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Overview

Intellectual Currents Subject Overview

This section focusses on the historical, sociological, philosophical, economic, political, and scientific context of modernism. Entries cover individuals, coteries, movements, and events. The primary criterion…

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Symbolism Overview

Symbolism is a late-nineteenth-century literary movement centred mostly around the work of poets such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam,…

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Expressionism

Expressionism was one of the foremost modernist movements to emerge in Europe in the early years of the twentieth-century. It had a profound effect on…

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McTaggart, John McTaggart Ellis (1866–1925)

Cambridge philosopher, metaphysician, and mystic John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart was a key figure in initiating modernist shifts in philosophy by challenging traditional understandings of Christian…

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Hsiao Chin (Xiao Qin) [蕭勤] (1935--)

Hsiao Chin is an abstract painter who was born in Shanghai, China, to an affluent Christian family. His father Hsiao Yu-mei [蕭友梅] founded the Shanghai…

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Koyré, Alexandre (1882–1964)

Born Alexandr Vladimirovich Koyranskiy (Александр Владимирович Койранский) in Taganrog, Russia, Alexandre Koyré moved to Paris, France, as a student where he was active, with varying…

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de Chirico, Giorgio (1888–1978)

The modern Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico was born in the port city of Volos in the Grecian province of Thessaly. After training in Athens…

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Vitalism

Vitalism is a philosophy of life that ascribes a vital principle or animating life-force to the processes of living organisms. Against the assertions of mechanistic…

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Marburg School

The Marburg School is a term used to describe a group of Neo-Kantian philosophers at the University of Marburg in the second half of the…

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Existentialism

Existentialism is the term given to an interdisciplinary school of thought that focuses on the lived experience of human beings. Existentialism was especially popular in…

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Tarkovsky, Andrei (1943–1986)

The cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky stands at the zenith of high-modernist cinema. Amongst the many technical achievements that characterize Tarkovsky’s total art approach to cinema,…

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The Vienna Circle

In 1922 Moritz Schlick (1882–1936) transformed the Verein Ernst Mach (Ernst Mach Society), a weekly reading group concerned with logical positivism, into an international assembly…

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James, William (1842–1910)

William James was an American psychologist and philosopher who worked across those fields to investigate the nature of consciousness, experience and free will. A founding…

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Pragmatism

Pragmatism is a method of inquiry that deems an object or belief adequately ‘true’ if it has utility for an individual or a collective. It…

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Char, René (1907–1988)

The French poet René Char exemplified key aspects of modernism. Initially associated with Surrealism, he collaborated with poets such as André Breton and Paul Eluard,…

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Carnap, Rudolf (1891–1970)

Rudolf Carnap was a German-American philosopher, and was widely regarded as one of most important of the 20th century. Politically engaged and inclined toward utopianism,…

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Faktura

Faktura, literally “texture,” is related to the Russian avant-garde’s preoccupation with the fundamental principles of the creative process. The term, applied to a work of…

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Naghi, Mohamed Musa (1888–1956)

The painter Mohamed Naghi is remembered today alongside Mahmoud Mukhtar (1891–1934) and Mahmoud Said (1897–1964) as one of the core members of the so-called first…

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Duncan, Isadora (1877- 1927)

Frequently credited with the invention of modern dance, Isadora Duncan was a choreographer, dancer, educator, international star, and author of a bestselling autobiography My Life…

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Koraïchi, Rachid (1947--)

Born in Ain Beida, Algeria to a Sufi family, Rachid Koraïchi’s art is often framed within a tradition of Sufi spirituality in which aesthetics and…

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Colson, Jaime (1901–1975)

One of the founders of the modernist movement in twentieth-century Dominican art, Jaime Colson worked in a variety of media that included drawing and painting.…

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Kieślowski, Krzysztof (1941–1996)

Krzysztof Kieślowski was a highly influential Polish filmmaker in the tradition of auteur cinema. Kieślowski tackled the tension between the political, spiritual, and ethical, and…