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Overview

Visual Arts Subject Overview

Modernism in the visual arts is a complex term and currently the subject of much academic debate. However, this project demanded that we set boundaries…

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Burroughs, William S. (1914–1997)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, William S. Burroughs was a major figure of the Beat Generation. He is known primarily for his controversial novel Naked…

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Segal, Arthur (1875–1944)

Arthur Segal was a Romanian artist born as Aron Sigalu to Jewish parents. He shifted his attention away from post-impressionist modernism around 1900 to focus…

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Man Ray (1890-1976)

Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, Man Ray was one of the key innovators in modernist photography, film, and object making. He began his artistic career as a…

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Ball, Hugo (1886–1927)

Born in Pirmasens on February 22, 1886, the German writer Hugo Ball is best known as the co-founder, with Tristan Tzara, of the Cabaret Voltaire…

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Avant-garde

The term “avant-garde” has a double meaning, denoting first, the historical movements that started in the late nineteenth century and ended in the 1920s and…

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Duchamp, Marcel (1887-1968)

Duchamp was one of the most influential and original artists of the 20th century. He rejected the constraints of painting and believed (both as an…

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Yokomitsu, Riichi (1898–1947)

Riichi Yokomitsu was a Japanese novelist who, as one of the founders of Shinkankaku-ha [New Sensation School], helped introduce European avant-garde literature into Japan during…

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Shlonsky, Abraham (1900–1973)

Abraham Shlonsky can be regarded as the main architect of modern Hebrew poetry. He was born in 1900 to a socialist revolutionary mother and a…

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Klaxon (São Paulo, 1922–1923)

Klaxon (São Paulo, 1922–1923) was the first and most important of Brazil’s avant-garde artistic journals. It comprised a total of nine issues, published on a…

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Dix, Otto (1891–1969)

Otto Dix was a painter who emerged as a leading figure of the German avant-garde after World War I. His expressionist caprices, dadaist collages, and…

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Stridentist Movement (1921–1928)

The Stridentist Movement [Movimiento Estridentista], founded by poet Manuel Maples Arce (1898–1981), was the only avant-garde Mexican literary and artistic group in the 1920s. The…

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Börlin, Jean (1893–1930)

As principal choreographer and dancer for the 1920s avant-garde troupe Les Ballets Suédois (Swedish Ballet), Jean Börlin contributed greatly to the modernist cauldron that was…

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Fondane, Benjamin (1898–1944)

A primarily francophone Jewish poet and writer of Romanian origin, Fondane became known as a critic, poet and dramaturge in Romania before leaving Bucharest for…

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Taeuber, Sophie (1889–1943)

Artist Sophie Taeuber’s career spanned a variety of movements, including Dada and Constructivism, and media, such as textile arts, interior design, architecture, painting, and sculpture.…

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Clair, René (1898–1981)

Filmmaker, novelist, and critic René Clair (original name René-Lucien Chomette) was one of the foremost French film directors of the 1920s and 1930s. His first…

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Gutai

Gutai Art Association [Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai] [具体美術協会] was an influential post-World War II Japanese avant-garde collective with an outward-looking mindset. Founded in 1954 in Ashiya,…

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Picabia, Francis (1879–1953)

A cavalier individualist, Francis Picabia became an internationally renowned avant-garde artist, spearheading Paris and New York Dada with his friend Marcel Duchamp and also contributing…

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Collage

Collage is an artistic technique first used in the 20th century in which paper, photographs, fabric, and other items are glued onto paper or canvas.…

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Eggeling, Viking (1880–1925)

Viking Eggeling, born in Lund, Sweden as the son of a music store owner, was an avant-garde painter who worked in Italy, France, Switzerland, and…

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Arp, Hans/Jean (1886–1966)

Hans/Jean Arp is an Alsatian poet and artist, who was a founding member of Dada and an active participant in Constructivism and Surrealism. Arp grew…

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Arensberg, Walter (1878–1954)

Walter Arensberg (April 4, 1878 to January 29, 1954) and his wife, Louise Stevens Arensberg (1879–1953), were influential patrons of the avant-garde, building a collection…

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Scratch Orchestra

The Scratch Orchestra grew out of an Experimental Music class run by Cornelius Cardew at Morley College (1968–73). Though a number of people contributed towards…

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Paik, Nam June (1932–2006)

Nam June Paik was a Korean-born American artist who achieved international notoriety for his destructive, neo-dada activities and visionary, esthetic experiments with electronic media. Born…