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Modern Art painting sculpture and other forms of 20th-century art Although scholars disagree as to precisely when the modern period began they mostly use the term modern art to refer to art of the 20th century in Europe and the Americas as well as in other regions under Western influence The modern period has been a particularly innovative one Among the 20th centurys most important contributions to the history of art are the invention of abstraction art that does not imitate the appearance of things the introduction of a wide range of new artistic techniques and materials and even the redefinition of the boundaries of art itself This article covers some of the theories used to interpret modern art the origins of modern art in the 19th century and its most important characteristics and modes of expressionModern art comprises a remarkable diversity of styles movements and techniques The wide range of styles encompasses the sharply realistic painting of a Midwestern farm couple by Grant Wood entitled American Gothic 1930 Art Institute of Chicago Illinois and the abstract rhythms of poured paint in Black and White 1948 private collection by Jackson Pollock Yet even if we could easily divide modern art into representational works like American Gothic and abstract works like Black and White we would still find astonishing variety within these two categories Just as the precisely painted American Gothic is representational Willem de Koonings Marilyn Monroe 1954 private collection might also be considered representational although its broad brushstrokes merely suggest the rudiments of a human body and facial features Abstraction too reveals a number of different approaches from the dynamic rhythms of Pollocks Black and White to the right-angled geometry of Composition with Red Yellow and Blue 1937-1942 Tate Gallery London by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian whose lines and rectangles suggest the mechanical precision of the machine-made Other artists preferred an aesthetic of disorder as did German artist Kurt Schwitters who mixed
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