Faultlines in 20th century art  

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faultline, 20th century art

20th century art can be divided along three axes: 'straight lines vs curvilinearity', 'Wit vs seriousness,' 'cult of beauty vs the cult of ugliness (or sexuality vs asexuality)'

This classification is indebted to the Sex in History by Gordon Rattray Taylor (see Matrism and Patrism) and the work of Camille Paglia, especially Sexual Personae. Both theorists classify along Apollonian and Dionysian axes.


Straight lines vs curvilinearity

Straight lines vs curvilinearity
  1. Straight lines and geometric designs: art deco, International Style, De Stijl, minimalism, cubism
  2. Curvilinearity: Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Surrealism

Wit vs seriousness

serio ludere
  1. Wit: Dada, Surrealism, Pop art, Postmodernism
  2. Seriousness: High Modernism (literature, architecture, arts)

Cult of beauty vs the cult of ugliness (or sexuality vs asexuality)

  1. Beauty: Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Art Deco
  2. Ugliness: High Modernism, Pablo Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism

Modernism vs postmodernism

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