In the WIP, someone writing catalogue copy makes a wee, minor error in placing the artist Paul Klee as post-Expressionist. No, I have no idea why my mind went there, other than this is the semester in the class I teach where art goes from “at worst, not too bad” to “arrrrgh get it away, get it away!”
I’m not a fan of what follows the Impressionists, in case you hadn’t guessed. There are exceptions, but I’d wager that 80% of 20th century art will never find a place on my walls or as computer wallpaper.
The short version is to say that paintings that come after the Impressionists are all modern art. Some lump Impressionism into modern art, others leave it alone. I’m sort of on the fence, being a firm believer in the “I know it when I see it” school of classification. Yes, I hear art historians and others weeping quietly into their beers.
Expressionism is about depicting what the artist feels, not what she sees.
Usually I think of expressionism as abstract expressionism, because that’s what is more common in the US. While Expressionism was getting going in Europe prior to WWI, late Impressionism and then Regionalism were favored in the US. It wasn’t until after WWII that a lot of Expressionist works appeared, and those tended toward abstraction. The movement also overlapped and blurred into other modernist movements like Dada and Surrealism.
Paul Klee was in the middle of the Swiss Expressionists.
Perhaps unfairly, if I can’t tell what the heck something is supposed to be, I assume “Modern Art” and go from there. Surrealism I can generally sort out, but most of the other sub-categories overlap and blur.
Like other artists, Klee’s art went through several stages between when he became active in the 1910s and his death in 1940. I’m not especially fond of Klee, but he doesn’t burn my eyes like some other painters.
Mark Rothko also gets a mention in the WIP.
I confess, when paintings are involved, I much prefer pictures I can recognize. They might not make sense, but I want to be able to identify what I’m looking at. Yes, that makes me a poor appreciator of a lot of abstract works.
Surrealism. Fantasia 2000, the artist in Hawaii who did all those whales-in-space murals, someone’s cool dream after eating anchovy pizza? It’s modern, it’s Surrealist, it’s cool.