Art History/Movements

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Glossary of Art Movements

Abstract Expressionism[edit | edit source]

American art movement of the 1940s that emphasized form and color within a non-representational framework. Jackson Pollock initiated the revolutionary technique of splattering the paint directly on canvas to achieve his interpretation of perfection.

Art Deco[edit | edit source]

A 1920s style characterized by setbacks, zigzag forms, and the use of chrome and plastic ornamentation. New York's Chrysler Building is an architectural example of the style.

Art Nouveau[edit | edit source]

An 1890s style in architecture, graphic arts, and interior decoration characterized by writhing forms, curving lines, and asymmetrical organization. Some critics regard the style as the first stage of modern architecture.

Ashcan School[edit | edit source]

A group of New Jersey realist artists at the beginning of the twentieth century who rejected the formal subject matter of the academy and focused on gritty urban scenes and ordinary, even ugly, aspects of life.

Assemblage (Collage)[edit | edit source]

Forms of modern sculpture and painting utilizing readymades, found objects, and pasted fragments to form an abstract composition. Louise Nevelson's boxlike enclosures, each with its own composition of assembled objects, illustrate the style in sculpture. Pablo Picasso and Braque developed the technique of cutting and pasting natural or manufactured materials to a painted or unpainted surface.Picasso incorporated elements such as wallpaper pieces and chair caneing[check spelling].

Barbizon School (Landscape Painting)[edit | edit source]

A group of 19th-century French painters who rejected idealized landscape painting and sought a more informal, realistic portrayal of nature. They were heavily influenced by 17th-century Dutch genre painting. Theodore Rousseau, one of the principal figures of the group, was a proponent of outdoor painting, based on direct observation of one's surroundings.

Baroque[edit | edit source]

European art and architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Giovanni Bernini, a major exponent of the style, believed in the union of the arts of architecture, painting, and sculpture to overwhelm the spectator with ornate and highly dramatized themes. Although the style originated in Rome as the instrument of the Church, it spread throughout Europe in such monumental creations as the Palace of Versailles.

Beaux Arts[edit | edit source]

Elaborate and formal architectural style characterized by symmetry and an abundance of sculptured ornamentation. New York's old Custom House at Bowling Green is an example of the style.

Black or African-American Art[edit | edit source]

The work of American artists of African descent produced in various styles characterized by a mood of protest and a search for identity and historical roots. See Romare Bearden.

Classicism[edit | edit source]

A form of art derived from the study of Greek and Roman styles characterized by harmony, balance, and serenity. In contrast, the Romantic Movement gave free rein to the artist's imagination and to the love of the exotic.

Conceptual art[edit | edit source]

An art form originating in the late 1960´s. In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. It has had a prominent effect on art production and art theory until this day.

Constructivism[edit | edit source]

A form of sculpture using wood, metal, glass, and modern industrial materials expressing the technological society. The mobiles of Alexander Calder are examples of the movement.

Cubism[edit | edit source]

Early 20th-century French movement marked by a revolutionary departure from representational art. Pablo Picasso and Georges Bracque penetrated the surface of objects, stressing basic abstract geometric forms that presented the object from many angles simultaneously.

Dada[edit | edit source]

A product of the turbulent and cynical post-World War I period, this anti-art movement extolled the irrational, the absurd, the nihilistic, and the nonsensical. The reproduction of Mona Lisa adorned with a mustache is a famous example. The movement is regarded as a precursor of Surrealism. Some critics regard HAPPENINGS as a recent development of Dada. This movement incorporates environment and spectators as active and important ingredients in the production of random events.

Expressionism[edit | edit source]

A 20th-century European art movement that stresses the expression of emotion and the inner vision of the artist rather than the exact representation of nature. Distorted lines and shapes and exaggerated colors are used for emotional impact. Vincent Van Gogh is regarded as the precursor of this movement.

Fauvism[edit | edit source]

The name “wild beasts” was given to the group of early 20th-century French painters because their work was characterized by distortion and violent colors. Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault were leaders of this group.

Futurism[edit | edit source]

This early 20th-century movement originating in Italy glorified the machine age and attempted to represent machines and figures in motion. The aesthetics of Futurism affirmed the beauty of technological society.

Genre[edit | edit source]

This French word meaning “type” now refers to paintings that depict scenes of everyday life without any attempt at idealization. Genre paintings can be found in all ages, but the Dutch productions of peasant and tavern scenes are typical.

Impressionism[edit | edit source]

Late 19th-century French school dedicated to defining transitory visual impressions painted directly from nature, with light and color of primary importance. If the atmosphere changed, a totally different picture would emerge. It was not the object or event that counted but the visual impression as caught at a certain time of day under a certain light. Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro were leaders of the movement.

Indigenouism[edit | edit source]

An art movement promoting environmental protection by utilizing Indigenous Materials. Indigenouism Art a campaign against global warming. Indigenouism Art is more than just a style; it is a philosophy that encourages artists to look back to their roots and find inspiration in their culture, traditions, and environment. By using natural materials that are locally available, artists can reduce their reliance on synthetic and imported materials, which contribute to the depletion of natural resources.

Intentism[edit | edit source]

A movement that began to re-establish the role of the artist in an artwork. Intentists believe that all meaning is the outworking of intention

Mannerism[edit | edit source]

A mid-16th-century movement, Italian in origin, although El Greco was a major practitioner of the style. The human figure, distorted and elongated, was the most frequent subject.

Minimalism[edit | edit source]

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.

Modern Ink Painting[edit | edit source]

A late-20st-century and early-21st-century movement, Modern ink painting is an emerging style that reaches beyond traditional Asian ink painting in scope and treatment of a minimalist-art. Contemporary ink painting is developing and establishing the recognition it deserves and gaining its own place among the major pictorial works of the world. This global contemporary art movement represents sort of amalgamation of the Western visual art problems and practices with those of East Asia. Best known European contribution to the Modern ink painting is Alfred Freddy Krupa.

Neoclassicism[edit | edit source]

An 18th-century reaction to the excesses of Baroque and Rococo, this European art movement tried to recreate the art of Greece and Rome by imitating the ancient classics both in style and subject matter.

Neoimpressionism[edit | edit source]

A school of painting associated with George Seurat and his followers in late 19th-century France that sought to make Impressionism more precise and formal. They employed a technique of juxtaposing dots of primary colors to achieve brighter secondary colors, with the mixture left to the eye to complete (pointillism).

Op Art[edit | edit source]

The 1960s movement known as Optical Painting is characterized by geometrical forms that create an optical illusion in which the eye is required to blend the colors at a certain distance.

Pop Art[edit | edit source]

In this return to representational art, the artist returns to the world of tangible objects in a reaction against abstraction. Materials are drawn from the everyday world of popular culture—comic strips, canned goods, and science fiction. It is meant to visually pop out and could be considered along with op-art or optical art used in the famous Zonk poster to have begun the great Black Light poster era.

Realism[edit | edit source]

A development in mid-19th-century France lead by Gustave Courbet. Its aim was to depict the customs, ideas, and appearances of the time using scenes from everyday life.

Rococo[edit | edit source]

A French style of interior decoration developed during the reign of Louis XV consisting mainly of asymmetrical arrangements of curves in paneling, porcelain, and gold and silver objects. The characteristics of ornate curves, prettiness, and gaiety can also be found in the painting and sculpture of the period.

Surrealism[edit | edit source]

A further development of Collage, Cubism, and Dada, this 20th-century movement stresses the weird, the fantastic, and the dreamworld of the subconscious.

Symbolism[edit | edit source]

As part of a general European movement in the latter part of the 19th century, it was closely allied with Symbolism in literature. It marked a turning away from painting by observation to transforming fact into a symbol of inner experience. Gauguin was an early practitioner.


Reference[edit | edit source]