Source: Oxford University Press

Term applied to the cultural condition in which the seemingly absolute necessity of innovation becomes a primary fact of life, work and thought. Modernity appeared first in Europe in the 16th century and became dominant in the mid-19th century, with enormous consequences for colonized non-European countries and for residual cultural formations within Europe. It has been described as the first truly ‘world’ culture, universalizing in its ambitions and impact. Modernity is more than merely the state of being modern or the opposition between old and new. This article discusses the nature of modernity and its relation to art.

Terry Smith

From Grove Art Online