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Modern Art History

Modern art represents the headiest period in all of art history--a span of no more than 110 years that saw an explosion of movements from Realism, to Impressionism, to Cubism, to Abstract Expressionism to Pop and Op, with dozens of others in between and around the world.
  1. Dada (9)
  2. Op Art (13)

Hard-Edge Painting: Art History Basics 101
Hard-Edge Painting emphasizes the flat surface of the canvas or paper with clean, clear abstract shapes and surrounding fields of colors. These shapes and fields can be rendered in black and white or brilliant colors. The unity of the composition creates a unified presentation in the art work itself.

Color Field Painting: Art History 101 Basics
Color Field Painting is a branch of Abstract Expressionism that concentrates on colorful shapes and expanses of color which emphasize the literal flatness of the canvas or paper.

Cubism - Art History Basics 101
An early twentieth century art movement that rebelled against Renaissance one-point perspective and illusionism through an emphasis on geometricity, simultaneity, and passage. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque pioneered Cubism's ideas and style.

Abstract Expressionism - Art History 101 Basics
Abstract Expressionism or "AbEx" (a.k.a. Action Painting; a.k.a. The New York School) exploded onto the art scene after World War II with its characteristic messiness and extremely energetic applications of paint. To the contemporary audience, the whole enterprise seemed like youthful antagonism--hardly worthy of the name "art."

Pop Art
Pop Art admired the Post-World War II consumer age.It featured recognizable imagery during the height of Abstract Expressionism,as a rebellious...

Cloisonnism
Cloisonnism was a movement created by Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, and Louis Anquetin, along with other members of the School of Pont-Aven. Edouard Dujardin invented the name in 1888 in his review of the Salon des Independants. The work seems to emulate the medieval cloisonne metalwork that divides areas of pure color through strong partitions...

Post-Impressionism - Art History Basics 101
Post-Impressionism is a collection of artists whose work comes directly out of the Impressionism or was inspired by the Impressionist movement, but pushes one aspect of the Impressionism to an extreme. Robert Rosenblum explained that the Post-Impressionists tried to construct a private pictorial world.

Neo-Impressionism
Neo-Impressionism was a movement and style that applied tiny points of color in tightly packed areas so that the viewer's eye mixed the colors to form another color, rather than the artist mixing the colors on the palette. It is also called Divisionism, Pontillism and Chromoluminarism. The effect is radiant. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Camille...

Surrealism - Art History 101 Basics
Surrealism based its artistic content on the dream and unconscious drives, such as sexuality, hunger, anger and bodily functions. They believed that thoughts unleashed in dreams were as authentic as thoughts produced during wakeful consciousness. Their strange juxtaposition of images brings to their work a sense of the randomness of the...

Funk Art - Art History 101 Basics
Funk Art's heyday was in the mid- to late-1960s. Naturally, its beginnings were much earlier; the (very) late-1950s seem to be the point of origin. By the end of the 1970s, things were pretty much over as far as artistic movements go. To include all possibilities, we can say Funk Art was produced for no more than two decades -- and 15 years...

Junk Art - Art History 101 Basics
Junk Art became an "official" movement when the critic Lawrence Alloway assigned those two words to one of Robert Rauschenberg's combines in the mid-1950s. It has proved itself a durable movement: it continues to be made. In fact, there is no end in sight, seeing that we keep manufacturing items that end up in the trash.

Fauvism - Art History 101 Basics
Some art historians have rightfully questioned if Fauvism was indeed a movement, but there is no denying that the brief heyday of the Wild Beasts had a huge impact on Modern Art.

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