An art movement characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Modernism refers to this period's interest in: new types of paints and other materials expressing feelings, ideas, fantasies, and dreams instead of the visual world we otherwise see creating abstractions, rather than representing what is real a rejection of naturalistic color a use of choppy, clearly visible brushstrokes the acceptance of line, form, color, and process as valid subject matter by themselves a requirement that the audience take a more active role as interpreter. Each viewer must observe carefully, and get information about the artist's intentions and environment, before forming judgments about the work. Paul C?zanne (French, 1839-1906) is often called the "Father of Modernism."The modern period is generally thought to have been followed by the one we are in now ? most often called postmodern. Although some prefer to call it "late modern."Quote: "I have lived enough among painters and around studios to have had all the theories ? and how contradictory they are ? rammed down my throat. A man has to have a gizzard like an ostrich to digest all the brass-tacks and wire nails of modern art theories." D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), British writer. Assorted Articles. "The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public." Henry Geldzahler (1935-1994), Belgian-born U.S. curator, art critic. reprinted In The New Art: A Critical Anthology, edited by Gregory Battcock (1966, revised 1973). See art critic, art history, and audience. "Trying to understand modern art is like trying to follow the plot in a bowl of alphabet soup." Anonymous Other resources concerned with Modernism: Decorativearts.com has a glossary of modern decorative arts terms. Also see avant-garde, isms and -ism, modern, moderne, new, new media, and postmodernism.