A strikingly original reappraisal of the revolutionary birth of Modern art in the tumultuous decade brought to a shattering close by WWI
The years leading up to WWI, 1905 to 1914, were the most frenzied and revolutionary in the history of art. They were the crucible of Modernism, when (to the horror of the conventional majority) Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, and Abstract Art all burst forth in quick, shocking succession, and art itself was politically weaponized in advance of approaching war.
Modern reexamines the period from a series of fresh angles:
- What was the conventional art against which Modernism was rebelling?
- Why did avant-garde artists become so obsessed with themselves?
- What persuaded a few bold collectors to buy difficult modern art?
- Why, at this same moment, did others pay so much for Old Masters?
Cézanne, Matisse, Munch, Klimt, Picasso, as well as hundreds of lesser-known names star in this rare popular art history that helps us appreciate as never before this supremely consequential decade.