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Modern Movements Full List Modern Movements in Post-war Modern Art

Movements in Post-war Modern Art

This section provides information about important movements and styles in modern art.

Post-war Modern Art: 24 of 57 Total Movements

Abstract Expressionism

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A tendency among mainly New York painters after World War II, all of whom were committed to an expressive art of profound emotion and universal themes, Abstract Expressionism embraces the spacial breakthroughs of Jackson Pollock, color field painting of Mark Rothko, as well as the gestural abstraction of Willem de Kooning. Most were inspired by Surrealism and abstract art to create a new style fitted to the post-war mood of anxiety and trauma. Their success set the stage for America's post-war dominance of the international art world.

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Arte Povera

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Arte Povera is a style of modern art. The term was introduced in Italy during a period of upheaval at the end of the 1960s. The term centered on a group of Italian artists who attacked established institutions with art made from unconventional materials. They often used found objects in their works.

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Body Art

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Many Performance artists used their bodies as the subjects, and the objects of their art and thereby expressed their distinctive views in the newly liberated social, political, and sexual climate of the 1960s. From different actions involving the body, to acts of physical endurance, tattoos, and even extreme forms of bodily mutilation are all included in the loose movement of Body art.

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British Pop Art

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The Pop art movement emerged in Britain before becoming enourmously popular in the United States. Early practitioners such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton set the scene for the achievement of legends such as Warhol and Lichtenstein.

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The CoBrA Group

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CoBrA was an avant-garde art collective initiated by Karel Apel, Corneille Beverloo, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret in 1948. The international collective, which spanned the cities of Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam, focused on elements of spontaneity, experimentation, primitivism, and fantasy in their work. Although the group disbanded in 1951, they had a lasting influence on the development of later twentieth-century abstract movements throughout Europe.

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Color Field Painting

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A tendency within Abstract Expressionism, distinct from gestural abstraction, color field painting was developed by Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still in the late 1940s, and developed further by Helen Frankenthaler and others. It is characterized by large fields of color and an absence of any figurative motifs, and often expresses a yearning for transcendence and the infinite.

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Conceptual Art

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The practice of Conceptual art became popular after the 1960s and presented people with an idea about art, which was more significant than the completion of a tangible and traditional work of 'art'. The aim was to create a concept that obliged people to consider the nature of art itself, and decide for themselves whether what was present was a work of art.

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Earth Art

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Earth art, or Land art, a term coined by artist Robert Smithson, refers to artworks from the 1960s and '70s that employed land and other natural elements. It is typical of a time when artists rejected the traditional art object, expanded definitions of sculpture, and sought to move art outside the conventional art world structure of galleries and museums.

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Feminist Art

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Feminist art emerged in the 1960s and '70s to explore questions of sex, power, the body, and the ways in which gender categories structure how we see and understand the world. Developing at the same time as many new media strategies, feminist art frequently involves text, installation, and performance elements.

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Fluxus

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Fluxus was an international network of "intermedia" artists of the 1960s who worked in fields ranging from music to performance to the visual arts. Taking their name from the Latin "to flow," Fluxus artists adopted an often anarchic and satirical approach to conventional forms of art, and their ideas paved the way for Conceptual art.

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Gutai

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The Gutai was a Japanese artistic movement that was founded by Jiro Yoshihara in 1954. The group was preoccupied with beauty that is born from things that are damaged or decayed. Members believed the destructive process revealed the inner life of materials and objects.

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Happenings

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The term "happening" was coined by artist Allan Kaprow in 1957 to decribe a series of multi-media artworks on display in a single locale. In general, a happening is an art event, often staged or pre-scripted, that requires active participation from an audience to come to full fruition. This relatively new form of artistic media could be called participatory.

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Hard-Edge Painting

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Hard-edge painting, emerging in the 1950s and 60s, departs from the gesture and scrawl of Abstract Expressionism to favor blocks of color with well-defined edges.

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Kinetic Art

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Kinetic art is usually a sculptural construction comprised of moving components, powered by wind, a motor or the viewers themselves. Its kinesis is what gives the artwork its overall effect, hence the name. The first artwork generally credited as Kinetic Art was Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (1913). Some of the medium's most famous practitioners include Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo and Jean Tingeuly.

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Minimalism

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Minimalism emerged in the 1960s in response to the gestural and autographic excesses of Abstract Expressionism. Its early practitioners constructed huge geometric objects, serial structures, and simplified gridded planes.

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Neo-Dada

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Neo-Dada refers to works of art from the 1950s that employ popular imagery and modern materials, often resulting in a subtle commentary on the contemporary world. Neo-Dada is both a continuation of the earlier Dada movement and an important precursor to Pop art. Some important Neo-Dada artists include Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Robert Morris and Allan Kaprow.

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Nouveau Réalisme

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Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism) refers to an artistic movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany and artists including Yves Klein, Arman, Jean Tinguely, Cesar Baldaccini, and Daniel Spoerri. The relatively short-lived French movement attempted to expand the materials and ideas of new art in a Europe that was recovering from horrible war and a new forms of cultural and commercial consumption.

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Op Art

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Op art, short for Optical art, is a style of abstraction that relies on geometric shapes, lines, and color juxtapositions to create optical illusions for the viewer. Gaining popularity in the 1960s, such art often features patterns, grids, and effects like curving or diminishing objects.

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Performance Art

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Performance art is a modern form of art that emphasizes the experiential and the relationship between performer and audience. It developed in the 1960s with such artists as Yves Klein, Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic and Allan Kaprow. Not to be confused with the performing arts (dance, theater and music), Performance art is closely related to Conceptual art, in which any inherent meaning is in the eye of the beholder.

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Photorealism

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Photorealism is a style of painting that was developed by such artists as Chuck Close, Audrey Flack and Richard Estes. Photorealists often utilize painting techniques to mimic the effects of photography and thus blur the line that have typically divided the two mediums.

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Post-war Modern Art: 24 of 57 Total Movements



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