As we move through the aesthetic revolution that was the 19th century and fix our gaze into the Modern era of the 20th century, the cry of five words stands out: “the history of modern freedom”!
The Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Age of the Machine, and the Doctrine of Progress during the fin de siecle from 1890-1960, the constant cry for freedom could be heard. And it is still resonating in our ears and souls today!
Clive Bell, the revered English art critic and member of the Bloomsbury Group, recognized in 1912 something powerful was underway in the Arts! “The battle is won. We all agree now that any form in which an artist can express himself is legitimate, and the more sensitive perceive that there are things worth expressing that could never have been expressed in traditional forms.” (Clive Bell, in catalogue of the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition)
Only nine years later, the famed post impressionist French painter Paul Cezanne had the following statement published by : “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” (Paul Cezanne, quoted in Joachim Gasquet, Paul Cezanne, 1921).
What are you thoughts on the declaration “The battle is won” or Modernism is driven by a quest for “modern freedom”? What has changed from then compared to now?
Vassily Kandinsky, Composition 6, 1913