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Art and Design Movements

DOT Content Team
May 19, 2020
5 min read

Just as artists through the ages are influenced by earlier artists, past styles, and therefore the characteristics of past eras, designers and visual communicators also can look to history for inspiration. A design era can influence a graphic designer, who might repeat motifs that emulate a particular style. One needs to have a broad overview of the major eras that can influence your work. There have been hundreds of art and design movements of different sizes and significance over the centuries, some regarding the approach of a particular place, others may be few creative disciplines. There are certain art and design movements that students should be familiar with. We have stated a few art and design movements in order. They are:


 The art and craft movement is much more than the 1970 survival. It began in England in the 1800s and was later adopted in North America. This was after the industrial revolution which is one of the main reasons that the world’s art and craft movement exist. The movement is admired for its use of top-quality materials and its emphasis on utility in design. The practitioners of the movement strongly believed that the connection forged between the artist and his run-through handcraft was the key to producing both human fulfillment and delightful items that would be useful on an everyday basis. As a result, arts and crafts artists are largely associated with the vast range of decorative arts and architecture as opposed to the high arts of painting and sculpture.


Art nouveau appeared during a big variety of strands, and consequently, it’s known by various names, as the Glasgow style or within the German-speaking world, Jugendstil. Art nouveau aimed at modernizing design, seeking to escape the historical styles that had previously been popular. Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms resembling the stems and blossoms of plants. The movement was committed to abolishing the normal hierarchy of the humanities, which viewed the so-called humanistic discipline, like painting and sculpture, as superior to craft-based decorative arts.


The renaissance was a fanatical period of European cultural, artistic, political, and economic “rebirth” following the center ages. Generally described as happening from the 14th century to the 17th century, the renaissance promoted the rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature, and art. Some of the best thinkers, authors, statesmen, scientists, and artists in human history thrived during this era, while global exploration opened new lands and cultures to European commerce. The renaissance is credited with bridging the gap between the center ages and modern-day civilization.


 The Bauhaus was arguably the only most influential modernist conservatory of the 20th century. Its approach to teaching, and the connection between art, society, and technology, had a serious impact both in Europe and within us long after its closure under Nazi pressure in 1933. The origins of the Bauhaus dwell the late 19th century, in anxieties about the soullessness of recent manufacturing, and fears about art’s loss of social relevance. The Bauhaus aimed to reunite art and functional design, creating practical objects with the soul of artworks. Although the Bauhaus abandoned many aspects of traditional fine-arts education, it had been deeply concerned with intellectual and theoretical approaches to its subject. Various aspects of art and style pedagogy were fused, and therefore the hierarchy of the humanities which had stood in situ during the Renaissance was leveled out: the sensible crafts – architecture and interior design, textiles and woodwork – were placed on a par with fine arts like sculpture and painting.


Art Deco owed something to many of the main art sorts of the first 20th century. Art Deco borrowed also from Aztec and Egyptian art, also as from Classical Antiquity. Unlike its earlier counterpart school, however, the artistic movement had no philosophical basis – it had been purely decorative. The artistic movement style, adopted by architects and designers around the world, spanned the “Roaring Twenties”, the Great Depression of the early 1930s, and the years leading up to the Second World War. It suffered a decline in popularity during the late 30s and early 40s when it began to be seen as too gaudy and ostentatious for wartime austerity, after which it quickly fell out of fashion. The first resurgence of interest in the artistic movement occurred within the 1960s – coincident with the movement’s effect on Pop Art – then again within the 1980s, in line with a growing interest in graphic design. The style appeared in some jewelry and fashion ads too.


 There is no precise definition of the term “Modern Art”: it remains an elastic term, which can accommodate a variety of meanings. This is not too surprising, since we are constantly moving forward in time, and what’s considered “modern painting” or “modern sculpture” today, might not be seen as modern in fifty years. Even so, it’s traditional to mention that “Modern Art” means works produced during the approximate period 1870-1970. Incidentally, when trying to know the history of art it is vital to acknowledge that art doesn’t change overnight, but rather reflects wider and slower changes happening in society. It also reflects the outlook of the artist. Thus, for instance, a piece of art produced as early as 1958 could be decidedly “postmodernist, while another work, created by a conservative artist in 1980, could be seen as a throw-back to the time of “Modern Art” instead of an example of “Contemporary Art”


Constructivism was the last and most influential modern art movement to flourish in Russia within the 20th century. It borrowed ideas from Cubism and Futurism, but at its heart was a completely new approach to creating objects, one which sought to abolish the normal artistic concern with composition, and replace it with ‘construction.’ Constructivism involved a careful technical analysis of recent materials, and it had been hoped that this investigation would eventually yield ideas that would be put to use in production, serving the ends of contemporary, Communist society. Ultimately, however, the movement floundered in trying to make the transition from the artist’s studio to the factory.


Focusing on progress and modernity, the Futurists sought to comb away traditional artistic notions and replace them with an active celebration of the machine age. The focus was placed on creating a singular and dynamic vision of the longer term and artists incorporated portrayals of urban landscapes also as new technologies like trains, cars, and airplanes into their depictions. Speed, violence, and the working classes were all glorified by the group as ways to advance change and their work covered a wide variety of art forms, including architecture, sculpture, literature, theater, music, and even food.


Minimalism emerged in NY within the early 1960s among artists who were self-consciously renouncing recent art they thought had become stale and academic. A wave of latest influences and rediscovered styles led younger artists to question conventional boundaries between various media. The new art favored the cool over the “dramatic”: their sculptures were frequently fabricated from industrial materials and emphasized anonymity over the expressive more than Abstract Expressionism. Painters and sculptors avoided overt symbolism and emotional content but instead called attention to the materiality of the works. By the top of the 1970s, Minimalism had triumphed in America and Europe through a mixture of forces including museum curators, art dealers, and publications, plus new systems of private and government patronage. And members of a replacement movement, Post-Minimalism, were already challenging its authority and were thus a testament to how important Minimalism itself became.

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