Art Appreciation: Art Movements

Terms in this set (27)

Existed primarily between 1943 to 1965, and having overcome age-old representational art, it became the dominant art style for some time. One of the most famous Abstract Expressionists was Jackson Pollock, who used "Action Painting" to drip paint onto his canvas in seemingly random ways according to his instinct. These artists didn't plan out their work beforehand but rather created it moment by moment. Like Expressionism, this art possesses and stimulates intense emotions, and appeals to one's feelings rather than intellect. Although it is created as nonrepresentational (no connection to the real world), it can become an abstraction of something real as it is developed. For example, Willem de Kooning would often begin painting nonrepresentationally, but then see something real in his work, such as Door to the River, which can be seen as merely a collection of brushstrokes or an imaginative picture of a door. Another style which is an altered version of reality is Surrealism. Because of World War II, many Surrealist artists came to New York and acted as a major influence for the creation of Abstract Expressionism. Gathering elements from the modern styles of nonrepresentation, abstraction, and Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism often looked messy, like the paint was just thrown around the canvas (which it often was). Branching from Abstract Expressionism came Color-Field Painting (with Mark Rothko) and the New York School (with Helen Frankenthaler). This powerful style eventually was dampened and confronted Contemporary and Pop art, which wanted to revive representation in the art world.
Began during the early 1960s and waned near the end of the decade. Its founders wanted to combat the emotional intensity and complexity of both Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art by producing a new style with simplicity at its core. The art attempted to be completely logical and pure, to the point where a viewer could see and understand each aspect of the work using only basic senses, reason, and classical ideals. Nothing should be hidden or mysterious. To achieve this level of transparency, the artists removed all complicated details and components, including illusions, from their work—thus lending to the name "Minimalism" due to the very few elements actually involved. The art is self-supportive, do it doesn't need any external references or influences to hold its meaning, including the artist. For example, the Minimalist Donald Judd would design his art and then have it manufactured in a factory to remove all traces of human involvement. Minimalistic art visually appears simple, clear, logical, and pure. Since this style is meant to be completely objective, the ideal Minimalist art should be understood by everyone in the same way. Donald Judd was the primary creator of this movement, and other prominent people include Carl Andre and Richard Serra, the creator of the highly controversial Tilted Arc. Just as the pure Minimalism was a reaction to the progressive Pop Art, the hypothetical stylistic pendulum swung to the introduction of Superrealism, the busy, detailed, and representational style which came after Minimalism in history.
Spanned from the 1920s-1940s. Movements that occurred before Surrealism that greatly influenced its development are Expressionism and Dadaism. These movements expressed inner feelings and stressed finding new ways of thinking. Surrealism influenced following movements such as Nonrepresentational and Abstract Expressionism. Between 1920 and 1940, the world was in between major wars; experiencing the disillusionment after World War I and setting the stage for World War II. Production became highly mechanized, creating a consumer culture. The study of psychology and the discovery of the unconscious changed the idea of the human mind, which led to the creation of Surrealism. Visual characteristics of Surrealism include irrational subject matter and landscapes that do not follow the rules of perspective. Surrealism realistically depicts the "dream world" and visions of the irrational unconscious. Defining ideologies stem from Sigmund Freud's research on the meaningfulness of dreams. The dream world that occurs in a person's unconscious part of the brain expresses feelings and desires that are suppressed. Surrealism gives the unconscious a voice, liberates impulses and destroys the fabric of normality and reality. Oftentimes, compositions in this style cause the viewer to question reality what was previously assumed in order to fully experience the world. Giorgio de Chirico is considered the forerunner of this movement because his compositions do not follow the rules of perspective. Salvador Dalí is synonymous with Surrealism. His work is a combination of realistic images and bizarre settings. René Magritte put the "real world on trial" by suggesting that everything is not as it seems. Magritte attempted to destroy the fabric of normalcy in order to experience true freedom.