In Search of the Avant-Garde

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Class 11 in London - In search of Modernism

Before half-term Class 11, as part of their Art History main lesson, visited London to find Avant-garde artists, exploring several major galleries;

Movements they've explored during their Art History Main Lesson were;

  • the Pre-Raphaelites
  • Fauvism
  • Expressionism
  • Futurists
  • Surrealism
  • Impressionism
  • Realism
  • the Romantics
  • Post-Impressionists
  • Bauhaus
  • DeStijl
  • Art Nouveau
  • the Symbolists
  • Cubism
  • Dada

Art Terms

According to the Tate's website:

Modernism refers to the broad movement in Western arts and literature that gathered pace from around 1850, and is characterised by a deliberate rejection of the styles of the past; emphasising instead innovation and experimentation in forms, materials and techniques in order to create artworks that better reflected modern society.

As applied to art, avant-garde means art that is innovatory, introducing or exploring new forms or subject matter. Although the term avant-garde was originally applied to innovative approaches to art making in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it is applicable to all art that pushes the boundaries of ideas and creativity, and is still used today to describe art that is radical or reflects originality of vision.

The notion of the avant-garde enshrines the idea that art should be judged primarily on the quality and originality of the artist’s vision and ideas. Because of its radical nature and the fact that it challenges existing ideas, processes and forms; avant-garde artists and artworks often go hand-in-hand with controversy. 

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