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British Art Movements

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

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British: 30 of 103 Total Movements
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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: 1860

Ended: 1900

The Aesthetic Movement emerged first in Britain by a rejection of previous styles in both the fine and decorative arts, its adherents were committed to the pursuit of beauty and the doctrine of 'art for art's sake'. Believing that art had declined in an era of utility and rationalism, they claimed that art deserved to be judged on its own terms alone.

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Started: 1900

Ended: 1945

Art Deco was an eclectic style that flourished in the 1920s and '30s and influenced art, architecture and design. It blended a love of modernity - expressed through geometric shapes and streamlined forms - with references to the classical past and to exotic locations.

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Started: 1890

Ended: 1905

Art Nouveau was a movement that swept through the decorative arts and architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms with more angular contours.

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Started: 1860

Ended: 1920

The Arts and Crafts Movement was an international design movement that originated in Great Britain and had a strong following in the United States. It advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. It also proposed economic and social reform and has been seen as essentially anti-industrial.

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Started: 1909

Ended: 1940

The artists of the Bloomsbury Group were innovative British painters, designers, and art critics Bell, Grant, Wood+ breathed fresh life into the stuffy 1900's art scene.

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Started: 1961

Ended: 1980

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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Started: 1947

Ended: 1969

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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Started: Mid 1960s

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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Started: 1916

Ended: 1924

Dada emerged in the early twentieth century as a literary and artistic movement that celebrated random chance, readymade artworks, and outragous performances. Its practitioners, including Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, and Marcel Duchamp, scorned bourgeois conventions of high culture, especially the appreciation for artistic intention and skill.

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Started: 1919

Ended: 1960s

This ground-breaking practice of photography was inspired by Dada's improvisational practices and the Surrealist's foray into the unconscious, dream, and fantasy realms. Many artists contributed various works that ultimately stretched the possibilities of the medium.

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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: 1960s

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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Started: 1970s

Installation art is a genre of contemporary art-making in which two- and three-dimensional materials are used to transform a particular site into an immersive space for the visitor. Installations may include sculptural, found, sound-based, and performance elements, and can be permanent or ephemeral.

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Started: 1854

Ended: 1920

Japonism (Japonisme in French) describes the influence of Japanese art, especially woodblock prints, on French artists in the second half of the nineteenth century. Many Post-Impressionists were influenced by the flat blocks of color, the emphasis on design, and the everyday subject matter.

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Started: 1820s

Ended: 1880s

Naturalism is a movement within painting where the human subject is depicted in natural habitats and social milieus, with an emphasis on visual accuracy.

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Started: 1964

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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Started: 1810

Ended: 1890

Orientalism is the term used by scholars to describe Westerners fascination with the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa in the nineteenth century. This fascination inspired a new wave of art (including painting and literature) that featured scenes from these societies, often dramatized and highly eroticized.

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Started: Origins in 1910s, Movement in 1960s

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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Started: 1885

Ended: 1915

The dominant movement in early photography, Pictorialism refers to manipulated images that include lack of sharp focus, using colors other than black and white, and changes on the surface of the work.

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British: 30 of 103 Total Movements

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