Modern Art & Modernism

Modern Art & Modernism – What’s it all about?

This is the title of the 2 talks I am giving at Brockenhurst Village Hall on 6th and 13th June 2023. 1.00 to 2.30 pm

We will start with Edouard Manet, considered the forefather of Modern Art and we will end with some examples of Street Art, particularly as seen in the UK (Banksy) and Valparaiso Chile.

I’ve drawn up a very simple list of the major movements of Modern Art and Modernism ‘isms’:


Monet Waterlilies

Post impressionism



Pablo Picasso








Abstract Expressionism

Jackson Pollock


Pop Art

Michelangelo's Adam's navel
Roy Lichtenstein


Post Modernism

Street Art


Now that’s a lot of ‘isms’ and many of them require a lot of explanation and the audience’s understanding will need to be worked on.

I’m going to start off by looking at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and God’s ‘Creation of Adam‘ and in particular Adam’s navel. What on earth has this to do with Modern Art and Modernism I hear the cry?

Michelangelo's Adam's navel

Question – why has Michelangelo given Adam a navel when he was supposed to have been created by God and thus not born with an umbilical attached? The answer lies in the fact that God and Adam’s fingers are not actually touching. There is a definite separation.

Michelangelo's Adam's navel
Michelangelo's Adam's navel

This therefore leads us to Modern Art and the key is Jean-Paul Sartre’s thesis on Existentialism. The nausea of freedom and loneliness and the central importance of the ‘moment’ and my sense of ‘being’.

Intriguing. And that’s why when looking at Modern Art , we have to work at it, we have to think hard and with an open mind.

With this in mind I’m also going to refer to Christopher Columbus and his, what became known as ‘American discoveries‘.

Again, what has this to do with Modern Art and Modernism? Indeed, what is the difference between Modern Art and Modernism?

For all the above – come along to Brockenhurst Village Hall, Tuesdays: 6th and 13 June 2023. 1.00 to 2.30 pm