Discussions With Dale Fisher, Curator at University of Iowa Museum of Art

Thursday, May 14, 2015

20th Century and Modernism

In Europe and America, revolutionary visions broke with conventional representational works as artists explored modern ideas and modes of expression. The pervasive influence of the vaguely defined “modern” led artists and their audience to consider their lives in imaginative ways, influenced by popular culture. The popular idea of the “melting pot” was recognized as an uneasy accommodation rather than a social order without conflict. In hindsight, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton aren’t seen as being modern, but they were of their time and remarkably progressive. Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock are still regarded as quintessentially “modern’, and yet are as rooted in tradition as any other artist even as he broke all the rules handed down.