The democratization of art has bled over into gross overexposure. I doubt that Leonardo ever intended Mona Lisa to be viewed under a microscope by every individual with a fifth grade education. Its grotesque, pornographic. Even the most trained eye loses any aesthetic sensibility. Its just a cracked mess with an impossible climate in the background.
Modern art uses so many new elements that a person looking at the work on the computer and the viewer in a museum truly see radical different paintings. The painting that most struck me at the Bechtler was Nicolas de Stael's Landscape. You can "see" it by clicking on the link above and clicking on the "Collections" tab. De Stael forces the viewer to reckon with the editorial decisions an artist makes. For two dimensional art, De Stael utilizes layers in a way I'm not sure I've seen before in a painting. In some places canvas is visible, while in others there are half inch globs, resulting in a cartographic effect. For me, this result requires all the self restraint of waiting for an elevator beside a fire alarm. I'm dying to touch it. To peel back the layers and see what was originally there. He gives us peaks. Tiny lines of blue and violet were spared in the editing . It looks awkward among the sea of drab and yellow, maybe even suspenseful.
The modernists saw the direction of increased viewership and participation and upped the ante. They had to make something that required aesthetics, skill, and something incapable of reproduction by the camera.