Many of the movements of the 20th century changed how we viewed the arts and forms in the world around us. From impressionism that replicated the beauty of the world around them; fauvism that experimented with color abstraction and began to incorporate features of abstraction; cubism further deconstructed form and imagery to a previously unseen contortions; suprematism that removed imagery subject matters entirely and relied on the its strength and boldness in color and this sends us into the last powerful movement of the 20th century: post-modernism. This final form of art celebrated its lack of definition, attempting to combine and blur all of the styles that had been established before it.
So what follows? What happens in the post-post-modern/ neo-post-modern art movement? The 20th century was shaped by the large, devastating wars that reshaped culture in Europe forever. The wars taught the people of Europe that the world and human life was fragile to the power of technology. As well that humans saw their own dehumanization, either through the pure violence that was faced abroad or the industrial dystopian war effort that was being experienced at home. What defines the modern age? Will the shock of technology growth lead to a cultural shock that revamps the spirits of those who produce art around us? Will it be the increasing socio-economic divisions that cause social angst? Or will we turn to nature to record (as in an impressionist movement) or will we attempt to show the angst and destruction of the natural environment that is being dominated by the Anthropocene.
Art will play an important part in our future. We cannot just use words and debate to describe our feelings of this new world we are living in. Expression is important if times are challenging, challenging our definitions of what it means to be human, challenging our perspectives on nature and challenging ourselves to help avoid what trends we are experiencing.
Maybe we are so content with our world of technology that there is no need for crafts work like painting. The new arts needs to be adaptive, keeping up with the faster and more global culture that is going to see it. It can’t be paint on a canvas unless that canvas is photographed. It needs to be wildly available without being an elitist movement that would not be a true are movement.
The possibility that we never see another iconic art movement would be sad. No longer seeing a movement that spoke to all affections, an aesthetic that would appeal to everyone would be difficult. However, it may play a crucial role in helping us deal with the problems we face in society.