Modernism and the Break with Tradition

One of the requisites for the modernist artist was to break from tradition and search for artistic truth without being encumbered by the past.  More and more, modernist artists cast the gaze of their eyes forward into the unknown rather than lingering in the past as had been the case for so long.  The result of such decisions by the multitude of artists was to create a new cultural fabric that was far more in tune with the times.  Herbert Read, the famed British art critic of the 20th century, wrote the following in his 1968 book A Concise History of Modern Painting:  “The rich treasure of icons they (the great leaders of the modern movement)have created is the basis upon which any possible civilization of the future will be built.”  Do you agree with Reed in his assessment of modernism?  Your thoughts?


Photo of Herbert Read

Modern building


Modern Building