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Flashcards in definitions Deck (26):


Futurism was a short-lived movement that originated in Italy in 1909 and declined after WWI. Its leader, Francisco Marionetti, launched the movement with his Futurist manifesto, in which railed against everything old, and celebrated the technological advances of the machine age. He asserted that art must reflect contemporary life, of which motion and speed was a central characteristic. Marionetti believed that Futurists that were engaged in a battle to overturn the old order, eradicate the past, and move forcefully into the future. Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) exemplifies the Futurist emphasis on dynamism, movement and speed.


“Degenerate Art”

Nazis, seizing upon pseudo-scientific ideologies about the biological degeneracy of mixed-race or non-German artists, claimed that degenerate modern artists were incapable of healthy, ordered or classical art, and that their artistic production was a kind of sickness. Nazis banned art on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist – degenerates were racially impure.



A concept innovated by Marcel Duchamp, the readymade is an ordinary manufactured object selected and modified by the artist. Duchamp made his readymades as an antidote to what he called 'retinal art', and for him, the concept or idea always preceded the object, and raised questions about the the definition of art itself. His Fountain is the iconic Readymade.



An early 20th C avant-garde movement that arose out of negative reaction to the brutality of WWI. Its anti-war politics were expressed through a rejection of the accepted standards for art by making works that appeared to be “anti-art”, such as performance and collage, with a focus on the random and absurd.



Surrealism originated in the late 1910s and early 1920s as a literary movement that experimented with automatic writing as a new mode of expression that was believed to expose the unconscious mind. This pursuit of the unconscious was taken up by artists, who painted dreamlike, illogical scenes with near photographic precision. Dali's Persistence of Memory (1931) is an example.



An art movement founded by Kazemir Malevich in Russia around 1913, based on the supremacy of an abstract art that celebrates pure artistic feeling rather than the representation of things. Geometry was the language of suprematism, which favored the circle and the square and a limited color palette. Malevich's White on White (1918) and Black Square are illustrative.



an art movement, that approached art in service of the nation and state. Arising during the Russian revolutionary period, when the old order was being swept away, Constructivism cast the role of the artist as that of social engineer, who should make art that would inspire, and serve as a leading light for the largely illiterate Russian populous. V. Tatlin's design for Monument to the Third International(1919), exemplifies the constructivist aspiration to make a new art for a new Russia.



A German design school and movement founded by Walter Gropius, who sought to create total art that was a marriage of all the arts. Gropius believed that students should be trained in all areas, including metalwork, cabinetry, glass, textiles, wood, stone and ceramics. For Bauhaus designers, there was no conflict between industrial mass production and art. Design principles included the radical simplification of forms, and a focus on rationality and functionality. The Bauhaus buildings themselves are examples of these principles.


De Stijl

A Dutch artistic movement founded by Mondrian and two colleagues in the Netherlands in 1917. Adherents promoted pure abstraction and universality in design by simplifying pictorial compositions to vertical and horizontal lines, and reducing the color palette to only white, black and the primary colors. They sought to create balance by avoiding symmetry and the use of opposition. The spare, precise geometry of Piet Mondrian's Composition with Yellow, Red and Blue (1927) is illustrative of these principles. Reitveld's Schroeder House is an architectural manifestation of the same ideas.


Nazi Official Art Style

Nazi official art style: The Nazi party sanctioned a Romantic realist style modeled on classical Greek and Roman art. According to Hitler, this style of art was an outward manifestation of inner racial purity, and stood in contrast to the 'degenerate art' of the racially impure.


Harlem Renaissance

A post-civil war flourishing of arts and culture that emerged in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, arising out of the Great Migration of African Americans to northern cities. The movement, which began around 1919 and extended into the early 1930s, centered around a new racial pride and the idea of the New Negro, whose cultural accomplishments in art, music and dance, were seen as a key tool for challenging social inequality and racist stereotypes. In the visual arts, the movement had no singular style, but common themes included the experience of slavery, the struggle for social equality, and the experience of modern black life in urban cities of the North. For example, William Johnson's Underground Railroad (1945).


Mexican Muralism

A movement led by Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Orozco and Siqueros that emerged in the 1920s after the Mexican Revolution. Artists who worked in a socialist-realist style to advance the political agenda of democratic rights for all Mexicans, including peasants and workers. Artists such as Orozco frequently combined mythology with political ideology to convey ideas about contemporary Mexico. His The Coming of Quetzalcoatl (1932-4) is illustrative.



The Congrès internationaux d'architecture moderne (International Congress of Modern Architecture) was founded in 1928, with the objective of spreading modernist architecture throughout the globe. Founded by some of the world's most prominent architects including Le Courbusier and Walter Gropius, the organization promoted not only the aesthetics of modern architecture, but also the ability of architects to improve quality of life through good design and urban planning. This came at a time when cities devastated by the war desperately needed the assistance of urban planners to rebuild. The group disbanded in 1959, when its architectural style was at its peak.


Abstract Expressionism



Action Painting



Theories of Clement Greenberg

theoretition from 1940s, post WWII
trying to promote am abex
felt they embodied true trajectory of mod art, which is about the materials, process
saw art history moving as a vector toward its essence
about expressing something new, about the present time,
creating theoretical framework so that people would appreciate ptgs and buy them


Theories of Harold Rosenberg/Action Painters



Color Field Painting




hard edged, often geometric and seemingly machined objects in the later 1960s and early 1970s. These stark, often cold and cerebral forms were the very antithesis of the deeply emotive gestural art of the Abstract Expressionists and their followers who had dominated the New York art scene since the 1940s. Here was an art that renounced the authentic “hand’ of the artist and sought instead to create forms without reference to the world beyond the object’s own logic except perhaps as Platonic expressions of a pure ideal.



first a music movement. about repetition, seriality
in stella, and sculptures of judd (100 aluminum boxes); repetition


Conceptual Art

art that is about the idea behind the art
often leads to an object, but is not about the object.
denies physicality - just about an idea
the job of a conceptural artists is
eliminate sense of art as precious


Pop Art

When people walk into an art museum they often expect to see treasures of their cultural history—beautifully crafted precious objects that express profound truths—images of God, nature, man’s heroism, but Campbell soup cans hawked on TV? Pop art sought to upend our comfortable understanding of what art is and it did just that. Warhol, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, and others confronted the visual reality of our commercial consumer culture by focusing on the mechanics of representation and the subject matter of daily life in the middle of the 20th Century.



situationists (pop art) intl group led by thinkers on post structuralist analysis
founded in 1957, reached peak in 1960s
rooted in marxism, called attn to social changes through consumeraism
impt for pop art because calling attn to consumerism - uncertain wither pop critiques or embraces consumerism



screen printing; the process of using a stencil to apply ink onto a substrate



had a manifesto
early 60s to late 70s
members include john cage and yoko ono
called selves neo-dada
thought art should come out of everyday experience
should include both the normal and the strange.
often performative
new relationship to audience - becomes active part


Performance Art