Unit Questions - Modernism


Choose four of the following questions and write a 150-350 word response to each question (points deducted for not meeting word count requirements).  Include the question at the top of your response. Put all responses into one document – in other words don’t submit the assignment multiple times, once for each response.  Remember – you MUST put information in your own words (this includes information from your text book and online sources) or it is considered plagiarism and you will receive a score of 1 on the assignment.



1. It is often said that tradition, like history, is continually being recreated and remodeled.  To what extent did writers, painters, and composers of the early twentieth century deliberately break with tradition? How did they accomplish that goal?

2. Do you agree that creative expression at the beginning of the twentieth century represents the "dehumanization of art"?  Why or why not?

3. In what ways does Picasso's Guernica constitute a universal indictment of war when the painting itself includes no objects that are directly associated with modern warfare?

4. Do you agree or disagree that Freud's psychoanalytic theories influenced ART of the early 20th century?  Provide an analysis that includes at least 2 specific examples.

5. Ezra Pound said literature should be "new". What did he mean? Provide at least 1 example.  What influenced his work?

6. How is 20th century music different from 19th century music?  What are some characteristics of 20th century music?  Provide at least 2 specific examples.

7. What are some artistic innovations of Picasso? Why are these important?  Provide at least 2 specific examples.

8. Marcel Duchamp said an artist should be a destroyer of tradition.  What did he mean?  What is one of his works that displays this idea?

9. On the internet, find a picture of Duchamp's The Fountain.  What do you think of this in terms of being art?

10. You'll notice in your book there are a lot of "isms" in 20th century art - surrealism, expressionism, dadaism, fauvism, etc., etc.  Take a look at these different styles and approaches to art.  Which one do you like best? Like least?  Explain your answer.

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