Modernism Modernism describes both a set of cultural tendencies and an array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Modernism was a revolt against the conservative values of realism.[16][17] The term encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world. A salient characteristic of modernism is self-consciousness. This often led to experiments with form, and work that draws attention to the processes and materials used (and to the further tendency of abstraction).[18] [edit]Impressionism The first example of modernism in painting was impressionism, a school of painting that initially focused on work done, not in studios, but outdoors (en plein air). Impressionist paintings demonstrated that human beings do not see objects, but instead see light itself. The school gathered adherents despite internal divisions among its leading practitioners, and became increasingly influential. Initially rejected from the most important commercial show of the time, the government-sponsored Paris Salon, the Impressionists organized yearly group exhibitions in commercial venues uring the 1870s and 1880s, timing them to coincide with the official Salon. A significant event of 1863 was the Salon des Refuses, created by Emperor Napoleon III to display all of the paintings rejected by the Paris Salon. [edit]Abstract styles Abstract painting uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.[19] Abstract expressionism was an American post-World War II art movement which had a combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as Futurism, the Bauhaus and Synthetic Cubism and the image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, nihilistic.[20] Action painting, sometimes called "gestural abstraction", is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied.[21] The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist. The style was widespread from the 1940s until the early 1960s, and is closely associated with abstract expressionism (some critics have used the terms "action painting" and "abstract expressionism" interchangeably). Other modernist styles include: Expressionism Cubism Pop art