Modern Movements and Styles - Full List Abstraction Art Movements

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Abstraction Art Movements

These are the important Abstraction art movements, styles, tendencies, groups, and schools that we currently cover. More are on the way!

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Abstraction: 23 of 108 Total Movements
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Started: 1943

Ended: Late 1965

A tendency among mainly New York painters 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.

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Ended: start

Not relying on the usual facets of photography - focus, composition, and theme - abstract photography uses color, shade and form as its subject matter, much the way abstract painters do.

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Started: 1945

Ended: 1960

Action Painting was a term coined by art critic Harold Rosenberg to refer to the gestural and somewhat existential mode of Abstract Expressionism, often characterized by drips, flung paint, and rapid, spontaneous strokes by the artist. In this view the painting is a record of the artist's activities over time.

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Started: 1919

Ended: 1933

Bauhaus is a style and movement associated with the Bauhaus school, an extremely influential art and design school in Weimar Germany that emphasized the functionality and efficiency of design alongside its material properties. Prominent teachers include Josef Albers, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Paul Klee.

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Started: 1950

Ended: 1970

The Bay Area Figurative Movement emerged in the 1950s and 60s around the San Francisco Bay. Heavily influenced by the color fields and painterly brushwork of Abstract Expressionism, they later moved away from abstraction in a more figurative direction.

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Started: 1933

Ended: 1957

Black Mountain College was an experimental school founded in the middle of the twentieth century on the principles of balancing academics, arts, and manual labor within a democratic, communal society and influnced many important artists.

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Started: Late 1940s

Ended: Mid 1960s

A tendency within Abstract Expressionism, distinct from gestural abstraction, color field painting 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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Started: 1907

Ended: 1922

Cubism was first developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque between 1907-1911. Its classic phase has two stages: 'Analytic', in which forms seem to be 'analyzed' and fragmented; and 'Synthetic', in which foreign materials such as newspaper and wood veneer are collaged to the surface of the canvas. The style attracted many adherents, both in Paris and abroad, and it would later influence the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Willem de Kooning.

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Started: 1917

Ended: 1931

De Stijl was an avant-garde group dedicated to isolating a single visual style that would be appropriate to all aspects of modern life, from art to design to architecture.

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Started: 1960s

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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Started: 1959

Ended: Early 1970s

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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Started: 1872

Ended: 1892

Impressionism emerged in the mid-nineteent century in opposition to the finished style of academic painting. It often depicted scenes of daily life, and used painterly strokes and shifting color areas to capture the effects of light and atmosphere.

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Started: 1954

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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Started: Early 1960s

Ended: Late 1960s

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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Started: 1917

Ended: 1944

Neo-Plasticism was the guiding philosophy behind the art of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and many of his peers in the De Stijl circle. Articulated by Mondrian in 1917-18, the approach stipulates the strict use of only horizontal and vertical lines and the primary colors red, yellow, and blue.

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Started: 1911

Ended: 1914

Orphism was a French art movement that brought together contemporary theories of philosophy and color there were pioneered mainly by Robert and Sonia Delaunays.

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Post-Minimalism Art & Analysis

Post-Minimalism

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Started: 1966

Post-minimalism refers to works that share the "pure" qualities of older Minimalist works but go beyond the formalist or linear aesthetics. Some of the movement's artists include Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst and Eva Hesse.

Post-Painterly Abstraction Art & Analysis

Post-Painterly Abstraction

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Started: Early 1950s

Ended: Mid 1970s

Post-Painterly Abstraction was a term developed by critic Clement Greenberg in 1964 to describe a diverse range of abstract painters who rejected the gestural styles of the Abstract Expressionists and favored instead what he called "openness or clarity." Painters as different as Ellsworth Kelly and Helen Frankenthaler were described by the term. Some employed geometric form, others veils of stained color.

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Started: 1911

Ended: 1914

Rayonism, sometimes refered to as rayism, was an abstract style of painting developed by Russian artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova. The term was derived from the use of dynamic rays of contrasting color that represented lines of reflected light.

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Started: 1911

Ended: 1916

After the Russian Revolution, collaborative groups of futurists formed in St. Petersburg and in Moscow, publishing journals, organizing debates, and curating exhibitions of their work. Artists such as Natalya Goncharova, Kasimir Malevich, and Vladimir Mayakovsky reject past approaches and looked to Russian icongraphy, French Cubism, and the avant-garde of Europe for new directions for art-making.

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Abstraction: 23 of 108 Total Movements

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