noting that many people don’t know exactly what abstract art is all about. The name “abstract” refers to the absence of a representation of a specific object.

Formalistic theory

During the mid-twentieth century, Formalism was the rage in the art world. It was seen as the most critical approach to the aesthetic quality of the art. Formalism was a combination of two aesthetic theories that were thought to make art more universal.

Formalism focuses on form and the relationships between compositional elements. It is based on the idea that art is an imitation of reality. It uses visual aspects such as color and shape to determine the form of an artwork.

Formalism also advocates that artists should focus on making their work look as realistic as possible. It is often combined with impressionism.

Formalism’s best-known proponent was the American painter Michael Fried. The idea behind formalism is that a work of art is only worthy of praise when its elements work together to make it a unified whole.

Formalism was used as a basis for conceptual art. It was also used to identify and recognize works created by non-Western cultural artists. Formalism also became the basis for socially engaged art.

Formalism art was developed in response to the Post-Impressionism movement. It became the dominant genre during the last century. It is still used in contemporary art styles.


Symbolism in modern art is a synthesis of form and emotion. Symbolist artists sought to escape from the materialistic, scientific outlook of the day and to re-create emotional experiences for the viewer. It was a literary and artistic movement that began in the late 19th century, spreading across Europe, the United States, and North America.

Symbolism in painting was closely associated with mythological art. Symbolists used symbols to depict the darker aspects of human life. They often portrayed sensual issues and religious feelings.

Symbolism began as a literary movement in France in the 1880s. In response to naturalism and the rise of Realism, artists began exploring the symbolic potential of nature. Some artists began as naturalists, while others looked beyond the narrative to explore the deeper mysteries of life. The works of these artists were often influenced by the mythological stories of the day.

Symbolists began to exhibit their works at the Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris. This salon was organized by French writer Josephin Peladan and held from 1892 to 1897. Almost all the artists exhibited espoused spirituality in their work.

Symbolist art became associated with a young generation of artists. The movement was influenced by the work of Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Odilon Redon, Paul Verlaine, and Gustave Moreau. The movement also had connections with the Pre-Raphaelites.


Having a basic knowledge of iconography is an essential skill for understanding the history of modern art. The study of iconography emphasizes cultural values, genre criticism, and the history of art. It can be applied to religious and secular painting.

The study of iconography is also important because it offers a way to understand First Nations art. Many First Nations art practices can be compared to contemporary art, but it is also important to understand the Indigenous perspective.

The study of iconography involves a complex process that may include a lot of research into historical and cultural contexts. It can also involve reference to an authoritative secondary source. Ultimately, the meaning of a group of related works will depend on the interpretations provided. This may be historically accurate, or it may involve different interpretations for different aspects of the work.

Early iconographers used encyclopedias, such as Cesare Ripa’s Recueil d’antiquites, to guide their work. They were inspired by works from the Renaissance and reinterpreted ancient iconography.

One example is the early Netherlandish painting, which introduced highly sophisticated iconography. The composition of these images seems deliberately enigmatic. Later, Italian painting developed a taste for enigma.

One example of this type of iconography is abstract constructivist images, which can evoke awe and devoutness. These works can be compared to religious art because the composition and lines can differentiate between holy and profane.


Developed in the 1960s, minimalism was a movement that sparked a revolution in the art world. Minimalist artists rejected the high-art aesthetics of the past, instead emphasizing the ideation and concept of art. They produced pared-down three-dimensional objects without representational content. They challenged the notion of craftsmanship, individuality, and self-expression.

Minimalist art was created with minimal lines and shapes, using blacks and whites to create illusions of space. It often takes the form of a painting, light installation, or piece of furniture. It can fit on a wall, a fridge, or a corner of a room.

One of the most famous minimalist pieces is Untitled (L-Beams) by Robert Morris. This 1965 piece is a perfect example of minimalism at its best. The piece is a trio of identical L-shaped polyhedrons balanced in a variety of positions. They are made of black steel and were framed with an equally black piece, the Untitled (Corner Piece) (1964).

Minimalist art is also often made using industrial materials. Fluorescent light tubes are used to create an effect.

Minimalist art is also often used in interior design. In the early 1960s, minimalism was the dominant art movement in America. Eventually, it became an international phenomenon.


During the 1850s, the avant-garde movement was founded in France by Gustave Courbet, who was influenced by socialist ideas. This movement led to the development of modern art. The term “avant-garde” has come to mean all art that breaks new boundaries in the arts.

The period between 1851 and 1929 was a time of rapid social change, rapid economic change, and unprecedented growth in the availability of printed images. This period also saw a revolution in communication systems and the art market’s growth.

Avant-garde in modern art is characterized by a rejection of the concrete world presentation and a desire to expand the field of art to include all knowledge. It also reflects artists’ response to the horrors of human history.

The Blue Rider movement began after a group of avant-garde artists, led by Wassily Kandinsky, rejected Kandinsky’s painting Last Judgment. They formed a loose network of relationships with other artists. The movement marked a time of spiritual renewal.

The movement developed a fundamental relationship between African art and European avant-garde art. Its almanac was not just a work of art, but an extended artistic field. The almanac included articles on Gothic arts, plastic arts and Renaissance arts. It also contained general aesthetics and literature.


During the mid-20th century, a new movement emerged in the art world. This movement is known as post-modern art. It represents a period of time during which artists began to reflect on world events. In particular, it was a period of protest against patriarchy. It was also a time when artists began to use unconventional materials and techniques.

Post-modern art is not only a movement of artists, but it is also a movement of theories. The term “post-modern” was first used in the 1940s. It was in widespread use by the 1950s.

Post-modernism was born in the aftermath of global catastrophes. The movement was inspired by artists such as Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp. These artists used tongue-in-cheek works and unconventional materials. They also emphasized the concept that art could be made from anything.

Post-modern art often combines fine art with low art, text, video and appropriation. It is also known for its directness and pluralism.

Post-modernism is usually characterized by scepticism, irony, and anti-authoritarianism. It also suggests that structures within a culture are artificial or deconstructible. Post-modernism is also associated with the philosophical movement Poststructuralism.

Post-modern art has become a popular choice for collectors and private homes. Post-modern artists continue to explore new boundaries and challenge the status quo.

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