Home Open Arts Object: Critical Term Modernism II: Modernism and the avant-garde

Open Arts Object: Critical Term Modernism II: Modernism and the avant-garde

In this short film, Warren Carter and Paul Wood discuss the complex relationship between modernism and the avant-garde. Often used interchangeably at a general level these terms are nevertheless typically understood within art history as conflicting. The Cubist collages of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are introduced to demonstrate how the conflation of modernism with formalism and the avant-garde with politics, is in fact more complicated and nuanced. Wood argues that Cubism was in fact pivotal in both the development of both traditions; modernist abstract art as well as avant-garde practices such as photomontage, which actively sought to have an impact on the world outside of art.

Artists discussed include: Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and John Constable.