Famous Art Movements for Beginners

Famous Art Movements for Beginners

Throughout the history of mankind, we have seen plenty of beautiful artworks that represent human emotions, important historical events, and the manifestation of the inner state of the artists. Perhaps, you’ve encountered in art history the different famous art movements. Most of which are complicated to explain since there is no exact definition of what an “art movement” is, but today, we will be highlighting some of the most recognizable and famous art movements popularized by beloved artists throughout history. It may sound like a boring discussion but trust us, it isn’t because here’s the twist: every movement will be explained in thirty seconds or less. So without further ado, let’s get started!

What is an Art Movement?

Classifying artists with similar interests or techniques into Art Movements is primarily a feature of Western art. An art movement is a trend or style in art that is followed by a group of artists over a certain length of time (typically a few months, years, or decades) or, at the very least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years. There is no definite set of criteria that defines what an art movement is as trends change immediately over time. Artists connected with one movement may follow rigid guiding principles, while those linked with another style may have little in common.

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Cool Facts You Need to Know About Famous Art Movements Explained in 30 Seconds or Less

  1. Pop Art:

    From early London innovators through subsequent deconstruction of American images by artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Rosenquist, the Pop Art movement became one of the most sought-after artistic movements of the 20th century. This contemporary art style has become one of the most identifiable genres of modern art, maybe due to the inclusion of commercial imagery. From the Campbell Soup can to the Marilyn Monroe painting, this genre created a massive impact on the public, proving that simple things can be made into something artistic. Pop Art would continue to impact artists in succeeding decades, with artists like Andy Warhol, who retained a larger-than-life presence in the New York art community well into the 1980s. 

  2. Abstract Expressionism:

    The abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning were based in New York hence they are often regarded as the New York School. This movement emphasizes the inner state of the artist rather than representing the reality we’re living in. Abstract expressionists are encouraged to paint through manifestations of the self, created by intense emotion and symbolic meanings which were affected by the legacy of Surrealism, a movement that they converted into a new  technique suitable  for the post-war atmosphere of fear and trauma. The term alludes to their desire to create work that was both abstract and expressive or emotive in its effect. They were influenced by the surrealist belief that art should emerge from the subconsciousness, as well as the concept of automatism by the artist Joan Miró.

  3. Surrealism:

    Have you seen the Persistence of Time a.k.a. “Melting Clocks” by Salvador Dali? Well, that painting belongs to this movement. Surrealists attempted to tap the unconscious in order to unleash the power of the imagination. The Surrealists, who rejected rationality and literary realism and were heavily inspired by psychoanalysis, felt that the logical mind restrained the potential of the imagination by showing how weird the human mind can be. Surrealism, with its focus on content and free form, presented a significant contrast to the current, highly formalistic Cubist style and was significantly responsible for sustaining the traditional emphasis on content in modern art. The work of famous Surrealist artists is just too broad to be classified and categorized accordingly. Each artist pursued his or her own method of self-discovery as it is a juxtaposition of words that are hard to comprehend due to the fact that it is the unconscious human psyche that manifests in the painting.

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  4. Expressionism:

    Expressionism is seen as more of a worldwide trend than a unified art style, and it was the most prominent art style around the turn of the twentieth century. It included art, literature, music, theater, and architecture.  Expressionist painters aimed to convey emotional experience rather than physical truth. Edvard Munch's The Scream, Franz Marc’s Blue Horse I, and Lucian Freud’s Benefit Supervisor Sleeping are some of the best examples of Expressionist artworks. As you examine the paintings mentioned you may notice that color may be exceedingly vivid and non-naturalistic in this style of art. Thus, the brushwork is often free flowing, and paint application is abundant and extremely textured. Expressionist art is often emotive and even magical. It might be viewed as a continuation of Romanticism.

  5. Modernism:

    Even though the term encompasses a wide range of styles and techniques, the following fundamental characteristics define modernist art: a criticism of history and conservatism in art that promotes innovation and experimentation with the elements of art and the principles of design; a tendency to be more complex and abstract pieces; a promotion of unconventionalism while giving emphasis to the integration of different approaches and techniques. Modernism was also influenced by a variety of social and political concerns. These were frequently idealistic, and modernism was generally connected with idealised version ideals of human existence and society, as well as a progression of beliefs. Notable examples of Modernist artworks are Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Piet Mondrian’s Large Composition A, and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

Final Insights

We hope that this article gives you additional knowledge about art history by providing you with relevant information about some of the most famous art movements known in history. Knowing these can help you find your distinct style by teaching you concepts, helping you integrate ideas and knowledge, while helping you shape your very own philosophy in art. 

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