Modern art is used to describe artworks produced from the late 19th century until the 1970s and is not to be confused with recent art production, which is often called contemporary or post-modern art. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation and rebellion.
The Impressionists are widely regarded as the pioneers of ‘modern’ painting, though the journey to modernism was a gradual metamorphosis including other movements such as Romanticism, and Realism. All of these various artistic movements stood against the traditional values of established academic art. Central to their rebellion was the desire to depict the reality of every day life, rather than historical events or subjects from the Classics. However, it was not only their choice of subject matter that was controversial; the accepted technique of painting was also thrown on its head, leading to the bold and unrefined compositions of Fauvism and fragmented viewpoint of Cubism.
Other famous modern art movements include Futurism, Expressionism, Art Nouveau, Dadaism and Surrealism.