In the 20th century, the world witnessed great transformations, from the two world wars to the birth of the internet. In the artistic world in the first half of the century we saw the expansion of the concept of art. Russian avant-gardes, Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque's collages, among other creations, have transformed our perception of a work of art. After World War II, we see the western world divided. The European countries destroyed by the war experienced, after its completion, an economic crisis, a structural crisis and, above all, an identity crisis. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, there was the American dream where there was economic prosperity and artistic production. Understand which were the main artistic movements in the century of great political, economic and social changes.
The expressionism movement is a reflection of the anguish and anxiety that dominated German artistic and intellectual circles during the years before World War I until the end of World War II. With an intense chromatic palette, this movement gives priority to the expression of feelings over the simple objective description of reality. Some of the most famous works of this movement are The Scream , by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, The First Animals by Franz Marc, Der Blaue Reiter by Wassily Kandinsky, Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant by Egon Schiele, among others.
The First Animals by Franz Marc
Cubism was characterized by the abandonment of classical perspective and fragmentation of forms by representing objects in a three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface. The origins of this movement conceived by just two artists, is usually identified with the creation of the famous painting of Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso , however it was from the works of Paul Cézanne that it emerged. In 1907, Pablo Picasso and George Braque attended a retrospective of Cézanne's work, in which their paintings gave them a whole new perspective, especially with regard to the treatment of space and form. The main works of this movement are Guernica by Pablo Picasso , Violin and pitcher by Georges Braque, Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Pablo Picasso, Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers by Marc Chagall, Cubist Self-Portrait by Salvador Dalí, among others.
Guernica in Pablo Picasso
In a period of tension, war and violence, artists felt the need to express their emotions. Breaking with old paradigms, they expressed themselves by fleeing from reality itself, in an abstract way with traces and above all with color. With abstract art, the spectator was given the possibility to interpret the geometric shapes and the exploration of pigments freely. We can say that there are two genres in abstractionism, expressionism and geometric. As the name implies, the former invokes the artist's emotions, establishing connections between the sound experience and the pigments. Examples of this are the works of Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky, Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue by Piet Mondrian, Suprematist Composition by Malevich, Explosion of Red on Green by Gerardo Dottori, Silhouette fantastique by Victor Hugo , among others.
Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue by Piet Mondrian
Surrealism emerged with the publication of its Manifesto, written by André Breton in 1924. Dreams, unconsciousness and absence of logic are the basis for the creations of artists such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró, among others. . This aesthetic movement broke with rational understanding, without differentiating between dream and reality or between lucidity and delirium.
The Persistence of Salvador Dali's Memory, 1931
In this movement, it is highlighted by the use of simple geometric shapes with symmetrical repetitions and the presence of precise finishes, with the minimum use of resources. The materials most used by minimalist sculptors were acrylic, brass, stainless steel, iron, wood and brick. The main artists were Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Robert Mangold, Agnés Martin, Dan Flavin, Samuel Beckett, among others.
Dadaism was a movement that asserted itself against a civilization that could not avoid wars. Free from rationalism, it combined elements in a result of psychic automatism. Some of the main works were Marcel Duchamp's LHOOQ , Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel , Man Ray's Glass Tears and Sophie Taeuber-Arp's Military Guards (Die Wachen).
LHOOQ by Marcel Duchamp
Pop art reached its height in the 1960s as a revolt against dominant approaches to culture and what art should be. Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein drew inspiration from the culture around them, from Hollywood movies, advertising, product packaging to pop music and comics. Andy Warhol 's Brillo Box and Campbell's Soup Cans , Roy Lichtenstein's Crying Girl , Keith Haring's Radiant Baby were some of the most popular works.
Andy Warhol's Brillo Box
Futurism was an aesthetic revolution triggered by the publication, by Marinetti, of the manifesto "Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism", on the front page of the newspaper Le Figaro, on February 20, 1909. This movement hailed the modern era and the enthusiasm for the machine. The main works were Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni, Ascending Forms by Gerardo Dottori, Dynamism of a Car by Luigi Russolo, Dynamic Decomposition by Umberto Boccioni.
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni