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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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Cravan, Arthur (1887–1918)

Born Fabian Avernius Lloyd in Lausanne, Switzerland to expatriate English parents, Arthur Cravan was a self-styled ‘poet-pugilist,’ nephew of Oscar Wilde, and husband of British…

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Aragon, Louis (1897–1982)

French author Louis Aragon was a member of the surrealist movement until he split with André Breton and began to devote more of his energy…

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Loy, Mina (1882–1966)

Mina Loy, born Mina Gertrude Lowry, (1882–1966), was a British artist, designer, model, novelist, nurse, playwright and poet, with ties to the Dadaist, Futurist and…

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Cunard, Nancy (1896–1965)

A poet, journalist, publisher, radical intellectual, and political activist, Nancy Cunard operated at or near the centre of multiple modernist discourses. Her early poetry, especially…

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Tati, Jacques (1907–1982)

Jacques Tati (born Jacques Tatischeff) was a French director and actor. Despite a very small output—only six feature films and three shorts—he is considered one…

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Höch, Hannah (1889–1978)

Hannah Höch was a German painter and photomontagist who also worked in modern domestic handicraft, fabric and fashion design. She is primarily known for the…

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Richter, Hans (1888–1976)

Hans Richter was a German painter, graphic artist, and experimental filmmaker associated with a number of the European avant-garde movements, most notably Dadaism. After 1940…

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Schwitters, Kurt (1887–1948)

Kurt Schwitters is most commonly associated with Dada, but his relationship to that movement’s aesthetic, political, and philosophical rebellion was ambivalent. Although he was friends…

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Der Sturm

Der Sturm (Storm) was the fulcrum of the international avant-garde in Berlin from 1910 to 1932. Herwarth Walden (born Georg Levin, 1878–1941) founded the journal…

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Werefkin, Marianne (1960–1937)

Werefkin was born into an aristocratic family and herself a baroness. Her mother, Elizabeth Daragan, was an artist; her father, an army general decorated by…

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Manifesto

A manifesto is an articulation of a particular (sometimes numerically or hierarchically ordered) set of theses that correspond to a political or aesthetic movement. In…

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Nihilism

Most broadly, Nihilism is the rejection of meaningful moral or religious values. Nihilism is often associated with moral Relativism, extreme Skepticism, and Pessimism. First used…

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White Savages Group

The White Savages Group (Baek-man Heo) was founded in 1930 when Kim Yong-jun (1904–1967) published his manifesto “Upon Founding the White Savages Group” in a…

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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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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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Satie, Erik Alfred Leslie (1866–1925)

Erik Satie’s compositions, writings, and humor played an important role in many modernist movements of the twentieth century. Experimenting with simple forms, neoclassicism, mysticism, satire,…

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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,…