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IDEAS & CRITICS

Art Theory and Art Critics

Ideas and concepts related to modern art are explored in this section, along with the overviews of the most important critics and historians that shaped and influenced the progression of art.

Definitions

Modern Art

represents an evolving set of ideas among a number of painters, sculptors, writers, and performers who - both individually and collectively - sought new approaches to art making. Although modern art began, in retrospect, around... Learn More

Postmodernism

is best understood by defining the modernist ethos it replaced - that of the avant-garde who were active from 1860s to the 1950s. The various artists in the modern period were driven by a radical and forward thinking approach... Learn More

Other Concepts

FormalismExistentialism
A painting's form is composed of its basic elements: color, line, composition, and texture... Learn MoreThe philosophy of Existentialism was an influential undercurrent in art of the 1940s and 1950s... Learn More
Medium PurityFlatness
'Purity' can be defined as an untainted and desirable object or reality. In art and art criticism... Learn MoreSince humankind first began using tools to depict figurative forms in an artistic medium, the greates... Learn More
Art for Art's Sake
The phrase 'art for art's sake' condenses the notion that art has its own value and should be... Learn More


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CRITICS & THEORY


Clement Greenberg vs. Harold Rosenberg
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Clement GreenbergClement Greenberg
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Harold RosenbergHarold Rosenberg
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Meyer SchapiroMeyer Schapiro
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Leo SteinbergLeo Steinberg
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More Theorists
John RussellJohn Russell
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Robert HughesRobert Hughes
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John CanadayJohn Canaday
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Dore AshtonDore Ashton
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Thomas HessThomas Hess
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Rosalind KraussRosalind Krauss
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Robert RosenblumRobert Rosenblum
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Michael FriedMichael Fried
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Hans HofmannHans Hofmann
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Robert MotherwellRobert Motherwell
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Barnett NewmanBarnett Newman
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Fairfield PorterFairfield Porter
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Timeline

Abstract Expressionism
View the interactive timeline of significant events in Abstract Expressionist art theory