themes and movements

Themes and Movements in Art
An art movement is a style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a period of time. Art in the modern era has come to be defined by its styles, schools, and movements. The movements and styles collected here provide an introduction to the developments in western art together with all the participated artists.

Click here for a list of Art Movements and their artists. Styles here, and Techniques.

movement & style books

Pop Art
From the late 1950s to the late 1960s the word Pop described art, film, photography and architectural design which engaged with the new realities of mass production and the mass media. Unlike books which present Pop art in isolation, this is a comprehensive survey of Pop in all of its forms across America, Britain and Europe.

Artists Pop Art

Surrealism is the first in an expanded range of Themes and Movements titles which look beyond the post-1945 period to survey all of the twentieth century’s major art movements. Mary Ann Caws is an internationally respected scholar of Surrealism who has translated many of its major texts and published extensively on the Surrealists’ art and writings.

Artists Surrealism

Arte Povera
Arte Povera is Italy’s most important and influential post-war art movement. Originally championed by the leading art critic Germano Celant, it included internationally recognized artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Jannis Kounelli, Mario and Marisa Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Edited by one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject, Arte Povera is the most complete overview of this movement ever published.

Artists Arte Povera

Art and Electronic Media
This is the first book to explore mechanics, light, graphics, robotics, networks, virtual reality and the possibilities afforded by the web from an international perspective. It outlines the importance of figures previously neglected by art history, including engineers, technicians, and collaborators. Included are works by over 150 artists, both familiar - Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, Mario Merz - as well as emerging and recent pioneers, such as Robert Lazzarini, Blast Theory, Granular Synthesis, Simon Penny, Antunez Roca, Mikami Seiko, and Jonah Bruckner-Cohen. The book is divided into seven thematic sections arranged chronologically. Art and Electronic Media is a lucid, accessible, and authoritative evaluation of continually developing media.

Artists Art and Electronic Media

Minimalism, Minimal Art
Minimalism was a movement pioneered in America in the late 1960s that aimed at reducing sculpture and painting to its most essential forms. Through the work of its five key practitioners, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris, this book examines in words and pictures the defining characteristics - and the debates - of the art belonging to movement. Although all these clean-edged works can be identified by certain recurring elements - symmetry, repetition, seriality and factory production - this book documents the surprising variety of work produced within these rigid confines.

Artists Minimal Art

The Artist’s Body
Body art, performance, "Aktionism", Happenings: these are all names for the many late 20th century art forms that have used the artist’s own body as the subject and object of the artwork itself. Whether acting out the gestures of painting (Jackson Pollock, Yves Klein, the Gutai group); voguing for the camera (Hannah Wilke, Mariko Mori); subjecting oneself to acts of violence (Chris Burden, Gunter Brus, Gina Pane); displaying acts of athletic prowess and courage (Matthew Barney, Marina Abramovic); or even masturbating under the gallery floor (Vito Acconci), artists since the late 1950s have increasingly used their bodies to subvert, shock and politicise contemporary art.

Artists Performance Art

Artists Body Art

Dada, Dadaism
Dada developed in distinct periods and locations, providing the structure of the book. From Europe and New York during the First World War it spread to Eastern Europe and Japan in the 1920s. Its re-emergence as Neo-Dada in the 1950s and influence on Fluxus in the 1960s was linked to emigres such as Marcel Duchamp and Hans Richter. Survey: International Dada expert Rudolf Kuenzli surveys Dada in its historical context and examines its significant impact and resonance in art and culture today.

Artists Dada

Land & Environmental Art
The traditional landscape genre was radically transformed in the 1960s when many artists stopped merely representing the land and made their mark directly in the environment. Drawn by the vast uncultivated spaces of the desert and mountain as well as post-industrial wastelands, artists such as Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt or Robert Smithson moved earth to create colossal primal symbols. Others punctuated the horizon with man-made signposts, such as Christo’s "Running Fence" or Walter de Maria’s "Lightning Field". Journeys became works of art for Richard Long whilst Dennis Oppenheim and Ana Mendieta immersed their bodies in the contours of the land…

Artists Land and Environmental Art

Conceptual Art
Conceptual art marks a major turning point in late twentieth-century art. An art of ideas - which can be written, published, performed, fabricated, or which can simply remain inside your head - it is also an art of questions. Since its emergence in the mid 1960s, it has challenged our precepts about not only art but society, politics and the media. An international movement, Conceptual art encompasses not only North America and Western Europe but also South America, Eastern Europe, Russia, China and Japan…

Artists Conceptual Art

Installation Art
What has been loosely termed installation Art dominates the exhibition programmes of galleries worldwide. However, while it is much discussed it has rarely been clearly defined. In this book author Claire Bishop provides both a history and a full critical examination of installation art, in a survey of the form that is both thorough and accessible. Installation Art will provide, for the first time, a clear account of the rise of this now prevalent strand of contemporary art. While revising and, in some cases, re-assessing many well-known names in post-1960 art, it will also introduce the audience to a wider spectrum of younger artists yet to receive serious critical attention.

Artists Installation Art

Abstract Expressionism
Robert Coates, writing in the New Yorker in 1946, first used the term "Abstract Expressionism" to describe the richly colored canvases of Hans Hofmann. The name stuck, and over the years it has come to designate the paintings and sculptures of artists as different from one another as Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner and David Smith. The achievements of this generation put New York on the map as the center of the international art world, and constitute some of the twentieth century’s greatest masterpieces.

Artists Abstract Expressionism

New Sculpture
Published in conjunction with the opening of the new Saatchi Gallery in London, one of today’s most important institutions collecting and exhibiting contemporary art, this mammoth book is the most comprehensive volume on contemporary sculpture.

Artists Sculpture

Documents of Contemporary art F. C. Flick Collection
TATE modern artists Abstract Expressionism
New Released art books Photography
Turner prize winners German expressionism


What is Modern Art?

text-align:justify; For centuries artists enjoyed their place serving the Church, the aristocracy and current public conventions or tradition. Their handiwork decorated castles, stately homes and Churches with allegorical, mythological and religious subject matter. But towards the end of the 18th century things began to change. It was in fact the French Revolution of 1789 which caused the shift. The Modern era unfolded in its shadow. Under the mantra of liberty, equality and fraternity, society was irrevocably transformed. Art had become a subject like philosophy and was open to be discussed. Artists became self conscious and self reliant. They were no longer constrained by a preconceived style, subject matter or technique. They critically examined existing conventions and created new possibilities for art. From the late 18th century many artists and art movements arose which challenged traditional thinking about painting, It is widely believed that Modern Art began with the work of the Frenchman, Paul Cezanne. (1839 - 1906) . He built upon the new techniques developed by his predeccesors (like the Impressionists), and together with this tried to recapture a sense of order and clarity. His efforts opened the way for Cubism which reformed painting even more. Many more movements followed, all challenging and transforming the act of painting in their own way. By the late 1960's,and early 1970's artists began to experiment with new media, such as video and performance and moved away from painting. It is here then, where Modernism is said to have ended and a new era begun.

What is Contemporary Art?

text-align:justify; Contemporary art is simply the art created in our lifetime. The subject matter explored is considered to be the most socially conscious,of any previous era. And the techniques employed reflect everyday life. Artists use video, multimedia, nature, music and more, to express their ideas. 1998 - 2013