Art Movements

An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within usually a number of years.

Abstract art

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Abstract art, non figurative art, nonobjective art, and nonrepresentational art are loosely related terms. They are similar, although perhaps not of identical meaning.

Figurative art

Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork – particularly paintings and sculptures – which are clearly derived from real object sources, and are therefore by definition representational. The term figurative art is often taken to mean art which represents the human figure, or even an animal figure, and, though this is often the case, it is not necessarily so: “ Since the arrival of abstract art the term figurative has been used to refer to any form of modern art that retains strong references to the real world.” Painting and sculpture can therefore be divided into the categories of figurative, representational and abstract, although, strictly speaking, abstract art is derived (or abstracted) from a figurative or other natural source. However, the term is sometimes used as a synonym for non-representational art and non-objective art, i.e. art which has no derivation from figures or objects.

Cubism

Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music and literature. The first branch of cubism, known as Analytic Cubism, was both radical and influential as a short but highly significant art movement between 1907 and 1911 in France. In its second phase, Synthetic Cubism, the movement spread and remained vital until around 1919, when the Surrealist movement gained popularity. In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form.

Futurism

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It was largely an Italian phenomenon, though there were parallel movements in Russia, England and elsewhere. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy. The founder of Futurism and its most influential personality was the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition.

Impressionism

Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence in the 1870s and 1880s. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari. Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.

Neo-impressionism

Neo-impressionism was coined by French art critic Felix Feneon in 1886 to describe an art movement founded by Georges Seurat. Seurat’s greatest masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, marked the beginning of this movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Independants in Paris. Followers of neo-impressionism, in particular, were drawn to modern urban scenes as well as landscapes and seashores

Fauvism

Les Fauves (French for The Wild Beasts) were a short-lived and loose grouping of early 20th century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only three years, 1905–1907, and had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were Henri Matisse and Andre Derain.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905. The name ‘Art Nouveau’ is French for ‘new art’. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life. Art Nouveau was also a movement of distinct individuals such as Gustav Klimt, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alphonse Mucha, René Lalique, Antoni Gaudí and Louis Comfort Tiffany, each of whom interpreted it in their own individual manner.

Expressionism

Expressionism was a cultural movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the start of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world under an utterly subjective perspective, violently distorting it to obtain an emotional effect and vividly transmit personal moods and ideas. Expressionism emerged as an avant-garde movement in poetry and painting before the First World War; in the Weimar years was being appreciated by a mass audience, having its popularity peak in Berlin, during the 1920s

Dada

Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works.

Tachisme

Tachisme (alternative spelling: Tachisme, derived from the French word tache–stain) was a French style of abstract painting in the 1940s and 1950s. It is often considered to be the European equivalent to abstract expressionism. Tachisme was a reaction to Cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy.

Surrealism

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement. Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. Freud’s work with free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious was of utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination

Minimalism

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McLaughlin, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella.

Action painting

Action painting, sometimes called gestural abstraction, is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist.

Pop art

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist’s use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art. Pop removes the material from its context and isolates the object, or combines it with other objects, for contemplation. Pop art often takes as its imagery that which is currently in use in advertising. Product labeling and logos figure prominently in the imagery chosen by pop artists, like in the Campbell’s Soup Cans labels, by Andy Warhol.

Graffiti

Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In modern times, spray paint, normal paint and markers have become the most commonly used materials. In most countries, defacing property with graffiti without the property owner’s consent is punishable by law.

Op art

Op art, also known as optical art, is a style of visual art that makes use of optical illusions. Optical art is a method of painting concerning the interaction between illusion and picture plane, between understanding and seeing. Op art works are abstract, with many of the better known pieces made in only black and white. When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibration, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping.

Modern art

Modern art refers to artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation.

Postmodernism

Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the rejection of objective truth and global cultural narrative. It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, and motivations; in particular it attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus female, white versus black, and imperial versus colonial. Postmodernism has influenced many cultural fields, including literary criticism, sociology, linguistics, architecture, visual arts, and music.