tony vanetik

Throughout the history of art, there have been a number of different movements, groups, genres, and areas of discipline that have arisen. These movements have shaped the way art is both created and remembered. The names categories in which we place art pieces plays an essential part in our understanding the art and culture. With some many different names and categories, however, it can sometimes be challenging to fully understand certain pieces. I recently came across this article, which I thought would be perfect to share, as it outlines 10 modern art terms that everyone should know.

Postmodernism | Type: Movement

Postmodernism is a late-20th-century movement in the arts, architecture, and criticism that was a departure from modernism (found below). Postmodernism articulates that the world is in a state of perpetual incompleteness and permanent unresolve. It promotes the notion of radical pluralism; that there are many ways of knowing, and many truths to a fact.

Bauhaus | Type: Movement

The German architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus school of art and design in Weimar Germany. Along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern architecture. The school embraced Constructivism, and artists were encouraged to pursue designing and engineering, aligning with 1920s Soviet principles. Much of the work produced at the school influenced architecture and American art institutions.

Performance Art | Type: Genre

Performance art is a performance presented to an audience within a fine art context. It can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer’s body, or presence in a medium, and a relationship between performer and audience. Performance art originated from Neo-Dadaism and matured in the 1960s to the art form we know it as today.

Minimalism | Type: Genre

Minimalism applies to any art form that is extremely simplified, stripped to its essentials, and does not make reference to other art movements: it stands alone in its final form. The minimalism movement did not have a manifesto or centralized organization. It continues to be a term to describe neutral or independent art.

Surrealism | Type: Movement

Surrealism is a 20th cultural movement, best known for its visual artworks and writings. The focus of this movement was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Surrealists embraced the ideas of pure functioning of thought and automatism, taking no considerations of aesthetics in their work.

Dadaism | Type: Movement

Dadaism is a form of artistic anarchy born out of disgust for the social, political and cultural values of the time. It embraces elements of art, music, poetry, theatre, dance and politics. Dada celebrates the unordered, ironic, absurd, and chaotic.

Constructivism | Type: Movement

Constructivism originated in Russia back in 1919 and was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The constructivism movement favored art as a practice for social purposes and encouraged artist to work alongside scientists, engineers, and architects. It had a great effect on later art movements, influencing major trends such as Bauhaus.

Futurism | Type: Movement

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized speed, technology, youth, and violence, as well as objects such as the car, airplane and industrial city.

Cubism | Type: Movement/Genre

Cubism was one of the most influential visual art styles of the early twentieth century; it revolutionized European painting and sculpture. Cubist art is less realistic and focuses more on incorporating multiple concepts and angles of the subject or idea.

Modernism | Type: Movement

Modernism departed from the classical art traditions of the Renaissance, rejecting the obligation to portray realistic depictions of nature and beauty. The modernism movement can be traced back to the late 19th-century with notable artists such as Picasso and Matisse. Modernism artists experimented with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and function of art.