The two world wars in the 20th century caused great trauma to people's soul; the rapid pace accompanied by industrialization intensified people's tension, and the traditional art forms could not meet people's spiritual needs. The development of science and technology has broadened artists'horizons of understanding the world. They try to create with new forms of expression and artistic spirit. They created a new school of art which is quite different from traditional art in various forms. They are collectively called modernist art. Its main characteristics are anti-tradition and anti-rationality, attaching importance to the artist's inner "self-feeling" and "self-expression", revealing the artist's anger, negativity, pessimism, disappointment and other complex psychology.
Since modernist art came into being after the monopoly era of the West and accompanied by the Second Industrial Revolution, it inevitably reflects the important changes in the political, economic, spiritual and cultural life of this era, and reflects the extremely complex, rich ideological feelings and profound philosophical thinking of people in this era. Unlike realism, modernist art loses balance in dealing with the relationship between society, people, nature and self, and the relationship is distorted. In this way, modernist artists seem to be people who are beyond society and nature. They do not directly describe society and life (with the exception of a few artists), but their works reflect society and life. The language they use is absurd, implied or abstract. In their works, we can feel that these artists express the spiritual trauma and abnormal psychology of modern people (including artists themselves), feel their negative, pessimistic and disappointed feelings of real life, and feel their strong nihilism in mind. It is these characteristics of modernist art works that make them have social, historical and aesthetic values that can not be ignored. Because they are precisely the portrayal of the important aspects of modern Western society and modern spiritual life.
Generally speaking, since the 20th century, western modernist art has adapted to the needs of people in modern society and created a number of works that can be included in the classical culture of human beings. But far from all schools and ideological trends, the theories of these works are beyond reproach, let alone the ideological tendencies of some of them deserve to be studied. It is not advisable to praise modernist art without analysis. It is foolish and tragic to regard modernism as a beast of floods and refuse to let people touch and understand it. The prosperity and activity of Chinese artistic creation and theory since the 1980s has been closely related to the abundant information that foreign literature and art, including Western modernism, can provide for reference and reference, in addition to the social and economic impetus.
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