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Trends in Modern Art: Futurism and Dadaism

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Trends in Modern Art: Futurism and Dadaism

The whole history of art is made of connected ways of visual perception, reflecting how a person sees the world. Art is the construction and reflection of reality. But the reflection of the same reality depends on trends. In art, literature, culture, and design, we see changing trends and such changes determined that realism was changed into modernism.


Modernism in art began with the determination of the French artist, Paul Cezanne, to see the world objectively. Cezanne wanted to see the world, or at least the part of it as an object without the intervention of a pure mind and impure emotions. His closest predecessors from the trend of impressionist saw the world subjectively because they were interested in feelings aroused by changing lighting and the angle of vision.

The period of modernism lasted from the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, and manifested itself in art, architecture, music, literature, applied arts and other cultural phenomena. During this period, important changes took place in mindsets of people, giving works of art completely new and unusual forms. Industrialization, the experiences of World War I, new theories of science intensified the search for new ways of expression in art. The main features of modernist art are the pursuit of novelty and the denial of traditions; expression of thought in abstract form, refusal to imitate visual forms; art is perceived as an expression of the inner human world. Modernism is divided into two stages: classical and late. The most important directions of classical modernism are Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Abstractionism, Dadaism, Surrealism.


Futurism is a branch of modern art formed at the beginning of the 20th century. Its initiator was the Italian poet Filippo Tomasso Marinetti, who published a manifesto of the art of the future in 1909. That manifest broke all standards, so painting and sculpture sought to convey the movement.

The manifest is a logically based document. It begins with the statement that the old notion of form and color no longer satisfies the growing public need for truth: all objects move, fly, change rapidly, and the artist must depict this universal movement. Space is only an atmosphere where bodies move and interact. Colors also change, shadows glow, and everything is constantly vibrating.

Futurists believed that all imitation forms should be rejected with contempt and the original forms must be glorified. They also said that art criticism is completely worthless and harmful because the power and perception of the artist cannot be properly perceived by other individuals. Although, the futurist movement existed for a very short time, it made a significant impact on contemporary art.


Dadaism began in 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland, in response to the horrors of World War I. It was a nihilistic art movement that denied all the principles of art and literature that existed before. According to Dadaists, Dada is the opposite form of art. The artists tried to deny all the aesthetic and social values ​​ and they used thoughtful, deliberately conceived incomprehensible artistic and literary methods. Their artworks were designed to shock the audience and change their aesthetic values. Artists used unusual materials, including waste, old clothes, even blood. In the 1920s, the Dadaism movement lost its popularity as most of its representatives moved to Surrealism. However, in the mid-1950s, Dadaism was reborn in New York.