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Modern Impressionism

Our cultural landscape is currently in a state of postmodernism – we’re constantly rehashing things from years past. High waisted jeans are back, a black and white film just won three Oscars, and free-standing bathtubs are again all the rage. Art is no different – while some classic art movements started as rebellions, the trends reemerge and are reimagined in new ways in our postmodernist society. Here are some influential movements and how they’re being used today. 

Impressionism/Post-Impressionism 

Impressionism originally developed in the 19th century, and it was mostly founded by Parisian artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro. Impressionism focuses on outdoor scenes and landscapes with visible brushstrokes, giving the works a dreamy, textured appearance.

Nowadays, impressionism is a cornerstone of design and art, and it’s generally responsible for the wide experimentation with form, color, and light in contemporary art.

Pointillism 

Pointillism is also referred to as “stippling art” or “dot art” and involves applying small and precise dots of color to form a cohesive image. This technique was pioneered by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, former French impressionists who took the small strokes of the genre to a new level. 

Today, pointillism can be compared to modern pixel art, and the technique has been used in fashion, tattoos, and plenty of art. There are even modern artists who are still using the techniques that Seurat and Signac used in the 19th century to create beautiful new works. 

Art Nouveau

Art nouveau was a flourishing movement in Europe and the United States between 1890 and 1910. It’s inspired by the natural forms of plants and flowers – the main features are flowing, curvy shapes, asymmetrical lines, and a mix of deep tones such as mustard, olive, and red. The movement formed as a response to the harshness and brutalism of the industrial era. 

Today, art nouveau themes have made a huge comeback, especially with the flowing botanicals that are popular in fashion and design these days. The aesthetic also gives a distinct vintage feel, making it attractive for more traditional illustrators.