Modernism is dead

If I haven’t already said this on this blog, I’ve meant to: Modernism is dead. I ran across this very interesting article today elaborating on this fact:

    “Modernism is dead. It was a movement dedicated to absolute originality and its last utterly unprecedented expression was the American abstract painting of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and their generation just after the second world war. Perhaps by bringing modernism to such a pitch of authority and at the same time inscrutability, these artists ended it – even as they became famous, a new American generation was looking back to early 20th-century art in a way that was more self-aware, intellectual and sophisticated – and at some level less ambitious.”

I have wondered in the past if there aren’t a number of present day artists with modern ideas in their head, driving their work. It seems to me this is the case based on my intuitive, unscientific observations. I’m not hear to say that’s wrong; every artist, in my own opinion, must find and execute their own Divine commission which is not necessarily in line with current or historical triends, teaching or -isms.

The article also talks about how artistic judgments are so tricky. It’s well worth reading.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Modernism is dead

  1. Marissa says:

    I have tried in the past to see where I fit in as an artist and have yet to find a place. I don’t think I am part of any ism or trend. And lately that seems to be a good thing since a lot of the current trends in art I don’t care for very much.

    It either seems to be too highbrow or too lowbrow to me. Either way I get the feeling from a lot of work that I see that it isn’t coming from the heart but from a desire to be part of a trend and to appeal to buyers/ collectors.

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