Modern Art. From Modernism to Neoclassicism

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2018, Vol. 4. №3

Modern Art. From Modernism to Neoclassicism

For citation: Zakharova L. N., Seryakov A. V., Ivanov A. G. 2018. “Modern Art. From Modernism to Neoclassicism”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 4, no 3, pp. 208-227. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2018-4-3-208-227

About the authors:

Lyudmila N. Zakharova, Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Professor, Department of Socio-Cultural Activities, Cultural Studies and Sociology, Tyumen State Institute of Culture;

Alexey V. Seryakov, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art History and Visual Arts, Tyumen State Institute of Culture;

Aleksei G. Ivanov, Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Tyumen;


This article studies the processes in the system of the contemporary Russian art as a result of historical changes. The problem is that the avant-garde as a characteristic phenomenon of the beginning of the 20th century has exhausted itself by 1950s, and it was replaced by alternative artistic trends. The development of the computer industry, the introduction of technical innovations, virtual versions of art, reflecting the trends of the modern era — all this has replaced modernism. If classical art focused on the principle of mimesis, the computer reality moves towards the freedom of expression, modeling, and desire to become life itself.

At the current stage, there is a tendency to the return of sensual culture against the backdrop of global computerization, the active introduction of the virtual sphere in many types of art. Artists often resort to the format of a new reading of classical works (music, literature, theater, cinema, and visual arts).

Contemporary art is characterized by erasing the boundaries between the utilitarian and artistic; it emphasizes not the meaning as a whole, but the tendency to acquire new meanings. Art events most often do not convey the semantic completeness, leaving such an opportunity to the viewer. Historical continuity is of particulat interest: what seemed to have disappeared, in reality, has sunk into distant times, is suddenly updated, and becomes interesting and re-read. It is possible to note the tendency of a returning interest in sensual culture through the creation of supernatural painterly works, conveying a detailed image of the object.

Thus, using the methods of modern paintings analysis, observation, and comparison, we can draw the following conclusions: the art at the turn of the 20th century has features similar to previous stages of development. It is cyclical, it has a repetitive style and language. These traits speak of art as a self-developing system. Yet, it cannot develop outside the influence of external factors, primarily social ones. The requests of the public, the audience, the development of new technologies lead it back to the classics with its criteria of anthropology and beauty. It is possible to predict a new stage of neoclassicism, synthesizing the features of the classics and nonclassics, which is emerging in modern artistic practices.


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