The modernist spirit
The first decades of the 20th century were a period of extraordinary originality and vitality in the history of art. The term modernism covers a variety of trends and currents that express the desire to break with established forms and subjects. In the novel, it explored the characters' psyches through the stream of consciousness technique and the interior monologue. In poetry it experimented the free verse, and often employed obscure symbols and fragmented images. In painting, it put the supremacy of color, the most famous painting was Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Kandinsky (1866-1944). Abstract painting, refused to represent external reality and focused its attention on a line or sign, a shape or a color, making it the subject of the painting. In England born the Vorticism which tried to incorporate the ideas of violent motion and apocalyptic change. In music there were parallel developments.
• distortion of forms
• the break of limitations in space and time and the break of the linear flow of narrative or conventional verse;
• the awareness that our perception of reality is uncertain, temporary and subject to change.
• the use of allusive language
• the intensity of the isolated moment' or 'image' to provide a true insight into the nature of things
• the need to reflect the complexity of modern urban life in artistic form.