Aesthetics Wiki

Modernism was a movement that encompassed philosophy, art, architecture, literature, and music. It lasted from 1910 to 1939, though it appeared to begin in the 1870s and more accurately ended in 1945, after the atomic bomb was dropped.[1] This led to Postmodernism.

Modernism was a rejection of tradition and the Enlightenment values that had once consumed Europe. People started to feel like ideologies (religious and moral) and culture were falling apart, which went against Enlightenment ideals; Modernism embraced this fragmentation of culture. This means that Modernism can also be seen as a state of mind that continues to this day.


In art, Modernism does not represent one particular style. It valued a rejection of traditional techniques. Modernism in art meant experimenting, which led to the use of new styles, materials, and techniques.

Art movements that are a part of Modernism include Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.


  • George Ault
  • Carlos Quizpez Asín
  • Hélène de Beauvoir
  • Georges Braque
  • Patrick Bruce
  • Paul Cézanne
  • Francis Criss
  • Stuart Davis
  • André Derain
  • Robert Delaunay
  • Arthur Dove
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Henri le Fauconnier
  • Suzy Frelinghuysen
  • Roger de La Fresnaye
  • El Greco
  • Albert Gleizes
  • Juan Gris
  • Javad Hamidi
  • Marsden Hartley
  • Joy Hester
  • Steven Hirsch
  • Wassily Kandinsky
  • Yervand Kochar
  • Fernand Leger
  • Édouard Manet
  • John Marin
  • Henri Matisse
  • Jean Metzinger
  • Claude Monet
  • Edvard Munch
  • Elie Nadelman
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Paritosh Sen
  • Charles Sheeler
  • Joseph Stella
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos


"Form follows function" was a saying that best represented modernism in architecture. This meant a rejection of excessive ornamentation, the use of asymmetrical design, an analytical approach to the function of buildings, and innovation. The use of new materials - including reinforced concrete, curtain walls, steel frames, and ribbon windows - was also a part of Modernism.

Modernism in architecture includes De Stijl and Bauhaus.


  • Marcel Breuer
  • Le Corbusier
  • Oscar Niemeyer
  • Walter Grobius
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Kenzo Tange
  • Frank Lloyd Wright


Modernism in music included a rejection of tonality, meter, and all else that was traditional.


  • Bela Bartok
  • Aaron Copland
  • Claude Debussy
  • George Gershwin
  • Philip Glass
  • Percy Grainger
  • Paul Hindemith
  • Charles Ives
  • Oliver Knussen
  • Franz Liszt
  • Gustav Mahler
  • Olivier Messiaen
  • Francis Poulenc
  • Sergei Prokofiev
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Erik Satie
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • Arnold Schoenberg
  • Alexander Scriabin
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Igor Stravinsky
  • Karol Szymanowski
  • Anton Webern



Like all aspects of Modernism, writers also focussed on a rejection of tradition. This led to the development of unreliable narrators, as well as the use of stream-of-consciousness, multiple perspectives, and interior monologue.


  • Sherwood Anderson
  • Joseph Conrad
  • Rubén Darío
  • T. S. Eliot
  • William Faulkner
  • James Joyce
  • Nagai Kafu
  • Oskar Kokoschka
  • Mina Loy
  • José Martí
  • Marianne Moore
  • Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera
  • Liu Na'ou
  • Rajat Neogy
  • Christopher Okigbo
  • Ezra Pound
  • Marcel Proust
  • Mu Shiying
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Kawabata Yasunari
  • Shi Zhecun


  • Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf


  • Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen (Eng. Murderer, Hope of Women), by Oskar Kokoschka
  • The Son, by Walter Hasenclever