Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lemming Tracks: Not all Contemprary Design is Modern Design

The last post reminded me of a linguistic oddity: "Modern" hasn't been contemporary for decades.

Most people use "modern" and "contemporary" interchangeably: and that's correct usage. As long as you're using informal English, and not talking about art, architecture, or philosophy.

In art and architecture, anything that's actually contemporary, in the sense of using a non-historical style or approach, hasn't been "Modern" for decades. Art and architecture that is Modern (capital M) is a distinctly twentieth-century phenomenon.

There's an interesting discussion at "Postmodern Art" (Washington State University) (undated)) and "MODERN ART" "1900'S - Present" University of North Carolina at Pembroke (undated)).

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