Sunday, 14 October 2012


Modernity and Modernism - an introduction.

- Terms 'Modern' and 'Modernity'
- 'Modernity' - Industrialisation, Urbanisation of the City
- Modern artists response to the city changing
- Psychology and Subjective - modern art and photography. 19th Century - artists started to develop modernism into their paintings

John Ruskin (1819-1900 20c)
Modern painters book developing modern artists and work.

Highland Shepard painting - Victorian/Sexual Attitude
'Modern' interpreted as 'of the moment'

Modern - other contradictions:
- an improvement of what's happened before
- progress, optimism, to improve
- fashion depends on it

Modern Art shows progression.
Modernism looks forward and tries to build and improve (up until 1960s)

The language of Postmodern Art (1977) 15th July 1972, 3.32pm
Modernism dies according to Charles Jenks.
The demolition of the Pruitt - Igoe Der, St. Louis improved faith in technology and 'the modern'

Paris 1900 - most modern city at the time.
1851 - the great exchange (Britain - products, artefacts, etc)
Competition between England and France

Modernism - Industrialisation becomes dominant as a means of production.
People congregate (urbanisation) in the modernist and industrialist areas.

Electricity, railways, phones improved mass communication.
- shrinking world to a knowable place
- life accelerates
- dense society

New concepts of time - world time was standardised due to railways.
Cars etc began to be made. Life quickly changed to a fast moving, rapidly changing.

Trottoir Roullant - Urbanisation through electric moving walkway 7km/h.

Cinema, music halls, shopping as a leisure activity, galleries, arcades began to open. High Park picture house - one of the oldest cinemas in Europe.

Process of rationality and reason.
Enlightenment - period in late 18th century when scientific/philosophical thinking come in.

The City - becomes more important and life evolves in and around the city. Wealth, new buildings and transport (horse and carriages) start to show.

Haussmanisation: Paris 1850s onwards - a new Paris.
Old Paris architecture run down, ripped out and Haussman redesigns the city.
Designed to accomodate modernity - grand boulevard, not narrow streets to keep up with the pace of life.
Urban Project - Condensation.

Fashion in the City:
- marker of who you are
- upperclass
- flannery

'Surat' - leisure time in modernity.

Photographic Composition.
Kailerpanorama 1883 - Germany, large viewing device for art, landscapes, erotica.
Experiencing world rather than directly experiencing it.

Max Nordau (degeneration 1892) - an anti modernist. Worried about the modern world and it's changes.

Modernism in Design:

- anti-historicism (looks forwrd)
- truth to materials (new fabrics, processes etc)
- form follows function
- technology
- internationalism

Bauhaus: Modern, New

Antihistoricism - no need to look backwards to older styles
'ornament is crime' - Adolf Loof 1908

Truth to materials - geometric forms appropriate to materials being used

The Bauhaus - Art School producing artists and methods of teaching
- large windows (functional not aesthetic, new materials)
- rational use of space
- concrete not decorated - truth of materials speaking for itself
- 'Futura' Sans Serif font - modernist era/stripped down to basics

Internationalism - a language of design that could be recognised and understood on an international basis.

Herbet Bayer - Bauhaus Sans Serif typeface
- all lowercase
- removed decorations
- netural typeface

Stanley Morison 1932 - Times New Roman
- imperial greatness
- position in society

Fraktur font - German/Nazi
- nationalist
- german superiority
- internationalist/socialist -> bauhaus

Technology - concrete, steel, plastics, aluminium, refined glass (cheap mass production)

MODERN is not a neutral term - suggests novelty and improvements.
MODERNITY - 1750 - 1960. Social and cultural exp.
MODERNISM - Range of ideas and styles from modernity - vocab of styles, art and design education, idea of form follows function.