Although many would consider art that has been composed within the last few years as modern, that is incorrect. Art that is being or has been created since 1960-1970 is considered Contemporary Art. Modern Art is art that was created from around the late 1860’s until the 1960’s or 1970’s.
Dubbed “Modern Art” due to the experimentation with paints and other mediums, Modern Art did away with the past reflections and considerations as to what constituted Art. One major characteristic of Modern Art was the use of abstraction. Although their works are not considered Modern Art, the Romantic and Impressionist artists of the earlier 1800’s are thought to be the pioneers of Modern Art. Although Modern Art is considered to have started in the late 1860’s, the term was not used until 1939, when American art critic Clement Greenburg coined the phrase while referring to a piece of art by Jackson Pollack.
Modern Art is also referred to as the art of the -isms. Examples include cubism made popular by Pablo Picasso, Fauvism, created by the young, hedonistic artists in Paris, such as Matisse, and Surrealism, the art that scared and surprised, by such artists as Munch.
Modern Art is not simply exemplified in paintings, but was also shown in free formed abstract sculptures, papier mache, and steel workings. Popular in Europe at the end of the 19th century, the United States did not become a center for Modern Art until after artists moved to America after World War l.