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80 artworks, 6 artists
Neomodernism (gr. νέος — new), or neomodern is the generalized name for the new trends in contemporary art. The supporters of this direction deny the subjective perception of the world and its personal interpretation as they advocate a universal truth. Simply put, they claim that “a pipe is just a pipe” without hidden speculation and interpretations. Philosophers and art critics believe that neomodernism is the new modernism, which includes all the positive features of modernism and is free from its shortcomings. The philosophical views on this trend can be found in works by Victor Grauer, Carlos Escudé, Agnes Heller. Thus, the American writer, poet and media artist Victor A. Grauer defined neomodernism as “a return to the most fundamental principles of ‘formalistic’ modernism”.
In 2001, Mexican artist Armando Alemdar Ara (1972) and his Canadian colleague André Durand (1947) compiled and published the Neomodernist Manifesto. According to their principles, it is a movement that upholds spiritual and aesthetic values in art. Neomodernism is a way of finding and creating new relationships between contemporary artists and the works of art that have been created by the Old Masters from the 15th to the 20th century.
The main criteria of neomodernism, according to Alemdar, are as follows:
- the neomodernist painting embodies the Idea, implying the Hegelian concept of the Absolute, the presence of Spirit in a work of art; - the neomodernist painting has a connection with the works of art that have been created earlier; - the nude or the symbol of the nude is the basis of the neomodernist painting; - each element of the artwork is justified by the overall composition; - a figurative or abstract painting is constructed according to the Albertian theory of perspective, space and light in order not to not emphasize the canvas surface plane, but explore its limitless depths.
A neomodernist artist must possess the ability to draw correctly and master traditional academic disciplines. According to Alemdar and his supporters, neomodernism treats the religious issues from a philosophical and detached point of view, without being the evidence of the artist’s true faith. In the same way, the political and historical aspects of an artwork do not carry a propaganda component, but only a speculative idea about them instead. Neomodernist painting is rather symbolic than psychological. Such a picture is designed to sharpen the viewer’s sense of novelty, regardless of when it was created.
Neomodernist artists advocate the simplicity of form, presence of a simultaneous feeling of movement and immobility in the picture. It can be said that this art movement precedes postmodernism and at the same time it supplants the lattere. Some works emphasize the post-secularity of modern times — the idea that religiosity and secularism are equal and theoretically have the same meaning for people in modern society. Neomodernist paintings feature such themes as the interpretation of theological and philosophical texts, the intellectual and emotional state of a person.
Famous neomodermist artists: Victor A. Grauer, Armando Alemdar Ara, André Durand, Maria Lashkevych, Josh Smith, Alex Hubbard, Jacob Kassay, Mark Grotjahn.