Confused? Modern Art Made Simple

Modern art.  Modern style.  Avant Garde. Abstract art.
Are you confused? 

When we hear the word "modern", we think about new, trendy and fashionable things in the world. 

"Modern Art" is simply the style and philosophy of art produced during the 1890-1960 era.

Modern art was the creative world's response to ideas and materials produced for the first time by the technological advances of the industrial age. 

Actually, we should describe Inuit art from the 1970s and forward as "Contemporary Art" and not "Modern Art".

Contemporary Art is the art of today. The artists are generally alive.

It's easy. 

Modern and contemporary art are of two different time periods. Period!
9"  Eccentricity  Buddy Alikamik

However, there are many different styles in modern art. You may know a few terms like Impressionism and Cubism and Abstract Expressionism.

We won't go into each modern art style right now but there are certain principles that define modernist art.

First, there is a rejection of history and conservative values (this means realistic depiction of subjects is a no no).

Second, modernist art loves innovation and experimentation with form (this refers to the shapes, colours and lines that make up the work). There is a tendency toward abstraction. This means nothing looks realistic.

This Kelly Etidloie Soft Moss Green Muskox is a prime example.  After all, have you ever seen a muskox with holes in its coat and a snub nose?!

Finally, the last principle of modernist art is an emphasis on materials, techniques and processes.

Napachie Ashoona's Abstract Dancing Bear demonstrates the emphasis on material.  The stone colour is unusual in its colour and pattern.  

Also, Napachie has carved using Abstract Expressionism. 
10" Abstract Dancing  Napachie Ashoona

Abstract artists, like Pablo Picasso rejected the idea that art had to rely on forms that resembled objects or things.  Realism was abandoned.  Abstraction was in.

Ashoona's bear has the form of a bear but its details are more suggested and exaggerated.  This is not a realistic depiction of a bear.  It is an abstraction of a bear.

Just remember .... Contemporary Inuit art is art carved after 1970. 

Modern art refers to a time period when this art was produced 1890s to 1960s.

Modernist Inuit art follows three principles that are the foundations of Modern art.