A Quick History of Art – Part 4

The beauty and wonder of art is how it affects our everyday life. We may not understand what we are looking at, yet it still evokes a response from our emotions. The World Wars had quite an effect on the direction of art, sometimes turning to skepticism or deconstruction. Part 3 was the beginning, the emerging, of the Modern movement, leading up to where we are today. (Remember these periods are subjective.)


Joan Miro

Dadaism (1915 – 1925)

Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. Dada was the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of art.

Artists of the Dada movement include Marcel Janco (Romanian/Israeli painter and architect), Hanna Hoch (German photomontage artist), Marcel Duchamp (French-American painter and sculptor), Alice Bailly (Swiss painter), Joan Miro (Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist), Hans Arp (German sculptor, painter and abstract artist), and George Grosz (German painter and caricaturist).


Salvador Dali

Surrealism (1924 -)

Surrealism emerged in a decade of peace and prosperity.   Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in “an absolute reality, a surreality.” The world of Surrealism includes Jean Arp (German-French sculptor and painter), Max Ernst (German painter, sculptor, and graphic artist), Rene Magritte (Belgian painter), and Salvador Dali (Spanish painter, sculptor, and printmaking).


Jean Dubuffet

Existenialism – (1900-1950’s)

Although there is no truly self-professed movement calling itself this, this type of movement concerned a specific set of ideas related to human existence. Thoughts and ideas that were abstract and were generally unique to each individual. Artists include Alberto Giacometti (Swiss sculptor and painter), Jean Dubuffet (French sculptor and painter), Gilbert de Vries (French painter), Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet (French painter and sculptor), and Francis Bacon (British figurative painter).


Wassily Kandinsky

Abstract Expressionism (1940s–1950s)

Abstract expressionism is a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the 1940s. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve international influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris. Artists of this style include Jackson Pollock (American painter), Willem de Kooning (Dutch American painter), Mark Rothko (Russian-American painter), Wassily Kandinsky (Russian painter), David Smith (American sculptor), John Chamberlain (American sculptor), and Franz Kline (American sculptor).



Andy Warhol

Pop Art (1950s – )

The Pop Artist movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects.  Artists of this period include Andy Warhol (American artist), Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggenare (large scale artists), Roy Lichtenstein (American artist), Blek la Rat (French artist), Bansky (Graffiti artist), and Richard Hamilton (English artist).



Christo and Jeanne Claude

Postmodernism (1970s – )

Postmodernism is typically defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the meta-narratives and ideologies of modernism. Contemporary art. Artists of this period include Jeff Koons (sculptor), Chris Ofili (English painter), Christo and Jeanne Claude (Environmental artists), and Tracey Emin (English painter).



Daniel Libeskind,

Deconstructivism (1980s – )

 Deconstructivism is characterized by the use of fragmentation, manipulation of ideas of a structure’s surface or skin, redefinition of shapes and forms, and radical manifestation of complexity in a building. Chief artists of this time include Frank Gehry (Canadian-American architect), Zaha Hadid (Iraqi-British architect), Daniel Libeskind, and Bernard Tschumi (French-Swiss architect).


As you can see, the eras of art have changed radically through there years. No doubt there are many more subcategories of the above categories, but this will give you a timeline of how art has developed ever since man wrote on the cave walls.

There is a style of art for everyone. Take a look at its history and find your favorites. Then share what you learn with others.





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