Comparative table of modernism and postmodernism

Comparison criterion Modernism Postmodernism
Period 1880-1960 1970-1980
Leading Artistic Principle Image of the artist’s inner world. Expression of the beauty of the author’s artistic intention. Re-creation of the world and man according to the laws of art. Elitism Shifting attention from the will of the author to the co-creation of the viewer. An appeal to mass consciousness
Piece of art The author’s world of the artist, the world of his fleeting impressions (impressionism), ideas about the mysterious essence of the world (symbolism), the world of his experiences (expressionism, abstract expressionism), his ideas about universal laws (from Cezanne to Suprematism), about the unconscious (surrealism), his ideas about the ways of transforming and designing the world and man (futurism, constructivism, international style in architecture) Creation of a situation of co-creation, play, empathy, the so-called postmodern sensitivity. Multiple interpretations possible
Author In the first place is the individual artistic style of the author. Freedom of the author’s self-expression and experiment Suspension from demonstration of the author’s position
Attitude to the plot Rejection of the plot. The focus is on artistic expression, which is achieved through color, lines, composition (elements of the artistic form) Multivariance (development of the plot along different lines). Quotation , versatility of the plot, the use of languages ​​of different eras and styles
Ways of expressing artistic intent Symbol (connection of an image with an ineffable idea). Sign. Approval of artistic means (color, line, composition) as self-sufficient Demonstration of artistic techniques as the rules of the game. Simulacrum (imitation), remake (reproduction)
Genres Blurring the boundaries between genres. Synthetic compositions Playing with various classical and modernist genre forms, creating new synthetic forms


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