Modernism was a broad movement encompassing all the avant-garde movements of the first half of the 20th century.
They all rejected the dominance of Naturalism which represented the world with a minimum of abstraction or stylistic distortion, and Academicism which focused on art being produced to a set of rules favouring classical ideals of beauty and artistic perfection. many of the narratives were about history, life drawing and classical sculpture.
This rejection lead to art being produced in a more radical/experimental way often seeking to answer fundamental questions about the nature of art and the human experience.
Key movements: Fauvism, primitivism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, dadaism
Little,s.(2004)'isms' understanding art: Herbert Press London