The reason behind this change in what makes an artist a 'master' in their field is largely due to the content of modern paintings and the rise of abstract modes of expression and a stronger focus on the graphic elements of composition and line. Because of this, artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Gustav Klimt, and Georgia O'Keeffe are all considered modern masters because of the unique traits present in their work, even though each of these artists have radically different styles and ways of depicting their subject matter.
A modern master can also be considered any artist who was born in earlier generations who didn't receive recognition throughout their own lifetimes but are now seen as masters of their craft. This includes artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Johannes Vermeer. These artists had revolutionary ideas about what art was supposed to be which was represented through their handling of media or their choice of subject. These artists had developed an attitude toward art that is similar to that of modern artists and continue to inspire their work.
From the 1860s through to the 1970s, there were many distinct eras of reinvention and experimentation. But together, the time frame represents the era of Modern Art. Known for intentional breaks with tradition, modern artists used unbounded experimentation to push the envelope. Their innovation extended beyond content and subject matter to include form and structure. Traditional narrative and form was replaced by the abstract. Nothing was out of bounds. Because the era lasted more than a century, there are many masters of Modern Art. From early innovators like van Gogh, Manet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, and Toulouse-Lautrec, to Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky, and Andy Warhol.
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Op Art: The Magic of Illusion
Optical art, or op art, was created as a part of the 20th century art movement, and gained prominence in the 1960's when people began questioning the traditional forms of artistic expression. This art category employs optical illusions through the use of abstract lines and shape. Op art focuses on the inherent energy of lines, combined with contrast and movement in order to create works that trick the eye into seeing them as three dimensional pieces.
Although op art was only popular for a short time, it revolutionized the way that people see art as a medium for communication and expression. Additionally, it veered away from the traditional way of presenting 'space' in a painting through subtle layers of color, preferring instead achromatic pieces that contained one or two colors instead of a full palette.
Although this art may seem simplistic in its execution, it's a highly sophisticated process in order to create it. Optical art is based off of complex mathematical formulas and is intensely focused on artistic elements such as line, shape, color, and the use of positive and negative spaces within a painting.
The person who is credited with pioneering this art movement is Victor Vaserely, who created three different interpretations of his work 'Zebra'. These works employ black and white color schemes that fascinate the eye with his skill at illusions. However, these prints aren't the only examples of optical art in his work, although it's the most well-known because of the fact that it depicts a representational subject, namely zebras, which is a rarity in this art category.
Several other modern artists have devoted their work to this fascinating and unique form of art, as well. M.C. Escher is an artist who is credited with developing op art into what people see today. His art focuses on confusing perspectives and contrasting viewpoints. His two works 'Relativity' and 'House of Stairs' are two excellent examples of his abstract style in which he creates the illusion of locations where physics no longer applies to the world.