Revolutionary Art Movements of the 20th Century: A Comprehensive Guide

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Bench Marked Famous Art Movements of the 20th Century starting with:

Fauvism (1900–1935)

Starting with Gauguin Fauvism movement is a majors and beautiful art movements of the 20th century’s. The expressive use of intense color, line, and brushstrokes, shapes, colors, and forms are the essence, Fauvism will be the forerunner to Cubism and Expressionism. Henrie Matisse,  Mark Derain

La Pastiche  Road In Tahiti, 1891 Paul Gauguin
La Pastich Road by Paul Gauguin 1891

Expressionism (1905–1920)

Expressionism movement emerged as a response to the increasing conflict of world views of the early 19 century and the loss of spirituality. The expressionist artist sought to draw using a distortion of form and strong colors. They looked for authenticity, Searching for inspiration in ethnographic museums and tribal art. Edward Munch

Beautiful Art Movements of the 20th century
The Scream, by Edvard Munch. This version, executed in 1910

Cubism (1907–1914)

Cubists rejected the concept that art should copy nature. They moved away from traditional techniques and perspectives; instead, they created radically fragmented objects through abstraction. Many Cubist painters’ works are marked by flat, two-dimensional surfaces, geometric forms or “cubes” of objects, and multiple vantage points. Often, their subjects weren’t even discernible. Cubism developed in the aftermath of Pablo Picasso’s shocking 1907 Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in a period of rapid experimentation between Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Drawing upon Paul Cezanne’s emphasis on the underlying architecture of form, these artists used multiple vantage points to fracture images into geometric forms.

Art Movements
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) is a painting created in 1907

Surrealism (1916–1950)

Surrealism is a cultural movement that developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I in which artists depicted unnerving, illogical scenes and developed techniques to allow the unconscious mind to express itself. Its aim was, according to leader André Breton, to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality“, or surrealism.Rene Magritte       Salvator Dali

The Persistence of Memory Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory Salvador Dali 1931

Abstract Expressionism (the 1940s–1950s)

abstract art, also called nonobjective art or nonrepresentational art, painting, sculpture, or graphic art in which the portrayal of things from the visible world plays little or no part. All art consists largely of elements that can be called abstract—elements of form, color, line, tone, and texture. Jackson Pollock

OpArt (the 1950s–1960s)

Op art painters devised complex and paradoxical optical spaces through the illusory manipulation of such simple repetitive forms as parallel lines, checkerboard patterns, and concentric circles or by creating chromatic tension from the juxtaposition of complementary (chromatically opposite) colors of equal intensity.Victor Vasarely   Bridget Riley    

Pop Art (the 1950s–1960s)

Pop Art reintroduces identifiable imagery is drawn from media and popular culture, Pop art began in the United Kingdom in the 1950s amidst a postwar sociopolitical climate where artists turned to common objects to fine art. American artists Andy WarholRoy LichtensteinJames Rosenquist, and others followed suit and become leaders of the movement. 

Warhol made his first Marilyn painting in 1962
Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe series 1962

Minimalism (the 1960s–1970s)

Taking geometric abstraction to its logical extreme, Minimalist artwork removed all expression from their work to more cool forms hard-edged to create non-hierarchical, mathematically regular compositions. The 1970s marked the beginning of contemporary art, which extends through present day. This period is dominated by various schools and smaller movements that emerged.

Conceptual art 

completely rejected previous art movements, and artists prized ideas over visual components, creating art in the from of performances, ephemera, and other forms. Conceptual art is art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object. It emerged as an art movement in the 1960s and the term usually refers to art made from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

Neo Expressionism

Neo Expressionism: Artists sought to revive original aspects of Expressionism and create highly textural, expressive, large works. Neo-expressionism developed as a reaction against conceptual art and minimal art of the 1970s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in an abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way, often using vivid colors.

Bench Marked Art Famous Movements of the 20th Century
Black Hero Figure Jean Michel Basquiat’s 1982

Street art

Street art: Artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barry McGee, Banksy, and more created graffiti-like art on surfaces in public places like sidewalks, buildings, and overpasses.

Bench Mark of Famous Art Movements of the 20th Century
Street Art Movement

What Important.

The most important influence on art, in any society is itself. Just like human beliefs, art changes over time. Being an archive of society’s collective memory, its movement shifts with the artists who bring them to life. And besides the medium or emotions evoked, history adds its own layer of mystique. The era, societal beliefs, perspectives, emotional states, current events, religion and politics play a role in the art’s direction. Hence, when we inspect art and scrutinize its details, we rewind time and experience a different period.