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A Comparison of Formal and Avant-Garde Artwork Modern art is a unique creation all its own and since its beginnings there have been two very distinct groups present They are the Formalists and the Avant-Garde The Formalist group believes in the literal representation of the art work They value the form used whether it be how the colors are stressed or the techniques used over the idea behind the art work The Avant-Garde artists on the other hand are more interested in the creation of art in order to challenge what exactly art is and can be They have tried to break down the boundaries of what art is I selected Piet Modrian for as the artist I looked at regarding Formalism His work seemed to change over a period of time His Woods done in 1910 showed a typical painting of the forest By typical I mean that the depiction of the forest was done to look like a forest on the canvas The next piece of Tree done in 1911 showed a more abstract form of trees while you could still detect on a lot of movement within the painting The shapes and negative space between the lines is what became more important in his work He then created Composition with Trees in 1914 This piece as his previous ones was even more abstract and was honing in on the form of the painting Later he created a piece known only as Composition removing the trees and woods all together from the title He was trying to create the essence of nature using rectangles and simplifying lines to their primary essence He also used more primary colors versus his previous works done in black and white This idea that Mondrian was using while creating his works of art was one of the ideas that Clement Greenberg was dealing with in his works Greenberg said that the actual
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