Art Movements Of The 20th Century Cultural Studies Essay

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Impressionism involves a scientific nature in the use of the effect of light and movement on objects and the way it makes them appear and the way the image is actually seen. By exposing their ideas to light and movement they were able to create a very accurate and detailed image from anything. Impressionist artists used small amounts of colour instead of large brush strokes and would usually paint outdoors to achieve a particular affect of the light on the colours they use. Their paintings were usually bright, vibrant and bold. The paintings usually were of outdoor scenes, involved the use of a lot of colour though did not contain a lot of detail. The artist aimed to capture the image the way he viewed it. Impressionism artists were able to copy what they were able to visualise in their minds without the need to view the object right in front of them. Some would quickly paint using oil paints what they think a landscape would generally look like. Others painted in way where they visualised an image that did not need the logical fixed idea of what should be done to create their images. Therefore the artist is trying to paint the image in a way people would visualise if they had only caught a glimpse of it.

The country that impressionism originated in is France.

The approximate date it occurred is during the 19th Century.

Two artists that painted in the style of impressionism include Claude Monet and Pissaro.

Two visual examples include:

Claude Monet - Palazzo da Mula at Venice Alfred Sisley - The Banks of the Seine: . Wind Blowing

Post Impressionism

Artists of the impressionism era began to reconsider their artworks and the approach they took towards it and decided to make changes to their the style in which they created their artworks. This led to the artists expanding on impressionism and making a few changes to it thus creating a new art movement, Post impressionism. Post impressionism is different to Impressionism mainly through two things. Artists of impressionism noticed their artworks locked solidity so in post impressionism the artworks, especially the figures have a more solid look to them, are more defined and the other thing is they used a less traditional way in which they the artwork is put together, meaning they did not paint in the typical way of many artists. One way impressionism was changed was through an artist Georges-Pierre Seurat who used a new technique in paintings where he very cleverly used pure, unblended colours right next to each other, and then the viewer's brain would involuntarily mix the colours together as soon as the image is viewed. This process is referred to as optical mixing. Therefore while impressionism was restricted to the use of light and its effects on colour post-impressionists moved away from this using less traditional ways of painting, with more small and defining brush strokes.

Post Impressionism originated in France.

It occurred approximately from around 1880 to 1920.

Two artists who painted in the style of Post impressionism include Paul Gaugin and Vincent VanGogh.

Two visual examples include:

Vincent VanGogh - Starry Night

Paul Gaugin - Street in Tahiti


Fauvism (meaning wild beasts in French) achieved its name as the artworks created in this movement shocked viewers when they first saw them through the way the way colour was used in this era was dramatically changed. The artists of this movement wanted to move away from soft, natural tones and colours and move toward a new style that was drastic and exciting. Artist used extremely dramatic, cheerful colours that moved away from the natural side of colours. The paintings where usually of landscapes and where mainly painted in a way to only express the image being captured and paint it in a distorted way. The paints used in the artworks of these artists were pure, unblended colours that were violently applied to the canvas straight from a tube creating a sense that an angry outburst had occurred on the painting. The artist used wild brush strokes and heavy colours and they usually painted paintings consisting largely of simplicity and abstraction.

Fauvism originated in France.

It occurred approximately from 1905-1908.

Two main artist of Fauvism include Andre Derain and Henri Matisse.

Two visual examples of Fauvism include:

Henri Matisse - Harmony in Red (The Red Room)

Henri Matisse - Woman with hat

German Expressionism

Artists of German Expressionism went against the long time idea of creating artworks that represented certain things and decided to try new ways to show and express the core of humanity. Artists used the word expressionism to describe their artworks in a way that expresses a distorted reality and also shows off the artist's state of mind and thoughts. Therefore what artists of German expressionism created showed off how they personally viewed the focus of their artwork and how they interpreted the subject involved in their work. Artists usually created artworks that portray the social classes, wealth, German nightlife and the pandemonium that overtook the German cities. Artists of this movement left behind the use of defining lines and many layers of strong colours and as an alternative used their own mixed colours applied in many layers. They often used petroleum on their artworks to achieve a smoother affect and thus create more choice in the way they painted. They wanted their work to be simple and to express human emotions; therefore many used their own experiences usually to do with the German war occurring at the time to reveal German life using symbols and figurative styles. They aimed to achieve artworks that would test and challenge what was accepted of art in that time. It was during german Expressionism that artists revived the use of print making where artworks where created by printing usually on paper. Through this process artists were able to reproduce many copies of their artworks.

German expression originated in Germany.

It occurred from the late 19th century to early 20th century.

Two artists of german expressionism are George Grosz and Emil Nolde.

Two visual examples include:

George Grosz - The lovesick man Emil Nolde - Maskenstilleben


Cubism was created by two artists named Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and their invention moved away completely from the traditional style and idea of what is beautiful. Their major advancement of what their artwork looked like bewildered the public though it was clear that their futuristic art set a great future and challenges for art and the many styles of cubism they developed amazed the art world with their great work. These artists took on a different approach to their artwork moving away from the proportioned, natural approach to their artworks. Instead they took a geometrical approach to split the object of their focus up and paint it in a way that it appeared sharp-edged and angular. Therefore they got rid of painting their image from a single view and painted the three dimensional object in different parts from different points of view in the one artwork. They wanted to paint the image how your mind viewed it instead of how your eye viewed it. They used the minds power to shatter and reproduce a different view of the image. Looking carefully at an artwork in the style of cubism you could see that it is destroyed, abstracted and recreated into angular shapes some concave others convex all making the artwork appear unnatural compared to past artworks. The artworks from this era are considered simple and often used bright colours.

Cubism originated from Paris.

It began from around 1908 to 1914.

Two artists of cubism include Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

Two visual examples include:

Georges Braque

Pablo Picasso - Guitar


Futurism began when a poet named Filippo Marinetti published a piece on the front page issue of a magazine called Le Figaro. It was the first piece of its type to ever be published. Though is seemed Marinetti was more interested in shocking the public when he published it than investigating the idea of futurism as it was very overbearing and stirring. Though after futurism did finally receive interest from artists they took it more serious that Marinetti, aiming to use it to show feelings of a combination of what a person remember sand sees to show what they referred to as the force lines of objects. Futurism focused speed, technology and violence as its inspiration; it was used to show off the 20th century life, it glorified war and the future of technology and looked up to dictatorship and its growth many wanting to join the dictators coming into power at the time. It represented movement in modern life mans achievement of technology over nature. Many artists used their work to praise Italy and lead it into modern society. Cubism inspired futurism though futurism expanded on cubism. Futurism artists incorporated a lot of lines in their work, they broke movement into small pieces, and used a lot of angular shapes wanting it to show time in their work. Very bright colours and smooth brush strokes were used to create the impression of movement.

Futurism originated in Italy.

It occurred around 1909 to 1944.

Two artists of Futurism include Carlo Carrà and Umberto Boccioni.

Two visual examples include:

Umberto Boccioni - Elasticity

Carlo Carrà - Interventionist Demonstration