Comparison of Modernism & Postmodernism

Modernism and postmodernism are forces that have been in competition but that are also part of a flow in the same direction, a flow of artistic movement yearning toward change within a technological age. Modernism was part of an effort to create a new environment to replace the old around the turn of the century, following in the wake of similar changes in political, social, literary, and other spheres of society. The application of these ideas to public space in particular shows some of the important dynamics at work in the movement the term describes, and such efforts were used to extend the meaning of public spaces directly to society as a whole, attempting to alter the way we think of ourselves in relation to our external, public environment in keeping with the other changes taking place in human thought and attitude. Postmodernity was a reaction to modernity as modernity was a reaction to what went before, but again a new way of viewing the world and our relationship to it were produced in terms of technological changes and possibilities. We can see that each successive movement in art builds on the what exists at the time, extending it, taking it in a new direction, or rejecting it outright and striking off in a new way.

Modernism is a term applied after the fact to several literary and artistic trends from the beginning of this century. The term postmodernism has been applied to culture after 1960. Certain modernist characteristics can be discerned in post-196



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