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Artists in 1848 did not communicate messages to the audience; it was meant to be done through their paintings. According to Greenberg, the paintings of that time had a lot of confusion. The main aim of modernism is brought in so as to facilitate improvement of such artistic paintings. According to Greenberg, the paintings of nineteenth century required improvement in order to communicate well to the audience.
Greenberg highlights the characteristic of modern painting to be the appearance of the art work on completion. The artistic presentation can be changed to look more real. Instead of the two dimensional presentation, modernist paintings have a three dimensional appearance. He suggests that by changing these aspects, the painting appears more real. Artists were able to bring out some critical aspects including post impressionism, synthetic and forms of abstractions. The painters improved on the pictorial balance of the art work.
In the past, artists have been using the old master to make and analyze paintings. The old master had limitations that were considered as negative factors. These were regarded differently by modernists. The same factors were changed and made positive factors. These factors include the flat surface, shape, and color. The modernist used these to make paintings that were three dimensional and used colors made from real paint.
I agree with Greenberg that modernism does not offer theoretical demonstrations on painting. It changes the theoretical aspects into practical ideas that apply to the practice of art and painting. His conclusion that art is continuity is true. In the world of art, the past cannot be separated from the present. Hence, the present is a result of the modification and improvement of past presentations. It is true that without the past modernism will not be possible. Artist should adapt the modernist ideas to improve on their work.