Art of the 1900's

Presented by Noah Cohen


Quarry Bibémus by Paul Cézanne

This picture represents Cubism; The subject matter was often landscapes, few figures, noticeable lack of color, the use of earth tones, and geometric shapes.

This movement was created by Picasso and Braque in Paris from 1907 to 1914 ◦ Braque and Picasso were the major artists throughout the majority of the Cubist movement ◦ The term Cubism was first coined by Louis Vauxcelles after seeing the landscapes Braque painted at L’Estaque, in 1908, calling the geometric figures in the paintings “cubes.”

Overall Characteristics

  • Reject that art should copy nature
  • Reject use of traditional techniques
  • Emphasize two-dimensionality (geometricity)
  • Reduce objects to geometric shapes
  • Multiple/contrasting vantage points
  • Overlapping planes / Exploration of the fourth dimension


1913 by Wassily Kandinsky

This picture represents Abstract Art; a new and unique art form influenced by impressionism and cubism. It uses many bright colors and random shapes to express a point or image.

Abstract art is a form of modern and post-modern art that focuses expressing compositions in a new way. The term 'abstract art' - also called "non-objective art", "non-figurative", "non-representational", "geometric abstraction", or "concrete art" - is a rather vague umbrella. Works in this genre are often non-representational. Abstract art includes the movements of Cubism and Expressionism. With the Cubist works of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, abstract art appeared regularly in the West by the early 1900s. Artists often mirrored changes in science and technology in the twentieth century with abstract art forms.

Overall Characteristics

  • Art that moved away from the representation of nature
  • stylized, flattened forms
  • embraced the power and aesthetic of formal abstraction in lieu of literal representation.


Fountain by Marcel Duchamp

This picture represents Dadaism, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of anti-art

A movement originating in Zurich in 1916 as a reaction both to the chaos of Western society in the wake of World War I and to bourgeois society, which was seen as having produced the war.

Overall Characteristics

  • the rejection of old forms of artmaking in favor of an anti-art that asserts art’s irrelevance and explores new forms of creation.
  • creative intellectuals doubling as revolutionaries
  • anti-art that makes fun of artl strange weird


Battle of Britain by Paul Nash

This picture represents Surrealism with it's change of the normal scale of objects and the mix of internal and external space. It transforms one object into another

An artistic movement that brought together artists, thinkers and researchers. Originally a literary movement, it explored dreams, the unconscious, the element of chance and multiple levels of reality. They were looking for a sense of expression of the unconscious and searching for the definition of a new aesthetic and a new social order.

get inside of your head

Overall Characteristics

  • based on the belief in the superior reality of the dream
  • Odd/Illogical
  • Irrational
  • Exciting
  • Disturbing
  • Reaction to chaos of WWI
  • Influence of Freud: Dreams and subconscious
  • Impossible scale
  • Reversal of natural laws
  • Double images/Juxtaposition

Architecture (The Bauhaus School)

The Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany

This represents The Bauhaus School with it's eagerness to experiment, openness, creativity, insight into architecture, product and graphic design.

The Bauhaus School of art was founded by Walter Gropius as a school of arts in Weimar in 1919. A combination of crafts and arts, its nature and concept was regarded as something completely new back then. It was an approach to teaching, and understanding art's relationship to society and technology. The Bauhaus, or “house of building,” a name derived by inverting the German word Hausbau, “building of a house.” Gropius’ “house of building” It included the teaching of various crafts and had a major impact both in Europe and the United States long after it closed. It was shaped by the 19th and early 20th centuries trends such as Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to level the distinction between fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing. Stressing on uniting art and industrial design.

Overall Characteristics

  • combined elements of both fine arts and design education.
  • the study of materials and color theory
  • an environment of experimentation and synthesis
  • artistic spirit
  • honesty of construction/truth to materials
  • form follows function
  • simplified forms and clean lines
  • qualities of light & airiness
  • standardised production


The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - The lost generation of expatriates

A time characterized by enormous change - not surprisingly, the art, literature and popular culture had themes of modernism. As in the art world, literary creatively soared. Writers and artists 'pushed the envelope' by experimenting with new styles and new themes. It was all about testing the status quo and producing something innovative and dynamic. The overly formal styles associated with Victorianism were replaced with a more direct, democratic style. In literary circles, disillusionment following World War I caused some writers to focus on the horror and futility of war. Other common themes in literature included sexuality and the human capacity to seek pleasure and happiness. Themes of technology and social progress were prominent in the art and culture.

Authors of the period struggled to understand the changes occuring in society. While some writers praised the changes others expressed disappointment in the passing of the old ways.

Books That Define the Period

  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot - The ultimate indictment of the modern world's loss of personal, moral, and spiritual values.
  • The New Negro by Alain Locke - A hopeful look at blacks in America
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - The American dream that anyone can achieve anything
  • Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill - A look at 30 years in the life of a modern woman
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - The lost generation of expatriates
  • Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis - A satirical look at small town life
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner - Details the moral decay of the Old South
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - Black life in a Black community

Works Cited

“The Bauhaus Dessau.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Cézanne, Paul. “Quarry Bibémus.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Duchamp, Marcel. “Fountain.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Kandinsky, Wassily. “1913.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Nash, Paul. “Battle of Britain.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

“The Sun Also Rises.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.