(1914 - 1930)

Constructivism was first created in Russia in 1913 when the Russian sculptor Vladimir Tatlin, during his journey to Paris, discovered the works of Braque and Picasso. When Tatlin was back in Russia, he began producing sculptured out of assemblages, but he abandoned any reference to precise subjects or themes. Those works marked the appearance of Constructivism. The name Constructivism did not describe a specific movement but rather a trend within the fields of painting, sculpture and especially closely conjoined artists and their art with machine production, architecture and the applied arts.

Constructivism art refers to the optimistic, non-representational relief construction, sculpture, kinetics and painting. The artists did not believe in abstract ideas, rather they tried to link art with concrete and tangible ideas. Early modern movements around WWI were idealistic, seeking a new order in art and architecture that dealt with social and economic problems. They wanted to renew the idea that the apex of artwork does not revolve around "fine art", but rather emphasized that the most priceless artwork can often be discovered in the nuances of "practical art" and through portraying man and mechanization into one aesthetic program.

    Constructivism was an invention of the Russian avant-garde that found adherents across the continent. The artists mainly consisted of young Russians trying to engage the full ideas of modern art on their own terms. They depicted art that was mostly three dimensional, and they also often portrayed art that could be connected to their Proletarian beliefs. Theory of constructivism is derived from Russian Suprematism , Dutch Neo Plasticism ( De Stijl ) and the German Bauhaus . Germany was the site of the most Constructivist activity outside of the Soviet Union to Walter Gropius's Bauhaus, a progressive art and design school sympathetic to the movement, same as other art centers, like Paris, London, and eventually the United States.

Graham Potter :: Constructivism //Synopsis
Constructivist Art (Constructivism) is a term used to define a type of totally abstract (non-representational) relief construction, sculpture, kinetics and painting. The work is ordered and often minimal, geometric, spatial, architectonic and experimental in the use of industrial material... Early 20th Century Russian Drama
Constructivism- In the late teens and early twenties, Soviet artists and designers attempted to put their talents to use for the new communist state... KmtSpace: soviet artists-constructors
from figuration to abstraction, from image to construction MoMA | Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956)
A distinctly Russian avant-garde in the visual arts took shape in the decade before the Revolution. By 1915, the painter Kasimir Malevich and the sculptor Vladimir Tatlin had created original styles of abstraction, grounded in the physical qualities of the artist's materials... IT-Universitetet i København - Hjem: Russian Constructivism
The scheme of a construction is the combination of lines, and the planes and forms which they define; it is a system of forces... SE Net : Constructivism and Suprematism
INTRODUCTION: Up until the first decade of the 20th century, art whether drawing painting or sculpture was always essentially pictorial; based on themes and compositions representing real world ideas. Contemporary Art - Constructivism: (1913 - 1930)
Founded in 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin, the Russian Constructivist movement developed from Cubism, Italian Futurism, and Suprematism in Russia, Neo Plasticism in Holland, and the Bauhaus School in Germany. The International Museum of Collage Assemblage and Construction
Russian Suprematist and Constructivist: Collage, Relief and Construction Infoplease: constructivism.
Information Please is the worlds largest free reference site. Here you can find facts on thousands of subjects including sports, entertainment, technology, business, education, and health. Constructivism
Constructivism Period, Constructivism Art History, Constructivism Artists - KAZIMIR MALEVICH
"The world is the world, not spirit or matter." Kazimir Malevich. - WASSILY KANDINSKY
"Technically, every work of art comes into being in the same way as the cosmos - by means of catastrophes, which ultimately create out of the cacophony of the various instruments that symphony we call the music of the spheres. The creation of the work of art is the creation of the world." Wassily Kandinsky. Emory University Web Server- SOVIET CONSTRUCTIVISM
At the turn of the 20th century, Russia was a huge, backward but relatively stable monarchy. Absolute power was vested in the tsar (king) who ruled the vast land with an iron fist.

Artists Associated with Constructivism


Constructivism was an artistic and architectural movement that originated in Russia from 1919 onward which rejected the idea of " art for art's sake " in favour of art as a practice directed towards social purposes. Constructivism as an active force lasted until around 1934, having a great deal of effect on developments in the art of the Weimar Republic and elsewhere, before being replaced by Socialist Realism . Its motifs have sporadically recurred in other art movements since.

The term Construction Art was first used as a derisive term by Kazimir Malevich to describe the work of Alexander Rodchenko in 1917. Constructivism first appears as a positive term in Naum Gabo 's Realistic Manifesto of 1920. Alexei Gan used the word as the title of his book Constructivism , which was printed in 1922. [ 1 ] Constructivism was a post- World War I outgrowth of Russian Futurism , and particularly of the 'corner-counter reliefs' of Vladimir Tatlin , which had been exhibited in 1915. The term itself would be coined by the sculptors Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo , who developed an industrial, angular approach to their work, while its geometric abstraction owed something to the Suprematism of Kasimir Malevich. The teaching basis for the new movement was laid by The Commissariat of Enlightenment (or Narkompros ) the Bolshevik government's cultural and educational ministry headed by Anatoliy Vasilievich Lunacharsky who suppressed the old Petrograd Academy of Fine Arts and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1918. IZO, the Commissariat's artistic bureau was run during the Russian Civil War mainly by Futurists, who published the journal Art of the Commune . The focus for Constructivism in Moscow was VKhUTEMAS , the school for art and design established in 1919. Gabo later stated that teaching at the school was focused more on political and ideological discussion than art-making. Despite this, Gabo himself designed a radio transmitter in 1920 (and would submit a design to the Palace of the Soviets competition in 1930).

Constructivism as theory and practice derived itself from a series of debates at INKhUK ( Institute of Artistic Culture ) in Moscow, from 1920-22. After deposing its first chairman, Wassily Kandinsky for his 'mysticism', The First Working Group of Constructivists (including Liubov Popova , Alexander Vesnin , Rodchenko , Varvara Stepanova , and the theorists Alexei Gan , Boris Arvatov and Osip Brik ) would arrive at a definition of Constructivism as the combination of faktura : the particular material properties of the object, and tektonika , its spatial presence. Initially the Constructivists worked on three-dimensional constructions as a first step to participation in industry: the OBMOKhU (Society of Young Artists) exhibition showed these three dimensional compositions, by Rodchenko, Stepanova, Karl Ioganson and the Stenberg Brothers . Later the definition would be extended to designs for two-dimensional works such as books or posters, with montage and factography becoming important concepts.

[ edit ] Art in the service of the Revolution

Agitprop poster by Mayakovsky

As much as involving itself in designs for industry, the Constructivists worked on public festivals and street designs for the post-October revolution Bolshevik government. Perhaps the most famous of these was in Vitebsk , where Malevich 's UNOVIS Group painted propaganda plaques and buildings (the best known being El Lissitzky 's poster Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (1919)). Inspired by Vladimir Mayakovsky 's declaration 'the streets our brushes, the squares our palettes', artists and designers participated in public life throughout the Civil War. A striking instance was the proposed festival for the Comintern congress in 1921 by Alexander Vesnin and Liubov Popova, which resembled the constructions of the OBMOKhU exhibition as well as their work for the theatre. There was a great deal of overlap in this period between Constructivism and Proletkult , the ideas of which concerning the need to create an entirely new culture struck a chord with the Constructivists. In addition some Constructivists were heavily involved in the 'ROSTA Windows', a Bolshevik public information campaign of around 1920. Some of the most famous of these were by the poet-painter Vladimir Mayakovsky and Vladimir Lebedev.

As a part of the early Soviet youth movement, the constructivists took an artistic outlook aimed to encompass cognitive, material activity, and the whole of spirituality of mankind. The artists tried to create works that would take the viewer out of the traditional setting and make them an active viewer of the artwork. In this it had similarities with the Russian Formalists ' theory of 'making strange', and accordingly their leading theorist Viktor Shklovsky worked closely with the Constructivists, as did other formalists like Osip Brik. These theories were tested in the theatre, particularly in the work of Vsevolod Meyerhold , who had set up what he called 'October in the theatre'. Meyerhold developed a 'biomechanical' acting style, which was influenced both by the circus and by the 'scientific management' theories of Frederick Winslow Taylor . Meanwhile the stage sets by the likes of Vesnin, Popova and Stepanova tested out Constructivist spatial ideas in a public form. A more populist version of this was developed by Alexander Tairov , with stage sets by Aleksandra Ekster and the Stenberg Brothers . These ideas would go on to influence German directors like Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator , as well as the early Soviet cinema.

[ edit ] Tatlin, 'Construction Art' and Productivism

Photomontage by Tatlin showing his clothing designs, 1924

The canonical work of Constructivism was Vladimir Tatlin's proposal for the Monument to the Third International (1919) which combined a machine aesthetic with dynamic components celebrating technology such as searchlights and projection screens. Gabo publicly criticized Tatlin's design saying Either create functional houses and bridges or create pure art, not both. This had already led to a major split in the Moscow group in 1920 when Gabo and Pevsner's Realistic Manifesto asserted a spiritual core for the movement. This was opposed to the utilitarian and adaptable version of Constructivism held by Tatlin and Rodchenko. Tatlin's work was immediately hailed by artists in Germany as a revolution in art: a 1920 photo shows George Grosz and John Heartfield holding a placard saying 'Art is Dead - Long Live Tatlin's Machine Art', while the designs for the tower were published in Bruno Taut 's magazine Fruhlicht .

Tatlin's tower started a period of exchange of ideas between Moscow and Berlin, something reinforced by El Lissitzky and Ilya Ehrenburg 's Soviet-German magazine Veshch-Gegenstand-Objet which spread the idea of 'Construction art', as did the Constructivist exhibits at the 1922 Russische Ausstellung in Berlin, organised by Lissitzky. A 'Constructivist international' was formed, which met with Dadaists and De Stijl artists in Germany in 1922. Participants in this short-lived international included Lissitzky, Hans Richter , and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy . However the idea of 'art' was becoming anathema to the Russian Constructivists: the INKhUK debates of 1920-22 had culminated in the theory of Productivism propounded by Osip Brik and others, which demanded direct participation in industry and the end of easel painting. Tatlin was one of the first to answer this and attempt to transfer his talents to industrial production, with his designs for an economical stove, for workers' overalls and for furniture. The Utopian element in Constructivism was maintained by his 'letatlin', a flying machine which he worked on until the 1930s.

Raoul Hausmann    Dadaism or Dada is a post-World War I cultural movement in visual art as well as literature (mainly poetry), theatre and graphic design. The movement was, among other things, a protest against the barbarism of the War and what Dadaists believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society; its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of the prevailing standards of art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism .

    According to its proponents, Dada was not art; it was anti-art. For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with aesthetics, Dada ignored them. If art is to have at least an implicit or latent message, Dada strives to have no meaning--interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer. If art is to appeal to sensibilities, Dada offends. Perhaps it is then ironic that Dada is an influential movement in Modern art. Dada became a commentary on art and the world, thus becoming art itself.

    The artists of the Dada movement had become disillusioned by art, art history and history in general. Many of them were veterans of World War I and had grown cynical of humanity after seeing what men were capable of doing to each other on the battlefields of Europe. Thus they became attracted to a nihilistic view of the world (they thought that nothing mankind had achieved was worthwhile, not even art), and created art in which chance and randomness formed the basis of creation. The basis of Dada is nonsense. With the order of the world destroyed by World War I, Dada was a way to express the confusion that was felt by many people as their world was turned upside down.

Dadaism was an art movement that followed Cubism, Expressionism, and Fauvism. The Dadaists were mainly a group of ill-organized artists experimenting with bizarre art and literature... Mark Harden's Artchive: Dada and Surrealism
The Dada Surrealist Movement is now part of art history more in spite of, than because of, its initial aims. mital-U - Dada Situationist
Hey, hey, young man - Dada isn't an art-trend but an anti-art movement, a radical cultural revolution, as a response to World War I ! MSN Encarta : Dada
Dada, early 20th-century art movement, whose members sought to ridicule the culture of their time through deliberately absurd performances, poetry, and visual art... UIowa Libraries Web: The International Dada Archive
In the second and third decades of the twentieth century, a new kind of artistic movement swept Europe and America. Its very name, "Dada"... ArtLex Art Dictionary: Dada
Dada - An early twentieth century art movement which ridiculed contemporary culture and traditional art forms. Marcel Duchamp World Community
HumanitiesWeb - Welcome - Dada
For perhaps 500 years or more there have been art "movements". Some are merely the figments of art historians' fertile imaginations, fulfilling a need to give a "name" to a period in the course of human artistic events... Artcyclopedia: Dada
Dada was a protest by a group of European artists against World War I, bourgeois society, and the conservativism of traditional thought. Here's a definition of DaDaism:
Dada or Dadaism [French, from dada, child's word for a horse] Nihilistic movement in the arts that flourished chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany from about 1916 to about 1920 [and later -ed.] and that was based on the principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, and cynicism and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organization... The Literary Encyclopedia - Dada, 1916 - 1924
The literary and art movement Dada was born in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire, a night-club founded and run by the German poet Hugo Ball and his partner Emmy Hemmings in a rather run-down bar in Zurich, Switzerland... Dada artists
List of available art images WELCOME TO DADA!
Welcome to the wonderful world of DADA!. Although at first glance, Dada can appear to be a rather difficult and confusing movement to understand.List of D


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The following is a list of Dadaists . It includes those who are generally classed into different movements , but have created some Dadaist works.



In the north of Europe, the Fauves ' celebration of color was pushed to new emotional and psychological depths. Expressionism, as it was generally known, developed almost simultaneously in different countries from about 1905. Characterized by heightened, symbolic colors and exaggerated imagery, it was German Expressionism in particular that tended to dwell on the darker, sinister aspects of the human psyche.

The term ``Expressionism'' can be used to describe various art forms but, in its broadest sense, it is used to describe any art that raises subjective feelings above objective observations. The paintings aim to reflect the artists's state of mind rather than the reality of the external world. The German Expressionist movement began in 1905 with artists such as Kirchner and Nolde, who favored the Fauvist style of bright colors but also added stronger linear effects and harsher outlines.

Although Expressionism developed a distinctly German character, the Frenchman, Georges Rouault (1871-1958), links the decorative effects of Fauvism in France with the symbolic color of German Expressionism. Rouault trained with Matisse at Moreau 's academy and exhibited with the Fauves, but his palette of colors and profound subject matter place him as an early, if isolated Expressionist. His work has been described as ``Fauvism with dark glasses''.

Rouault was a deeply religious man and some consider him the greatest religious artist of the 20th century. He began his career apprenticed to a stained-glass worker, and his love of harsh, binding outlines containing a radiance of color gives poignancy to his paintings of whores and fools. He himself does not judge them, though the terrible compassion with which he shows his wretched figures makes a powerful impression: Prostitute at Her Mirror (1906; 70 x 60 cm (27 1/2 x 23 1/2 in)) is a savage indictment of human cruelty. She is a travesty of feminity, although poverty drives her still to prink miserably before her mirror in the hope of work. Yet the picture does not depress, but holds out hope of redemption. Strangely enough, this work is for Rouault-- if not exactly a religious picture-- at least a profoundly moral one. She is a sad female version of his tortured Christs, a figure mocked and scorned, held in disrepute.

The bridge to the future

Die Brücke (The Bridge) was the first of two Expressionist movements that emerged in Germany in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1905 a group of German Expressionist artists came together in Dresden and took that name chosen by Schmidt-Rottluff to indicate their faith in the art of the future, towards which their work would serve as a bridge. In practice they were not a cohesive group, and their art became an angst-ridden type of Expressionism. The achievement that had the most lasting value was their revival of graphic arts, in particular, the woodcut using bold and simplified forms.

The artists of Die Brücke drew inspiration from van Gogh , Gauguin and primitive art. Munch was also a strong influence, having exhibited his art in Berlin from 1892. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), the leading spirit of Die Brücke, wanted German art to be a bridge to the future. He insisted that the group, which included Erich Heckel (1883-1970) and Karl Schmidt-Rottluf (1884-1976), ``express inner convictions... with sincerity and spontaneity''.

Even at their wildest, the Fauves had retained a sense of harmony and design, but Die Brücke abandoned such restraint. They used images of the modern city to convey a hostile, alienating world, with distorted figures and colors. Kirchner does just this in Berlin Street Scene (1913; 121 x 95 cm (47 1/2 x 37 1/2 in)), where the shrill colors and jagged hysteria of his own vision flash forth uneasily. There is a powerful sense of violence, contained with difficulty, in much of their art. Emil Nolde (1867-1956), briefly associated with Die Brücke, was a more profound Expressionist who worked in isolation for much of his career. His interest in primitive art and sensual color led him to paint some remarkable pictures with dynamic energy, simple rhythms, and visual tension. He could even illuminate the marshes of his native Germany with dramatic clashes of stunning color. Yet Early Evening (1916; 74 x 101 cm (29 x 39 1/2 in)) is not mere drama: light glimmers over the distance with an exhilarating sense of space.

Die Brücke collapsed as the inner convictions of each artist began to differ, but arguably the greatest German artist of the time was Max Beckmann (1884-1950). Working independently, he constructed his own bridge, to link the objective truthfulness of great artists of the past with his own subjective emotions. Like some other Expressionists, he served in World War I and suffered unbearable depression and hallucinations as a result. His work reflects his stress through its sheer intensity: cruel, brutal images are held still by solid colors and flat, heavy shapes to give an almost timeless quality. Such an unshakeable certainty of vision meant that he was hated by the Nazis, and he ended his days in the United States, a lonely force for good. He is perhaps just discernible as a descendant of Dürer in his love of self-portraits and blend of the clumsy and suave with which he imagines himself: in Self-Portrait (1944; 95 x 60 cm (37 1/2 x 23 1/2 in)), he looks out, not at himself, but at us, with a prophetic urgency.

Austrian Expressionism: Egon Schiele

Visual artists

"On White II" by Wassily Kandinsky , 1923.

Some of the movement's leading visual artists in the early 20th century were:

Sokea soittoniekka ( Blind Musician ) by Alvar Cawén , 1922.

Expressionism is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subjective art form. Expressionism is exhibited in many art forms, including painting , literature , theatre , film , architecture and music . The term often implies emotional angst . In a general sense, painters such as Matthias Grünewald and El Greco can be called expressionist, though in practice, the term is applied mainly to 20th century works.



KEY DATES: 1905-1908
The first of the major avant-garde movements in European 20th century art, Fauvism was characterised by paintings that used intensely vivid, non-naturalistic and exuberant colours.

The style was essentially expressionist, and generally featured landscapes in which forms were distorted. The Fauves first exhibited together in 1905 in Paris. They found their name when a critic pointed to a renaissance-like sculpture in the middle of the same gallery as the exhibition and exclaimed derisively 'Donatello au milieu des fauves!' ('Donatello among the wild beasts!'). The name caught on, and was gleefully accepted by the artists themselves.

The movement was subjected to more mockery and abuse as it developed, but began to gain respect when major art buyers, such as Gertrude Stein, took an interest. The leading artists involved were Matisse, Rouault, Derain, Vlaminck, Braque and Dufy. Although short-lived (1905-8), Fauvism was extremely influential in the evolution of 20th century art.

Andre Derain Henri Matisse Raoul Dufy Maurice de Vlaminck


Timeline: Fauvism

C'est Donatello dans la cage aux fauves!
-- Louis Vauxcelles, Salon d'Automne, 1905.

C'est donc sous la conduite de Matisse, et aussi sous l'influence de Van Gogh que les futurs fauves, Vlaminck, Friesz, Derain, Manguin, expriment dans leurs envois au Salon d'Automne un farouche et virulent enthousiasme pour les joies dynamiques des tons les plus crus.
-- M. Raynal, Peinture moderne .

Le fauvisme pour Matisse, c'est l'accentuation décisive d'un type de rapport à la couleur qu'il s'emploiera à cultiver : le nerf du système.
-- Marcelin PLEYNET, Système de la peinture .

Fauvism, French Fauvisme, style of painting that flourished in France from 1898 to 1908; it used pure, brilliant colour, applied straight from the paint tubes in an aggressive, direct manner to create a sense of an explosion on the canvas. The Fauves painted directly from nature as the Impressionists had before them, but their works were invested with a strong expressive reaction to the subjects they painted. First formally exhibited in Paris in 1905, Fauvist paintings shocked visitors to the annual Salon d'Automne; one of these visitors was the critic Louis Vauxcelles, who, because of the violence of their works, dubbed the painters "Les Fauves" (Wild Beasts).

The leader of the group was Henri Matisse , who had arrived at the Fauve style after careful, critical study of the masters of Postimpressionism Paul Gauguin , Vincent van Gogh , and Georges Seurat . Matisse's methodical studies led him to reject traditional renderings of three-dimensional space and to seek instead a new picture space defined by movement of colour. Matisse exhibited his famous "Woman with the Hat" (Walter A. Haas Collection, San Francisco) at the 1905 exhibition; brisk strokes of colour--blues, greens, and reds--form an energetic, expressive view of the woman. As always in Matisse's Fauve style, his painting is ruled by his intuitive sense of formal order.

Other members of the group included two painters from Chatou, Fr., André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck, who, together with Matisse, formed the nucleus of the Fauves. Derain's Fauve paintings translate every tone of a landscape into pure colour, applied with short, forceful brushstrokes. The agitated swirls of intense colour in Vlaminck's works are indebted to the expressive power of van Gogh. Three young painters from Le Havre were also attracted to Fauvism by the strong personality of Matisse. Othon Friesz found the emotional connotations of the bright Fauve colours a relief from the mediocre Impressionism he practiced; his companion Raoul Dufy developed a rather carefree ornamental version of the bold style that suited his own personal aesthetic nature; and Georges Braque created a definite sense of rhythm and structure out of small spots of colour, foreshadowing his development of Cubism. Albert Marquet, Matisse's fellow student at the École des Beaux-Arts in the 1890s, also participated in Fauvism, as did the Dutchman Kees van Dongen, who applied the style to depictions of the fashionable society of Paris. Other painters associated with the Fauves were Georges Rouault, Henri Manguin, Charles Camoin, and Jean Puy.

Fauvism was for most of these artists a transitional, learning stage. By 1908 a revived interest in Paul Cézanne 's vision of the order and structure of nature had led them to reject the turbulent emotionalism of Fauvism in favour of the logic of Cubism . Matisse alone pursued the course he had pioneered, achieving a sophisticated balance between his own emotions and the world he painted.




Futurism, Italian Futurismo, Russian Futurism, an early 20th-century artistic movement that centred in Italy and emphasized the dynamism, speed, energy, and power of the machine and the vitality, change, and restlessness of modern life in general. The most significant results of the movement were in the visual arts and poetry.

Futurism was first announced on Feb. 20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published a manifesto by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (q.v.). The name Futurism, coined by Marinetti, reflected his emphasis on discarding what he conceived to be the static and irrelevant art of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society. Marinetti's manifesto glorified the new technology of the automobile and the beauty of its speed, power, and movement. He exalted violence and conflict and called for the sweeping repudiation of traditional cultural, social, and political values and the destruction of such cultural institutions as museums and libraries. The manifesto's rhetoric was passionately bombastic; its tone was aggressive and inflammatory and was purposely intended to inspire public anger and amazement, to arouse controversy, and to attract widespread attention.

Movement in art, music, and literature begun in Italy about 1910 and marked esp. by an effort to give formal expression to the dynamic energy and movement of mechanical processes.

1909; Doctrine esthétique (formulée par le poète italien Marinetti) exaltant le mouvement, et tout ce qui dans le présent (vie ardente, vitesse, machinisme, révolte, goût du risque, etc.) préfigurerait le monde futur. Le futurisme italien prônait la violence, la guerre. --- Tendance poétique et artistique moderniste (débarrassée des traits idéologiques du futurisme italien). Les futurismes et constructivismes des années 20.


(Beginning in 1970s)
Jean-Michel Basquiat:Skull Graffiti is a type of deliberate marking on property, both private and public. It can take the form of pictures, drawings, words, or any decorations inscribed on any surface usually outside walls and sidewalks. When done without the property owner's consent, it constitutes illegal vandalism.

Graffiti has existed at least since the days of ancient civilizations. Graffiti originally was the term used for inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs, or at Pompeii.

In the modern era, in early 1970s young New Yorkers, belonging to the black and Puerto Rican communities, started to adopt tags - signatures and signs made with aerosol sprays and markers in public places. Tags started to cover the city's walls, buses and, above all, subway trains, with spectacular "whole car" works covering entire trains. Tags, like screen names, are sometimes chosen to reflect some qualities of the writer. Some tags also contain subtle and often cryptic messages.

The first modern identified tagger in New York was Taki. The Greek-American artist signed himself Taki 183 (probably the number of his apartment block). At the same time the "grafs" also made their appearance. These were real urban frescoes painted with spray-paint. Futura 2000, Dust and Pink all earned recognition and fame, although their celebrity was limited to the hip-hop culture and its circles.

Basquiat and Haring also started to work in the street and the subway, but the renown and repute of their work would very swiftly spread beyond the works of graffiti. Their works won instant critical acclaim and attracted the attention of influential art dealers. In no time they were in great demand. Their art was one of the rare forms to circulate freely through all social strata and attract enthusiasm from all sorts of people who were usually marked more by the abysses between them.

The difference between tagging and graffiti is arguable, but some say it's a clear one: tagging is gang-motivated and/or meant as vandalism (illegal) or viewed as too vulgar or controversial to have public value; while graffiti can be viewed as creative expression, whether charged with political meaning or not.

Main Representatives

* Taggers: Futura 2000
* Dust
* Pink
* Taki

* Painters: Jean-Michel Basquiat
* Keith Haring

Short history of Graffiti-Writing
The phenomenon, which we can observe all over the world, in colloquial speech, is called graffiti. The beginning of this occurrence was taken place in New York on the turn of 60's and 70's... Art Crimes / - The Writing on the Wall
Graffiti art and style writing around the world. The first and largest online aerosol art archive, est. 1994. Links to most of the other sites devoted to modern graffiti. Jean-Michel Basquiat
JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, once known as "a controversial graffiti artist", died in 1988 at the age of 27... African American World: Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1960 to a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother... don't front - visualorgasm
Archive of Canadian Graffiti- East to West!!! - Dont front, Canadas on the map! ZEPHYRGRAFFITI.COM
Create your own graffiti online! CRC Studio - Scrawl: Artwork from the Streets
Photographs of street art from around the world, including New York, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Bologna and London. : Graffiti
Worldwide Graffiti and Street art galleries and news.
The God Bless Graffiti Coalition, Inc. was founded in 2000 in Chicago in order to combat growing national and international anti-graffiti trends... Graffiti Acheology - What is Graffiti Archaeology?
Graffiti Archaeology is the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of San Francisco graffiti taken by many different photographers from 1998 to the present... Welcome to the Stencil Revolution
Collectively Reconstructing the Urban Canvas JDoodle Home Page
Graffiti and chat. Lets users share drawings, images and chat using a Java applet that works through firewalls



Jan Van Eyck - Patron of the Northern Renaissance

Jan Van Eyck - Patron of the Northern Renaissance
By Annette Labedzki

Johannes de Eyck or Jan van Eyck was one of the most venerated North European painters of the fifteenth century. Flemish in origin, he founded the 'Northern Renaissance' styles of painting, where meticulous attention to detail was given prime importance. Jan was born in the year 1385, to a family of painters in Maaseik, Limburg, Belgium. The authenticity of his date of birth is not established, however. He was famous for popularizing oil painting and inventing new techniques through it.

Jan van Eyck was trained under the guidance of Hubert van Eyck, his elder, painter brother. He taught the artist to paint, and to experiment with the colors from Pliny. After the tutelage of his brother, Jan van Eyck collaborated with him in his work, and later they both were commissioned as the court painters to the Philip of Charolais. In 1421, Jan left his brother's guidance and became a court painter for the John of Bavaria, The Hague. After the death of John, in 1425, Jan van Eyck was commissioned to work as a court painter for the Valois prince, Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy. He stayed at Lille, Northern France, until 1426, to settle down for life at Bruges, Belgium, eventually. Eyck remained faithful to the Prince and was made in-charge of many secret missions. His work of art was regarded as exceptional and commanded handsome rewards.

One of the world-renowned masterpieces of Jan van Eyck was "The Ghent Altarpiece," painted in 1432. This is a polyptych panel painting, which was kept in the Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium. This huge altarpiece paved way for a brand new style of painting, which envisioned and portrayed traditional ideas with a different temperament. Joost Vijdt commissioned and sponsored this magnificent work, consisting of twenty-four scenes depicting Christ the King, Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Adam, and Eve. Many art historians speculate that Hubert van Eyck initially started this painting in 1426 and later, Jan van Eyck completed it.

The artist created "The Arnolfini Portrait" (London, National Gallery), in 1434, which became a subject of much analysis, and examination by art historians. The painting, celebrating the meaning of true marriage, is a double portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife. Each subject in the painting bears a distinct significance, like the dog symbolizing loyalty, the cherry tree outside the window exemplifying love, and the green attire of the wife, depicting her anticipation of becoming a mother. Another crowning achievement by Jan van Eyck was "The Annunciation" (1434-1436) that demonstrates his deeply spiritual nature. The painting illustrates the conversation of Virgin Mary with angel Gabriel, shown stating that Mary will bear the child of God. The light in the room coming from upper window enhances the presence of divine elements. Virgin Mary is represented in a deeply meditative mood, resulting out of the realization that she would have to bear the sorrow of the crucifixion of her child. Jan van Eyck's other notable paintings include "Madonna in the Church" (1430), "Portrait of a Man" (1433), "St. Jerome" (1440), and "The Adoration of the Lamb" (1432).

Jan van Eyck died on July 9, 1441, in Bruges. He was a master of Realism and remained an inspiration for the art community for his scrupulous attention to detail. His work is put to display at famous art galleries, such as National Gallery of Art, London, and National Gallery of Art, New York. He once famously quoted, "Painting is a form of profound creative release," delineating his passion, called art.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art . Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

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  Michelangelo - Renaissance Greek Artist in Roman Lands

Michelangelo - Renaissance Greek Artist in Roman Lands
By Annette Labedzki

Why is Michelangelo famous? Why is it that his name shines forth as one of the greatest Renaissance artists, while there are many who score over him in the terms of techniques and execution? Why is it that he is the de facto patron of sculptors and painters? There are three main reasons to justify Michelangelo's claim to this unparallel fame and glory, versatility, volume, and perfection, a combination that was almost out of this world. The amount of work that the man did, surpasses many a modern artists even in this age of mass production. Starting from initial sketches, moving to oils, and then graduating from frescoes to sculptures, even the most prolific of the artists would appear short of this genius. In addition, he left no stone of Renaissance Art unturned. Be it fine arts, architecture, or iconography, he was almost an omnipresent personality in the sixteenth century European "art space." Among all of his artworks, there is none, which can be rated as less than "perfect."

Italian Renaissance artist, Michelangelo's original name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Born on March 06, 1475, he became a legend in his lifetime and remains so even after his death on February 18, 1564, with two biographies of his already in circulation. Young Michelangelo started out as an apprentice at a young age of thirteen, in his home state of Arezzo, after his father realized that contrary to his own aspirations, his son would not be interested in either law or government service. On the invitation of the Medici of Florence in 1489, Michelangelo's master, Domenico Ghirlandaio, sent him to start commissioned work on biblical themes. It was in Florence that the Renaissance artist found his true calling of sculptures and his expertise in marble carving and relief work.

The constant change (rise and fall) in political fortunes saw Michelangelo shifting in and out of Florence. Soon however, in 1496, he stabilized in Rome where he created his most famous sculpture under commission from the French ambassador, The "Pieta (1499)." The sculpture depicting the wounded Jesus and Virgin Mary that the Renaissance artist so inspiringly carved when he was just 24 years of age, stands out as the renewed defining pinnacle of the use of marble. His other masterpiece "David (1504)," again commissioned for a political theme of the resurgence of "free" Florence, was only a reassurance that he was indeed "Il Divino" (the divine one), as one of his biographers eulogized him.

A list of Michelangelo's works would fill volumes, one thing though stands out in the character of this man, and that was his entirely apolitical nature and sheer disregard to the origin of his inspiration, as long as it was creative. He never questioned people who commissioned him work, nor did he shy away from taking over other artists' unfinished works. St Peters Basilica is a case in point. Although he was best known for his biblical works such as "Creation of Adam (1511)," and "Adam and Eve," the Renaissance artist himself was a gay and never made his preferences secret. Michelangelo was in fact more of a Greek artist than a Roman one. It is this "otherworldliness" of his, which makes him stand out among all other arguably "better" artists.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art. Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

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The Renaissance (from French Renaissance , meaning "rebirth"; Italian : Rinascimento , from re- "again" and nascere "be born") [1] was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe . The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historic era , but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term.

As a cultural movement, it encompassed a revival of learning based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform. Traditionally, this intellectual transformation has resulted in the Renaissance being viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era . Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo , who inspired the term " Renaissance man ". [2] [3]

There is a general, but not unchallenged, consensus that the Renaissance began in Tuscany in the 14th century. [4] Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time; its political structure; the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici ; [5] and the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks . [6] [7] [8]

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography , and there has been much debate among historians as to the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation. [9] Some have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for the classical age , [10] while others have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras. [11] Indeed, some have called for an end to the use of the term, which they see as a product of presentism the use of history to validate and glorify modern ideals. [12] The word Renaissance has also been used to describe other historical and cultural movements , such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century .

The term Renaissance, adopted from the French equivalent of the Italian word rinascita, meaning literally "rebirth," describes the radical and comprehensive changes that took place in European culture during the 15th and 16th centuries, bringing about the demise of the Middle Ages and embodying for the first time the values of the modern world.

The consciousness of cultural rebirth was itself a characteristic of the Renaissance. Italian scholars and critics of this period proclaimed that their age had progressed beyond the barbarism of the past and had found its inspiration, and its closest parallel, in the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome.

The term Renaissance, describing the period of European history from the early 14th to the late 16th century, is derived from the French word for rebirth, and originally referred to the revival of the values and artistic styles of classical antiquity during that period, especially in Italy.

To Giovanni BOCCACCIO in the 14th century, the concept applied to contemporary Italian efforts to imitate the poetic style of the ancient Romans. In 1550 the art historian Giorgio VASARI used the word rinascita (rebirth) to describe the return to the ancient Roman manner of painting by Giotto di Bondone about the beginning of the 14th century.

It was only later that the word Renaissance acquired a broader meaning. Voltaire in the 18th century classified the Renaissance in Italy as one of the great ages of human cultural achievement. In the 19th century, Jules MICHELET and Jakob BURCKHARDT popularized the idea of the Renaissance as a distinct historical period heralding the modern age, characterized by the rise of the individual, scientific inquiry and geographical exploration, and the growth of secular values. In the 20th century the term was broadened to include other revivals of classical culture, such as the Carolingian Renaissance of the 9th century or the Renaissance of the 12th Century. Emphasis on medieval renaissances tended to undermine a belief in the unique and distinctive qualities of the Italian Renaissance, and some historians of science, technology and economy even denied the validity of the term. Today the concept of the Renaissance is firmly secured as a cultural and intellectual movement; most scholars would agree that there is a distinctive Renaissance style in music, literature and the arts.




The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.

Impressionism, French Impressionnisme , a major movement, first in painting and later in music, that developed chiefly in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Impressionist painting comprises the work produced between about 1867 and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and techniques. The most conspicuous characteristic of Impressionism was an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and colour. The principal Impressionist painters were Claude Monet , Pierre Auguste Renoir , Camille Pissarro , Alfred Sisley , Berthe Morisot , Armand Guillaumin , and Frédéric Bazille , who worked together, influenced each other, and exhibited together independently. Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne also painted in an Impressionist style for a time in the early 1870s. The established painter Édouard Manet , whose work in the 1860s greatly influenced Monet and others of the group, himself adopted the Impressionist approach about 1873.

Tout l'impressionnisme est né de la contemplation et de l'imitation des impressions claires du Japon.
-- Ed. et J. de Goncourt, Journal , 19 avr. 1884.

En réalité l'Impressionnisme est multiple: le terme si critiqué est surtout mauvais parce qu'on l'emploie tantôt dans un sens large, tantôt dans un sens étroit. Il y a l'impressionnisme de Manet qui peint clair. Il y a celui de Manet encore et de Degas qui spécule sur l'emploi d'une nouvelle perspective. Il y a celui de Pissarro et de Renoir qui se fondent sur le plein air et l'emploi des tons purs. Il y a enfin celui de Monet qui unit une conception lyrique de la vision avec une analyse quasi scientifique des sensations colorées et qui substitue au dessin classique la notation des ombres et des reflets. Toutes ces tendances ont un caractère commun: elles se fondent sur une tentative pour substituer aux conventions de l'école l'analyse des données pures des sens. Et c'est par là qu'elles méritent finalement toutes, en commun, le nom d'Impressionnisme.
-- P. Francastel, Nouveau dessin, nouvelle peinture, III .

The word ``impressionniste'' was printed for the first time in the Charivari on the 25 April 1874 by Louis Leroy, after Claude Monet 's landscape entitled Impressions: soleil levant [ Impressions ]. This word was used to call Exposition des Impressionnistes an exhibit hold in the salons of the photographer Nadar and organized by the ``Société anonyme des peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs'' [``Anonymous society of painters, sculptors and engravers''], composed of Pissarro , Monet, Sisley , Degas , Renoir , Cézanne , Guillaumin and Berthe Morisot .

ImageImpression: soleil levant
Claude Monet

The Founders

The founders of this society were animated by the will to break with the official art. The official theory that the color should be dropped pure on the canvas instead of getting mixed on the palette will only be respected by a few of them and only for a couple of years. In fact, the Impressionism is a lot more a state of the mind than a technique; thus artists other than painters have also been qualified of impressionists . Many of these painters ignore the law of simultaneous contrast as established by Chevreul in 1823. The expressions ``independants'' or ``open air painters'' may be more appropriate than ``impressionists'' to qualify those artists continuing a tradition inherited from Eugène Delacroix , who thought that the drawing and colors were a whole, and English landscape painters, Constable , Bonington and especially William Turner , whose first law was the observation of nature, as for landscape painters working in Barbizon and in the Fontainebleau forest.

Eugène Boudin , Stanislas Lépine and the Dutch Jongkind were among the forerunners of the movement. In 1858, Eugène Boudin met in Honfleur Claude Monet, aged about 15 years. He brought him to the seashore, gave him colors and taught him how to observe the changing lights on the Seine estuary. In those years, Boudin is still the minor painter of the Pardon de Sainte-Anne-la-Palud , but is on the process of getting installed on the Normandy coast to paint the beaches of Trouville and Le Havre. On the Côte de Grâce , in the Saint-Siméon farm, he attracts many painters including Courbet , Bazille, Monet, Sisley. The last three will meet in Paris in the free Gleyre studio, and in 1863 they will discover a porcelain painter, Auguste Renoir.

At the same time, other artists wanted to bypass the limitations attached to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and were working quai des Orfèvres in the Swiss Academy; the eldest, from the Danish West Indies, was Camille Pissarro; the other two were Paul Cézanne and Armand Guillaumin.

Le ``Salon des Refusés''

These people were highly impressed by the works of Edouard Manet , and became outraged when they learned that he was refused for the 1863 Salon. The indignation was so high among the artistic population that Napoleon III allowed the opening of a ``Salon des Refusés'', where Manet, Pissarro, Jongkind, Cals, Chintreuil, Fantin-Latour , etc. showed their works. Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe provoked a great enthusiasm among the young painters, who saw represented in Manet's painting many of their concerns. They started meeting around him in the café Guerbois, 9, avenue de Clichy, and thus creating l'école des Batignolles .

ImageLe Déjeuner sur l'herbe
Edouard Manet

The 1866 Salon accepted the works of some of them: Degas, Bazille, Berthe Morisot, Sisley; Monet exposed the portrait of Camille , Pissarro, les Bords de la Marne en hiver ; Manet, Cézanne, Renoir were refused, and Emile Zola wrote in l'Evenement a diatribe which made him the official upholder of those newcomers bearing an more revolutionary attitude in the conception than in the still traditional painting. The main distinction lies in the attraction for color and the liking of light; but Berthe Morisot remained faithful to Manet's teaching; Degas was mixed between his admiration of Ingres and the Italian Renaissance painters; Cézanne attempted to ``faire du Poussin sur nature''; Claude Monet himself, in la Terrasse au Havre and les Femmes au jardin (1866, Louvre, salles du Jeu de Paume), is far from announcing his future audacity.

The 1870 war

The 1870 war split those beginners. Frédéric Bazille was killed in Beaune-la-Rolande; Renoir was mobilized; Degas volunteered; Cézanne retired in Provence; Pissarro, Monet and Sisley moved to London, where they met Paul Durand-Ruel. This stay in London is a major step in the evolution of Impressionism, both because these young artists met there their first merchant, and because they discovered Turner's paintings, whose light analysis will mark them.

Back in Paris, most of these painters went to work in Argenteuil (Monet, Renoir), Chatou (Renoir), Marly (Sisley), or on the banks of the river Oise (Pissarro, Guillaumin, Cézanne). Edouard Manet painted the Seine with Claude Monet and, under his influence, adopted the open air work.

The opinion of the public

Durand-Ruel was unable to sell the works of the future impressionists and had to cease buying in 1873; thus, next year, they decided to expose in Nadar's (15 April-15 May 1874), where they displayed the works that the Salon had refused. They invited with no success Manet, but Lépine, Boudin, Bracquemond the engraver, Astruc the sculptor, and the painters Cals, de Nittis, Henri Rouart, etc. joined them. Many artists became then conscious of the public and critics incomprehension, but the solidarity didn't last long. Cézanne didn't participate in the group second exhibit, galerie Durand-Ruel, rue Le Peletier, in 1876, which hold 24 Degas and works from Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. They met some upholders, such as Duranty, Armand Silvestre, Philippe Burty, Emile Blémond, Georges Rivière, soon with Théodore Duret. The disappearance of Cézanne, Renoir, Sisley, Berthe Morisot in the 1879 exhibit proved that the group was splitting apart. Renoir preferred to send to the official Salon Mme Charpentier et ses enfants and the Portrait of Jeanne Samary ; yet only few people admired his artworks and of those of his friends, and the artists'life was uneasy, if not miserable. Degas tried, with Pissarro, to maintain the unity of the group, but his attempt failed since Monet, Sisley and Renoir were missing for the fifth exhibit, opened in April 1880; however, artworks from Gauguin appeared there for the first time. In 1881, the some of the Impressionists went back to Nadar's: Pissarro, Degas, Guillaumin, Berthe Morisot. The ``seventh exhibition of independant artists'' was the become the ``Salon des indépendants'' two years later.

Only Monet and Sisley went always deeper into the analysis of light changings and their effects on appearances. Degas, Renoir and Cézanne headed towards opposite directions, whereas Pissarro was interested by the researches of Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat , Paul Signac . If, at this stage, Impressionists were becoming appreciated, their situation was still harsh; the Salon was still refusing their paintings, and in 1894, 25 out of 65 artworks donated by Caillebotte to the Luxembourg museum were rejected.

Yet, when Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist patriarch, died in 1903, everybody agreed that this movement was the main XIXth century artistic revolution, and that all its members were among the finest painters. The influence of the Impressionists was great out of France, especially in Germany, with Liebermann, Corinth, and in Belgium.