GLOSSARY OF ART MOVEMENTS

Are you interested in art work but don’t really know much about it? There are some great movements in the world of art that you should be familiar with if you want to start getting out there to appreciate and even buy a piece or two of artwork of your own. Brigitte Kruse and GWS Auctions, Inc host a lot of fine art auctions and want our potential buyers and even sellers to know what their artwork is and worth. There are many different movements in art and some are more desirable than others. You can look into the style you like based on what there is to offer. Brigitte Kruse & GWS Auctions, Inc has prepared a glossary of art movement terms that will help you know what you are looking at.

Glossary of Art Movement Terms & Definitions

Abstract Expressionism: Jackson Pollock would be the artist that really gave this style a light. It is an American movement that started around the 1940’s and was what the artist would use to represent their own feeling on real life. Splattering paint on a canvas would be a type of this movement.
Art Deco: This is a movement that is a little more well-known and sought after. The art deco movement was started around the 1920’s and made a big splash. It is still to this day a highly desirable type of art that can be found in art, furniture and much more. Art deco uses zigzag shapes as well as chrome and even plastic to make a statement. An example of an art deco piece is the Chrysler Building that can be found in New York.
Art Nouveau: It may seem interesting to note that art nouveau was first thought to be modern architecture. The interesting thing is that it was started around 1890 and uses curved lines and were often time asymmetrical. It is a fun and interesting piece of art to have in a home or business.
Ashcan School: This is an extremely interesting subject movement that was basically a way for artists to break the mold. A group in the twentieth century decided that it would be good to represent other aspects of life that were not beautiful or glamorous and were more of an urban style.
Assemblage: This is also known as a collage. It is a movement where the artist would use pieces that were already assembled and put them in a collection of sorts as a new piece or art all together. Picasso used this type by collecting natural pieces that were put together to make his beautiful works of art.
Barbizon School: This was a movement where the artist would do a more realistic representation of the landscapes around. A group of French painters from the 19th century took some of their influence from a Dutch style of painting that was very similar.
Baroque: If you want a very dramatic and sculptured look in a piece of art this is for you. The artist that were part of this movement wanted to combine art with architecture and used many ornate looks to get what they want. This was extremely popular in Rome amongst the churches.
Beaux Arts: If you have ever seen the Custom House in Bowling Green in New York you have witnessed this movement. It uses symmetry as well as the ornaments to establish a bold look.
African American Art: This is a movement that started to help show off the roots and heritage from the artist ancestry. It was also a way to show some protect for American born African descendants.
Classism: When artist studied the Roman and Greek styles that were known for the balance and harmony they came up with this style. Classism uses a more romantic feel and uses their imagination to show love.
Constructivism: This is a really great art to get a piece of. The artist uses glass, wood and other industrial materials to help 0get the look and feel they are going for. The art is represented by some kind of sculptures and you can see this style by looking at work from Alexander Calder.
Cubism: Do you love to see those pieces of art that use geometric shapes as the basis? This is the style that is best for you. Picasso was a pioneer in this technique and used a more abstract approach to the geometric shapes.
Dada: This was almost an anti-art movement where the artist would make a recreation of a piece of art with a peculiar change. The Mona Lisa with a mustache is a great example of the dada style. This all came about after World War I and used random events and people to create the art.
Expressionism: A piece of art that helps to show more of the emotions behind the scene is called expressionism. The artist will use things such as exaggerated colors or shapes and lines that are not clean and precise. A Van Gogh is a representation of this style.
Fauvism: This style was introduced in the 20th century by a group or artist that were known as wild beasts. They were known to go with a vivid and wild color options and would distort the look of the picture of piece of art.
Futurism: this style was first started in Italy and the goal was to glorify and show off machinery and the movement of them. The look towards the future and the technology that came with it was a huge weight on this movement.
Genre: This is a very standard type of art and can be found in all kinds of times and from all different places. The art depicts a normal and everyday event of life such as a farmer or a scene from a Dutch tavern.
Impressionism: A depiction of nature and the light that reflects off is a form of impressionism. In the 19th century artist were taught to use the current light and weather to make the art. If the same artist were to redo the same picture in a different time of day or during a change in weather the art would be very different.
Mannerism: This is a type of art movement that originated in Italy. The style was a big hit with artist in the mid 16th century and it was a great use of human figures in the style. The difference is the human figure is elongated and distorted and that is what makes the type of art so great.
Neoclassicism: If you want a piece of art that is from the 18th century this is a great style to go for. The artist that was known for this type of art used subject matter from Greece and Rome. They subjects as well as the scenery would mimic the area.
Neoimpressionism: This is an off shoot of impressionism where some of the artist of the 19th century wanted to makes changes to. They would use the primary colors as well as brighter secondary colors to get the eye to see more detail. They wanted to show off a more formal look to the sister art movement. Most of the artist during this time that used this style were Italian.
Op Art: This is a great type of art that is considered a more modern look as well as a great eye catcher. The artist would use shapes to define the painting or art and cause an optical illusion. This was huge in the 1960’s and is still very sought after today. The art is fun to look at and a great way to start up a conversation.
Pop Art: This was a type of art that was most popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The artist would use a common object or subject that could be a popular person, phrase, billboard, or even a can of soup in the art. This is a funky type of art that can bring back some great memories.
Realism: This was a movement that was started in France by a well known artist named Gustav Courbet that wanted to depict everyday real live. The realism scene was anything that you may see on a regular day with a normal person.
Rococo: This was a way to decorate the interior of a home or building. It was mostly asymmetrical shapes and the lines were curved and very ornate. They would use gold and silver and used furniture and arrangements to get the desired look. It was also used in sculptures and even in paintings as well.
Surrealism: This is a style that was big in the mid 20th century that was all about the odd and obscure art. The artist would combine other types of art and take them to the extreme of weirdness of the subconscious.
Symbolism: This was a way for the artist to transform something of importance into an object or piece of art that was used a symbol in many ways. It was a European movement that was best and commonly used by Gauguin.

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