The 20th century was full of different new styles in art, music, literature, sculpture and architecture. The two World Wars, economic changes, the progress of technology were influencing the views, opinions and moods of the people and were reflected in the arts.
Postmodernism, that replaced the modernism movement, appeared at the end of the 20th century in literature, music, art and architecture. It was an effect of the post-industrial era, a period of disintegration of the holistic worldview. The main postmodernism postulate lies in understanding that our world is imperfect and its improvement is impossible. Additionally, dissatisfaction and skepticism took place in creation of architectural buildings, paintings, musical, literary or philosophical works. The term ‘postmodern’ was firstly used by John Watkins Chapman who suggested “a postmodern style of painting” in the 1880s. Interestingly, the bright postmodernism representatives in philosophy were Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, Richard Rorty and others. In literature the movement was represented by Orhan Pamuk, Vladimir Nabokov, Umberto Eco, John Barth, Ana Lydia Vega and others, in architecture – by Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Robert Venturiand, in music – by Terry Riley, Michael Nyman and Jonathan Kramer. Moreover, such artists as Vito Hannibal Acconci, Matthew Barney, Hans Haacke and many others have also worked in the postmodernism style.
Hans Haacke is a German controversial artist who lives and works in the USA. He employs different genres and installations to create works in political art style. According to Haverkamp & Falkowski (2007), “Haacke’s work focuses on the system of exchange between the museum and the corporation and the commodification of art that takes place within this circulation.” Therefore, Haacke is the most uncompromising representative of institutional critique. His main goal consists in identifying and publicizing the links between galleries as well as condemning the actions of the world ruling class.
In the 1980s the new style called Neo-Expressionism appeared in painting and partially sculpture. It has emerged in the USA and spread over Europe later on. Hence, this style is characterized by the search of expression via gestural, passionate and sometimes insolently aggressive paintings or sculptures. Therefore, one of the features of Neo-Expressionism is the formalism of conceptual art.
To conclude, each style of art is created as a means of describing the minds, thoughts and feelings of people. Many talented artists, musicians, writers and philosophers brightly create a lot of unique works and the period of Postmodernism was a significant time in terms of art’s history as well as a turning point which led to the emergence of various modern artistic movements.