The term “modern” is of course relative to time but for art the term generally refers to work from the late 1800’s to mid-1900’s period and is book ended by the Renaissance and Contemporary art periods. The period is associated with the transition to an industrial society. Equally important is the invention of photography as a means of representing reality and the influence of Freud suggesting that there was more to the world than what we can see with the eye.
Impressionist painting such as seen in the works of Monet and Matisse were the first major school of work to emerge in the period. Impressionism, Expressionism – Fauvism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Art, Pop Art and Op Art are all genres of Modern Art. The defining characteristics of Modern Art include a rejection of realism and an embrace of innovation and experimentation. Major artists of the period in Cezanne, Dali, Kandinsky, Miro and Picasso.