chapter  10
18 Pages

The Time Came and the Man

We must begin to answer this question with a definition of modern art however provisional such a definition must be. It is bound to be provisional for two obvious reasons, one historical and the other conceptual. The first is that the history of modern art is not yet complete. The second is that the idea of 'modern' is itself provisional. Are we using a merely historical, chronological designation (in which case when does the modern period begin?) or is the term 'modern', as Nikos Stangos puts it, a rubric that contains a host of ideological and programmatic, overt and concealed, presuppositions?1 Here we will employ the term as a rubric rather than a designation, though its presuppositions are always determined by historical circumstances.