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Perspectives on the influence of art movements on contemporary art

Understanding Art Movements: A Definition

Art is always a reflection of time. It’s okay to get carried away by the unique contemporary pieces of art we see now. However, one thing we must not forget is that a number of art movements have impacted the works of modern artists. This article will help you explore what art movements are and highlight several significant art movements throughout history that have had a lasting impact on the art world.

Art Movements: What Are They?

Art movements are long-term artistic evolutions. They are a tendency or style in art that a group of artists adopt over a certain period of time. Typically, these artists share a common philosophy or objective. The dominant style, subject matter, methods, and aesthetic tenets of an art movement frequently define it. These movements may be tied to a specific era or region and can have a lasting influence on the art world.

Types of Art Movements Through History

Let’s explore a few famous art movements throughout history:

Impressionism: The Revolutionary Movement That Captured Life’s Fleeting Moments

Arguably the most significant movement in modern painting, Impressionism emerged in the 1860s when a group of young artists decided to paint what they saw, thought, and felt. They moved away from depicting mythology, history, or the lives of famous people, instead striving to capture the essence of the moment. This required painting outside and using lighter, looser brushstrokes than previous painters had used.

The Impressionists also rejected official French exhibits and painting contests. Their art captured the results of Paris’ mid-19th-century renovation overseen by civic architect Georges-Eugène Haussmann, including the city’s brand-new train stations, wide, tree-lined boulevards, and large, opulent apartment buildings.

Surrealism: The Art of Dreams and Fantasies

    Surrealism was a literary and artistic movement that included dream, myth, and fantasy imagery into its works. The 1920s saw the emergence of surrealism in Europe as a response to both the cultural and political ideals of the day and the horrors of World War I. The psychoanalytic theories of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud were closely related to surrealism and provided the movement’s absolute rejection of logic and convention.

    Surrealism: The Art of Dreams and Fantasies

    Surrealism was characterised by an experimental mindset and an openness to unlikely consequences; it fought against the restrictions of the logical mind and, as a result, oppressive social conventions. The use of fantasy, a metaphysical ambience, and dreamlike imagery representing enigmatic worlds and landscapes, among other things, are traits of surrealist art. Techniques used in surrealism include collage, doodling, frottage, and others.

    The Surrealist movement produced notable visual artists such as André Breton, Salvador Dali, and René Magritte. Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” Andre Masson’s “War of the Fishes,” and Meret Oppenheim’s “Le Dejeuner en Fourrure” are three notable examples of surrealist art.

    Abstract Expressionism: The Spontaneous and Gestural Application of Paint

    Abstract Expressionism is a modern art movement that emerged in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is characterised by its focus on the spontaneous and gestural application of paint and its emphasis on the creative process as a means of expressing the artist’s inner emotions and feelings. The movement is often divided into two main schools: Action painting and Colour field painting. Action painting uses broad brushstrokes and dynamic movement to create a sense of energy and movement in the work, often involving dripping, splattering, or pouring paint onto the canvas to create a spontaneous and unplanned composition.

    Pop arts emerged in the 1950s and experienced a significant upsurge in the 1960s, influenced by consumption, mass media, and popular culture. This movement used commonplace materials and objects like newspapers, comic books, and magazines to create bright compositions, making it a cornerstone of modern art. Pop art was a response to consumerism, the media, and popular culture. Discover the therapeutic benefits of art at Fab Gallery.

    Postmodernism: The Avant-garde Movement that Shattered Conventions and Blurred Boundaries

    Postmodernism: The Breaking of Conventions

    In the mid-1950s, a group of British artists and thinkers known as the Independent Group launched a movement that would forever change the face of art: pop art. With its bold colours, playful imagery, and tongue-in-cheek humour, pop art quickly spread to the United States, becoming a symbol of the countercultural revolution that was sweeping the Western world. Stay up to date on the newest in the world of Fashion, Arts, Beauty and Lifestyle; Follow FAB on Instagram.

    But pop art was just the beginning. As the 1960s rolled around, a new movement began to take shape: postmodernism. Spearheaded by a diverse group of activists, thinkers, and artists, postmodernism was a cultural revolution with a goal that went beyond reshaping art. It aimed to challenge and subvert the very foundations of the conformist social order that had dominated Western society for centuries.

    Rejecting Modernity: The Core of Postmodernism

    At its core, postmodernism was a rejection of the modernist belief in progress and rationality. Instead, it celebrated the fragmented, the ironic, and the self-referential. It revelled in the contradictions and complexities of the human experience and rejected the notion of a single “truth” or “meaning.”

    Richard Hamilton: The Pioneer of Postmodern Art Movement

    One of the pioneers of postmodernism was the British artist Richard Hamilton. In 1956, he created a collage that would go on to become one of the most iconic images of the movement. Titled “Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”, the collage depicted a young couple surrounded by a mishmash of consumer goods, from a television set to a canned ham.

    Postmodernism’s Influence on Literature, Architecture, and Fashion

    But postmodernism wasn’t just about art. It was a cultural movement that touched everything from literature to architecture to fashion. It was a time of experimentation and boundary-pushing as artists and thinkers sought to redefine what it meant to be human in a world that was rapidly changing.

    Today, the legacy of postmodernism can be seen everywhere, from the self-referential humor of postmodern literature to the deconstructed architecture of contemporary buildings. And while some critics have derided postmodernism as a shallow and nihilistic movement, others see it as a necessary corrective to the excesses of modernism.

    So the next time you find yourself surrounded by the contradictions and complexities of modern life, remember: you’re living in a postmodern world. And that’s something to celebrate.



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