Franz Marc (German, 1880-1916)
Woodcut, 1912

The Modern Line: Peace and Spirituality in 20th Century Prints

2015 – 2016

Modern art and modernism begins to develop as early as the 1850s. The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries introduces vast technological changes in society, transforming manufacturing and transportation. These changes profoundly affect the social, economic and cultural conditions of daily life and elicited new avenues of expression for artists who celebrated and lamented modernity.

Many artists found renewal and inspiration in the print medium and its historical ties to handmade craftwork and cultural heritage. Modern artists explored ideas of spiritual renewal through religious subject matter. Artists of this period utilized bold color, expressionism and abstracted forms to create modern impressions of the present and future.

While religion was challenged by the growth of secularization and modern science, numerous religious and spiritual revivals contributed to the creation of religious art. Artists responded to the accelerated pace of modern life in part by challenging past ideals of style and representation, and conveyed recurring themes of war and peace, spiritual renewal and devastation, and political change.