Throughout history, artists have created art to express their deepest emotions and passions. Artwork is a visual representation of a person’s heart and soul, and it has the power to change minds, break down barriers, educate, and uplift people. Modern art movements have paved the way for new styles that showcase the human spirit in innovative ways. While modern art movements differed in style and technique, they all shared one fundamental principle: a dismissal of traditional concepts associated with realism. Known as Modernism, the global movement emerged at the turn of the 20th century and was fueled by the desire to produce art that accurately reflected the rapidly changing world around it. Modernists disregarded the old rules of color, perspective, and composition to create their own vision of what an artwork should look like.

This was largely spurred by the rapid changes caused by technology and society, as well as the onset of World War I in 1914. The first of the many modern art movements was Impressionism, which used bright, vivid colors to create a dreamlike quality in its paintings. Artists tended to use short brushstrokes to achieve this effect. While this was an important precursor to modernist styles, it was still limited in its ability to convey a sense of depth. Next came Post-Impressionism, a style that sought to expand on the limitations of its predecessor and further capture a sense of depth in its works. The painters of this movement such as Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh continued to explore different painting techniques in order to gain a purer form of expression. Post-Impressionism was followed by Fauvism, a movement that sparked a revolution in color theory. This style highlighted the independent strength that each color possessed, making it a force to be reckoned with in artworks.

Futurism was another major Modern art movement that celebrated speed, inventions such as the automobile and airplane, and scientific achievement. Futurists also looked to other eras for inspiration, creating works that featured splintered forms and multiple viewpoints. After the horrors of World War I, several artists reacted by using their art to reflect the suffering they witnessed in society. The German Expressionist movement was a perfect example of this, as the works of such artists as Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh were extremely expressive in their depictions of brutality and death. The final modern art movement was Pop Art, a style that was fueled by the mass consumerism of American society in the 1950s. This movement was characterized by its brazen, easy-to-recognize imagery and the inclusion of famous icons.

While creativity research has made many advances, it continues to focus on the creative process in a narrow sense. While this is an important aspect of the creativity journey, it doesn’t address the many obstacles that creatives must overcome on a daily basis in order to continue their journey. A Jungian, depth-psychological approach offers an alternative view by examining the existential nature of these obstacles and how they can be navigated effectively.