Most influential people from the Art and Entertainment World of the 20th century according to Time 100. In the first two decades of the century, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and James Joyce, the advanced squad of modernism, created works that dramatically broke with the past, destroying traditional artistic structures and reassembling them in surprising new ways.
The upheaval of World War I only reinforced the modernists' conviction that the moral and cultural heritage of the West had collapsed. All that was left, in TS Eliot's vision, was a wasteland crying out for creative renewal. For Virginia Woolf, what had happened was more fundamental even than geopolitics or culture. Looking back at 1924, she concluded that "in December 1910 or around that date, human character changed."
As early as 1900, Guglielmo Marconi had worked out the fundamentals of radio. The phonograph was fast becoming the foundation of a recording industry. In 1912, 5 million Americans each day attended a new entertainment called movies. New Orleans echoed with sounds that blended gloriously like jazz. The people of Tin Pan Alley were polishing the wit and lighthearted lyricism of pop song and revamping the European operetta into an original form of American theater: the musical.
No previous century had seen such a powerful interplay between the arts and technology. You have to go back to the invention of the printing press in the 1450s to find something comparable.
Now, seemingly overnight, machines and electronics were transforming just about everything. Photography, a major invention of the 19th century, was almost turned into a different medium in the 1920s and 1930s with the combination of high-quality portable cameras, advanced roll film, and the flash.
- Louis Armstrong, with dazzling virtuosity on the trumpet and innovative singing style, Satchmo was the source of a completely original American sound.
- Lucille Ball, the first lady of comedy brought us both laughter and emotional truth. No wonder everyone loved Lucy
- Irresistible and irrepressible, the Beatles were, and still are, the most amazing rock and roll band in the world.
- Marlon Brando, thoughtful, raw, honest, didn't look like anyone the public had seen before. Now the mark of his style is in descendants from De Niro to DiCaprio
- Coco Chanel, she was crafty, elegant and on the cutting edge. The clothes she created changed the way women looked and how they saw themselves.
- Charlie Chaplin, the endearing figure of his little tramp was instantly recognizable around the world and provoked laughter from millions. He still is. He still does.
- Le Corbusier was convinced that the bold new industrial age required an equally bold architectural style. And who better to design it than him?
- Bob Dylan, master poet, caustic and fearless social critic, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation.
- TS Eliot, serious poetry was about to be overshadowed by fiction. He provided the crude salvation for The Waste Land.
- Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul reigns supreme with a heavenly voice and earthly passion.
- Martha Graham, her fierce choreography sometimes amazed and sometimes horrified, but in her she embodied modern dance, arrogantly and spectacularly.
- Jim Henson, hundreds of millions of children, and adults, have been delighted with the Muppetmaster
- James Joyce, his Ulysses baffled readers and challenged aspiring writers; it also revolutionized 20th century fiction.
- Pablo Picasso, famous as no artist had ever been, was a pioneer, a teacher and a protein monster, with one hand in all the artistic movements of the century.
- Rodgers & Hammerstein each had already made their mark, but as collaborators they created a musical theater that enchanted audiences and redefined the art form.
- Bart Simpson, this kid has been 10 for 11 years! And we hope he stays there. Deplorable, adorable, Bart is a brat for all ages.
- Frank Sinatra, he loved, he fought, he had style, he had guts, he could even act. And, oh yeah, he defined American pop.
- Steven Spielberg, no director or producer has ever put together a more popular work. That is why the movies we are watching now are made in his image.
- Igor Stravinsky, your Rite of Spring heralded the century. After that, he never stopped reinventing himself, or modern music.
- Oprah Winfrey, she didn't create the talk show format. But the compassion and intimacy that she put into it has created a new way of talking to each other.
Information taken from Time.
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