Modern (from the French moderne – modern), Art Nouveau (French art nouveau, the letter “New Art”), Art Nouveau (German Jugendstil – “young style”) – the artistic direction in art, the most common in the last decade of XIX – the beginning of the XX century (before the First World War). Its distinctive features are the rejection of straight lines and angles in favor of more natural, “natural” lines, interest in new technologies (for example, in architecture), the flowering of applied art.
Modernism sought to combine the artistic and utilitarian functions of the created works, to involve all spheres of human activity in the sphere of beauty. In other countries it is also called: “Tiffany” (named after L. K. Tiffany) in the USA, “Art Nouveau” and “fin de siècle” (lit. “end of the century”) in France, “Jugendstil” (more precisely, ” Jugendstil “- by the name of the illustrated magazine Die Die Jugend founded in 1896) in Germany,” Secessionsstil “style in Austria,” modern style “, modern style in England,” liberti style “in England Italy, “modernism” in Spain, “Nieuwe Kunst” in the Netherlands, “spruce style” (style sapin) in Switzerland.
In 1860-1870 in Europe the eclectic style dominated, which consisted in citing and repeating previous artistic styles. The desire to counteract this with his creativity united in the anti-epic movement artistic trends and schools in various countries. This led to the fact that in the 1880s a new style was being developed in the works of a number of masters, which contrasted eclecticism with new artistic techniques.
The founder of modernity is England – the oldest country of capitalism. The new style begins to develop there under the slogan of a return to organicity, simplicity and functionality of the Middle Ages, the early Renaissance and folk architecture. The artistic movement associated with the activities of the Pre-Raphaelites, the philosophy and aesthetics of John Ruskin, and the practice of William Morris, is particularly prevalent in applied art and architecture.  Morris created interior objects inspired by floral ornaments, and Arthur McMurdo used elegant, wavy patterns in book graphics. His cover for the book “City churches of Rena” (1883) is considered the first implementation of the Art Nouveau style in the field of graphics.
In the European countries, various artistic associations began to be created, working in a new style: the Exhibition Society of Arts and Crafts (1888) in the United Kingdom, the United Artistic Crafts workshops (1897) and the German Workshops of Artistic Crafts (1899) in Germany, “Vienna Workshops” (1903) in Austria, “Nancy School” in France, “World of Art” (1890) in Russia.
The period of the development of modernity has quite clear chronological boundaries: from the late 1880’s. until 1914, the beginning of the First World War, ending the natural development of art in most European countries.
Conditionally distinguish 3 stages of development of style:
The first (from 1890 to 1900) was the nomination of a task and a decisive renovation of the artistic-figurative language of architecture, the development of new methods of spatial compositions of the structure, the intensification of the trends in the use of new materials (steel, concrete, etc.), orientation to ornamentation, decorative motifs, etc.
The second (approximately from 1900-1905) – is characterized by a gradual departure from decorative, more consistent development of building materials of a new pattern.
The third (lasting approximately until the 1910s) – marked by the desire for simplicity, rigor, consistent study of construction equipment.
The spread of modernity was facilitated by the holding of World Exhibitions, which demonstrated the achievements of modern technology and applied art. The most famous modernism was at the World Exhibition in 1900 in Paris. In the 1910’s. the meaning of Art Nouveau began to fade.
A significant influence on the style of modernity was the art of Japan, which became more accessible in the West with the beginning of the Meiji era. Art nouveau artists also drew inspiration from the art of Ancient Egypt and other ancient civilizations.
Traditionally, modernism has two main areas: constructive (Austria, Scotland) and decorative (Belgium, France, Germany). In addition, in Italy and Russia, the national traditions had a strong influence on it: in these countries the models of modernity bore the imprint of traditional forms. An example is the Neo-Russian style in Russia’s architecture (not to be confused with the pseudo-Russian style that belonged to the period of eclecticism).
It should be borne in mind that the division of art nouveau into separate periods and styles is conditional. Modern, like none of the other styles, absorbed so many different trends and was influenced by so many national cultures and traditions that it is difficult even for specialists to determine where eclecticism ends and modernity begins and where modernity ends and art deco begins.
Modernity included many currents and styles: neo-Romanticism – elements of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and other styles were used; Neoclassicism; Rationalism, a direction with a predominance of simpler forms; Irrationalism; The brick style, when the architects refused the plaster, and all the decorative details of the building were made of bricks. Depending on its territorial affiliation, it bore different names: Vienna, Berlin and Paris modern in Western Europe, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Riga and provincial modern in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Often artists of modernity took as their basis drawings ornaments from the plant world. The most notable feature of modernity was the rejection of right angles and lines in favor of smoother, curved lines, imitation of the natural forms of plants. “The calling card” of the style was the embroidery of Herman Obrist (English) Russian. “The blow of the scourge”. In the forms of modernity prevailed – the rejection of symmetry, vertical, aspiring dominants, the flow of forms one into another.
The predominant colors were muted shades – the color of the withered rose, tobacco colors, pearly gray, gray-blue, dust-lilac tones. The characteristic elements of the interior of the Art Nouveau were a combination of planes, curved furniture. In decoration there is a mosaic, enamel, gold backgrounds, chasing on copper and brass.
Structural designs are often framed (the supporting element is a steel frame). The windows are rectangular, elongated upwards, often with rich vegetative decor, sometimes arched, “shop windows” – wide, like window-cases. The doors of the Art Nouveau style are rectangular, often arched. Most often flat-shaped, with mosaic ornament, decorated
Modernism aspired to become a single synthetic style in which all elements from the human environment were executed in one key. As a result, interest in applied arts has increased: the design of interiors, ceramics, book graphics.
The development of Art Nouveau in art was preceded by a period of formation. The period of early development of modernity is usually called modernism. This current was formed in different years, in different countries and by various artists, who, as a rule, did not know each other, but were connected by common ideals and ideas. The directions of modernism were not related to the national traditions of the countries in which they developed.
Cubism in France had nothing to do with the culture of France. A striking example of this discrepancy is the Eiffel Tower, which, in the opinion of the intelligentsia of that time, did not fit perfectly into the architecture of Paris and caused a storm of indignation. The separation of modernism from national traditions laid the foundation for an “international style” that does not have boundaries. Great influence on modernity was influenced by the East, namely Japan.
The rejection of national traditions was perceived as a desire for cosmopolitanism. The first modernists were artists who created at the turn of the end of the XIX century, who believed that the spiritual revolution, which, in their opinion, was inevitably born out of the crisis of the old world, demanded the abandonment of socio-political radicalism. A new ideological platform was the spiritual revolution as a qualitatively new consciousness, a new life-understanding.
It was based on the intuitionism of A. Bergson and N. Lossky, the phenomenology of E. Husserl, the psychoanalysis of Z. Freud and K. Jung, the existentialism of S. Kierkegaard, M. Heidegger, K. Jaspers, N. Berdyaev and others. The theoretical basis for the future style formulated by William Morris, but the development of the ideas of early modernism was practiced by many artists of the pre-modern era.
Modern in architecture
The architecture of modernity is distinguished by the rejection of straight lines and angles in favor of more natural, “natural” lines, the use of new materials (metal, glass).
Like a number of other styles, the architecture of modernity is also distinguished by the desire to create simultaneously aesthetic and functional buildings. Much attention was paid not only to the appearance of buildings, but also to the interior, which was carefully studied. All the structural elements – stairs, doors, poles, balconies – were artistically processed.
One of the first architects working in Art Nouveau style was the Belgian Victor Orta (1861-1947). In his projects he actively used new materials, first of all, metal and glass. Bearing structures made of iron, he gave unusual shapes, reminiscent of some fantastic plants. Stair rails, lamps hanging from the ceiling, even the door handles – everything was designed in the same style. In France, the idea of modernity was developed by Héctor Guimard, who, among other things, created the entrance pavilions of the Paris Metro.
Even further away from the classical notions of architecture, the Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi left. The buildings built by him are so organically fit into the surrounding landscape that they seem to be the work of nature, not of man.