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Masters of modern art

Not to be confused with contemporary art, the term "modern art" refers to works produced between the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. In response to growing urbanisation, artists rejected the aesthetics of art movements from previous centuries and began to leave more room for creativity in their paintings. The modern art period saw the emergence of Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism and many other key movements.

Modern art began with Impressionism and finished with Abstract Expressionism, witnessing the development of several very important and very different art movements. The status of artists changed radically during this period, placing the great modern masters at the forefront of the art world. Artsper invites you to follow modern art’s journey through the years, and discover the 20th century artists that permanently changed the way we see the world.

Claude Monet’s 1872 Impressionist painting, Impression, Sunrise, is widely regarded as the catalyst for the modern art period, as it rejects the strict rules of academic art. Other artists such as Renoir, Degas and Manet quickly followed suit, causing Impressionism to dominate France’s artistic scene. This was until the arrival of post-Impressionism at the end of the century. Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin lead the post-Impressionist movement, captivating viewers with their colourful, inspiring and never seen before paintings.

Henri Matisse and André Derain made up the avant-garde groupe of the 20th century through their introduction of Fauvism. Although they dismissed the idea that art should depict reality, they equally used the world around them as a source of inspiration. Their expressive, multicoloured and energetic paintings played with light and highlighted individual experience.

Shortly after the First World War, painters in Germany and Austria adopted a more experimental approach to art, known today as Expressionism. They took the traits from other art movements and adapted them, resulting in artists depicting the world from a subjective perspective whilst using garish colours and tones.  

Cubism was probably the most influential movement in the modern art period. Its transition toward abstraction revolutionised not only painting and sculpture, but also music and literature. Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso began the movement in 1907, where they analysed objects, figures and landscapes before breaking them up and reassembling them into abstract compositions. This allowed the artists to depict multiple viewpoints in their work, and present their subject in a wider and more truthful context. Geometric shapes and an infinite palette of colours make up the Cubist movement, highlighting the details that would otherwise go unnoticed.  

The 1920s saw the introduction of Surrealism, where artists like Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Joan Miro and René Magritte used dreams and the unconscious mind to create psychedelic and whimsical artworks.

Finally Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning paved the way with Abstract Expressionism. A movement that was not only focussed on colour, but actually considered the process of creation itself, with new artistic techniques such as dripping and pouring.

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Salvador Dali, Le Voyeur, Painting

Salvador Dali

Le Voyeur, 1974
25.6 x 20.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$124,084

Yves Klein, Petite Vénus bleue, Sculpture

Yves Klein

Petite Vénus bleue, 2001
2.4 x 0.9 x 0 inch
Sculpture

$9,191

Peter Klasen, SE 7 fond jaune, Print

Peter Klasen

SE 7 fond jaune, 1991
39.4 x 29.9 inch
Print

$862

Alexander Calder, Dice, Painting

Alexander Calder

Dice, 1974
37 x 51 x 1 inch
Painting

$380,000

Max Ernst, Sans titre 4, Sculpture

Max Ernst

Sans titre 4, 1970
11.8 x 11 x 0.8 inch
Sculpture

$5,745

Our recommendations Andy Warhol, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Print

Andy Warhol

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, 1985
48 x 40 x 1 inch
Print

$60,000

Max Ernst, Lewis Carroll's Wunderhorn 25, Print

Max Ernst

Lewis Carroll's Wunderhorn 25, 1970
13 x 9.8 inch
Print

$1,723

Antoni Tapies, Poems 6, Print

Antoni Tapies

Poems 6, 1974
29.9 x 22 inch
Print

$2,528

Charles Lapicque, Iago, Print

Charles Lapicque

Iago, 1967
22.4 x 15 inch
Print

$345

Fernand Léger, La Partie de Campagne, Print

Fernand Léger

La Partie de Campagne, 1951
13.8 x 20.5 inch
Print

$6,204

Salvador Dali, King David from Our Historical Heritage Portfolio, Print

Salvador Dali

King David from Our Historical Heritage Portfolio, 1975
26 x 19.8 inch
Print

$4,500

Salvador Dali, The Messiah from the New Jerusalem Suite, Print

Salvador Dali

The Messiah from the New Jerusalem Suite, 1980
29.5 x 21 inch
Print

$4,500

Salvador Dali, Aphothéose, Print

Salvador Dali

Aphothéose, 1972
26 x 20.1 inch
Print

$2,240

Salvador Dali, Saint Narcissus of the Flies, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

Saint Narcissus of the Flies, 1974
10 x 6 x 7 inch
Sculpture

$15,000

Our recommendations Salvador Dali, Moi, aussi, j'ai connu l'Empereur, Print

Salvador Dali

Moi, aussi, j'ai connu l'Empereur, 1970
25.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$4,596

Our recommendations Carlos Cruz-Diez, Caura-4, Print

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Caura-4, 2015
23.6 x 27.6 inch
Print

$5,170

Victor Vasarely, The Skier, Print

Victor Vasarely

The Skier, 1984
33.5 x 24.5 inch
Print

$1,500

Our recommendations Victor Vasarely, Operenccia, Painting

Victor Vasarely

Operenccia, 1986
40 x 66 x 1 inch
Painting

$350,000

Robert Combas, Le mannequin contemporain, Print

Robert Combas

Le mannequin contemporain, 2008
39.4 x 32.3 x 0.4 inch
Print

$4,366

Jacques Villeglé, 50 rue Turbigo, Print

Jacques Villeglé

50 rue Turbigo, 2014
37 x 30.7 inch
Print

$1,379

Erró, Looking back, Painting

Erró

Looking back, 2005
31.9 x 46.9 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$32,745

René Magritte, Le Seize Septembre (The Sixteenth of September), Print

René Magritte

Le Seize Septembre (The Sixteenth of September), 2010
23.6 x 17.7 inch
Print

$2,171

Peter Klasen, Manette/G/fond rouge, Print

Peter Klasen

Manette/G/fond rouge, 1997
24 x 19.7 inch
Print

$574

Georges Braque, Zétès et Calaïs, Sculpture

Georges Braque

Zétès et Calaïs, 1963
45.3 x 32.3 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$37,340

Our recommendations René Magritte, Golconde (Golconda), Print

René Magritte

Golconde (Golconda), 2004
22.8 x 30.7 inch
Print

$2,528

Our recommendations René Magritte, Le Maître d'École (The School Master), Print

René Magritte

Le Maître d'École (The School Master), 2010
23.6 x 17.7 inch
Print

$1,597

Our recommendations Corneille, Le doux félin de l’été, Print

Corneille

Le doux félin de l’été, 1992
43.3 x 29.9 inch
Print

$1,896

Jean Cocteau, Europe - L'Europe pont des civilisations, Print

Jean Cocteau

Europe - L'Europe pont des civilisations, 1961
13 x 18.1 inch
Print

$264

Our recommendations Hervé Di Rosa, Paris Vector 06, Print

Hervé Di Rosa

Paris Vector 06, 2010
49.6 x 40.2 inch
Print

$1,379

Our recommendations Corneille, La fleur et l’oiseau, Print

Corneille

La fleur et l’oiseau, 1995
29.9 x 39.4 inch
Print

$1,666

Our recommendations Erró, Boy Toy, Print

Erró

Boy Toy, 2018
33.1 x 24.4 x 0.8 inch
Print

$1,838

Pierre Alechinsky, Éclipses III, Print

Pierre Alechinsky

Éclipses III, 1990
9.4 x 7.1 inch
Print

$517

Hans Hartung, Farandole 3, Print

Hans Hartung

Farandole 3, 1971
19.3 x 29.1 inch
Print

$1,723

Hans Hartung, Farandole 7, Print

Hans Hartung

Farandole 7, 1971
19.3 x 29.1 inch
Print

$1,723

Our recommendations César Baldaccini, Cœur éclaté, Sculpture

César Baldaccini

Cœur éclaté, 1986
20.9 x 5.5 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$3,217

Our recommendations Egon Schiele, La Mère & la Fille / Mother and Daughter - 1913, Print

Egon Schiele

La Mère & la Fille / Mother and Daughter - 1913, 2016
31.5 x 22.8 inch
Print

$1,723

Our recommendations Hervé Di Rosa, Heureux d'être ensemble, Print

Hervé Di Rosa

Heureux d'être ensemble, 2017
37.4 x 53.1 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,149

Corneille, Lithographie n°2, Print

Corneille

Lithographie n°2, 1985
15 x 11 inch
Print

$574

Corneille, Lithographie n°3, Print

Corneille

Lithographie n°3, 1985
15 x 11 inch
Print

$574

Pierre Alechinsky, Éclipses II, Print

Pierre Alechinsky

Éclipses II, 1990
9.4 x 7.1 inch
Print

$517

Alexander Calder, Santa Klaus 3, Print

Alexander Calder

Santa Klaus 3, 1974
20.1 x 26.4 inch
Print

$1,723

Joan Miró, Journal d'un graveur 5, Print

Joan Miró

Journal d'un graveur 5, 1975
22.8 x 17.7 inch
Print

$3,217

Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou, Print

Alexander Calder

Portrait de Constantin Tacou, 1974
19.3 x 13.4 inch
Print

$2,298

Joan Miró, La Traca IIII, Print

Joan Miró

La Traca IIII, 1979
47 x 37 x 1 inch
Print

$22,500

Joan Miró, Lithograph III, Print

Joan Miró

Lithograph III, 1972
14 x 21 inch
Print

$6,000

Corneille, Untitled from 'El circulo de piedra' portfolio, Print

Corneille

Untitled from 'El circulo de piedra' portfolio, 1969
22.2 x 17.5 inch
Print

$448

Max Ernst, Lewis Carroll's Wunderhorn 28, Print

Max Ernst

Lewis Carroll's Wunderhorn 28, 1970
13 x 9.8 inch
Print

$1,723

Tom Wesselmann, Jeannie's Backyard, East Hampton, Print

Tom Wesselmann

Jeannie's Backyard, East Hampton, 1990
59 x 72 x 2 inch
Print

$16,200

Our recommendations Roy Lichtenstein, La nouvelle chute de l'Amérique : Une Fenêtre ouverte sur Chicago, Print

Roy Lichtenstein

La nouvelle chute de l'Amérique : Une Fenêtre ouverte sur Chicago, 1992
20 x 14.9 inch
Print

$11,489

Our recommendations Niki de Saint Phalle, L'Arbre aux Serpents, Print

Niki de Saint Phalle

L'Arbre aux Serpents, 1970
29.5 x 19.7 inch
Print

$2,643

Man Ray, Untitled, Print

Man Ray

Untitled, 1975
19.3 x 13.6 inch
Print

$4,366

Man Ray, Untitled - 4, Print

Man Ray

Untitled - 4, 1975
19.3 x 13.6 inch
Print

$1,723

François Morellet, 2 trames de tirets-positif, Print

François Morellet

2 trames de tirets-positif, 1960
24.4 x 24.4 inch
Print

$1,723

Antoni Tapies, Carmi 1, Print

Antoni Tapies

Carmi 1, 1993
22.4 x 29.9 inch
Print

$7,468

Charles Lapicque, La chute, Print

Charles Lapicque

La chute, 1952
20.9 x 16.5 inch
Print

$460

François Morellet, Pi rococo 1=30°, Print

François Morellet

Pi rococo 1=30°, 2003
11.4 x 13 x 0.4 inch
Print

$2,872

Jean Fautrier, Nu couché II, Print

Jean Fautrier

Nu couché II, 1944
15 x 22.4 inch
Print

$2,068

André Derain, Le Satyricon, Print

André Derain

Le Satyricon, 1934
17.4 x 13.2 inch
Print

$402

Our recommendations Victor Vasarely, Constellation, Print

Victor Vasarely

Constellation, 1965
26.5 x 26.5 inch
Print

Sold out

Our recommendations Robert Combas, Série glitter brillant, Painting

Robert Combas

Série glitter brillant, 1997
15.7 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

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