Contemporary art



Impressionism in painting started from the disagreement with classical themes and with the corseted artistic formulas advocated by the French Academy of Fine Arts. The Academy set the role models and sponsored the official exhibitions at the Paris Salon. The Impressionists, on the other hand, chose outdoor painting and the themes of everyday life. Their first objective was to achieve a spontaneous and direct representation of the world, and for this they focused on the effects that natural light produces on objects. The main figures of the movement were: Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley.

The Impressionists were more concerned with capturing the incidence of light on the object than with the exact representation of its shapes, because the light tends to blur the contours and reflects the colors of the surrounding objects in the dim areas. Academic painters defined shapes by tonal gradation, using black and brown for shadows. The Impressionists eliminated minute details and only suggested shapes, using primary colors - cyan, magenta, and yellow - and complementary colors - orange, green, and violet. They managed to offer an illusion of reality by applying short and juxtaposed brushstrokes of color directly onto the canvas, which, mixed by the observer's retina from an optimal distance, increased the luminosity by contrasting a primary color (such as magenta) with its complementary color (green). . In this way, the Impressionists achieved a greater brilliance in their paintings than is normally produced by mixing the pigments before applying them.





Literary and visual arts movement that originated in France in the late 19th century.


Literary symbolism was an aesthetic movement that encouraged writers to express their ideas, feelings, and values ​​through symbols or implicitly, rather than through direct statements. The Symbolist writers, who rejected the previous trends of the century (the romanticism of Victor Hugo, the realism of Gustave Flaubert, or the naturalism of Émile Zola), proclaimed that the imagination was the most authentic way of interpreting reality. At the same time they moved away from the rigid norms of versification and poetic imagery employed by their predecessors, the Parnassian poets. Among the main precursors of Symbolist poetry are the American writer Edgar Allan Poe, the French poet Gérard de Nerval, and the German poets Novalis and Hölderlin.



The symbolism is born in the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Some of his works, such as The Flowers of Evil (1857) and The Spleen of Paris (1869) were labeled as decadent by his contemporaries. Stéphane Mallarmé was in charge of spreading the movement through his literary salon and his poetry, as evidenced in La siesta de un fauno (1876). His prose essays, Divagations (1897) constitute one of the main theoretical contributions to symbolist aesthetics. Other key works in this movement were Paul Verlaine's Romanzas without Words (1874) and The Drunken Ship (1871) and A Season in Hell (1873) by Arthur Rimbaud.


The symbolism survived well into the 1890s in the works of French poets such as Jules Laforgue and Paul Valéry, as well as in the work of the writer and critic Rémy de Gourmont. Peleas y Melisanda, by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, is one of the few Symbolist plays. The symbolism spread throughout the world; its influence was especially notable in Russia, where the work of the poet Alexander Blok is noteworthy, and it had a great impact on 20th century literature. In the Spanish area he influenced the poetry of Ruben Darío, Antonio Machado and Juan Ramón Jiménez.


The symbolist movement had a special meaning in the plastic arts. In a sense it alludes to the use of certain pictorial conventions (pose, gesture or various attributes) to express the allegorical meaning latent in a work of art (see Iconography). In another sense, the term refers to a movement that began in France in the 1880s as a reaction to both romanticism and the realistic approach implicit in impressionism. Symbolism in the visual arts is not so much a style in itself as an ideological trend of international scope that served as a catalyst for the transformation of figurative art into abstract art.





One of the main artistic movements of the twentieth century emerged the cubist revolution, the greatest pictorial revolution of our century.

The discovery of black art, the retrospective exhibition of Cézanne in 1907 and the poetry of Apllinaire and Max Jacob became the main influences of the new style. The forms that the Cubism painters build follow rigidly geometric patterns, very typical of intellectualist painting; In this sense, the main representatives of this style are very significant, Picasso: "I paint objects as I think of them, not as I see them, and Braque:" the senses deform and the spirit forms.

The Spanish Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973), after going through his blue period and his “blue period” and his “pink period”, painted Las Señoritas de Aviñó (1906), a work that marks the beginning of his Cubist period. However, cubism will be nothing more than a stage of extensive production by Picasso, which he will constantly investigate, open new aesthetic paths, and will go through various periods. Along with Picasso, the other great figure of Cubism is Georges Braque (1882 - 1963), with a production marked by a predilection for still lifes. Starting in 1912, he introduced the procedure of embedding pieces of paper on the canvas: it is the Collage or Papiers Collés, a resource widely used later by the Dadaists and Surrealists. Other prominent cubists are Juan Gris (1887 - 1927), Fernan, Léger, who sought some simplification of the forms in his work by means of tubular structures and automaton figures, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, the Duchamp brothers and the future Dadaist Francis Picabia . Variant of Cubism is Orphism, a series of syntheses of Cubism and Fauvism, represented in the work of Robert Delaunay (1885 - 1941), whose pure art is already close to total abstraction.

Analytical Cubism: Analyze and decompose the rality to capture it with geometric elements that appear superimposed and with a restricted chromatic range. It is not a visual reality, but a reality of knowledge, which reconstructs objects as they are known to be, not as they are seen.

Synthetic Cubism: The second stage of Cubism is no longer characterized by the analysis of reality, but by conceiving the painting as a construction of plastic elements, including real elements






French pictorial movement of short duration (between 1904 and 1908, approximately) that revolutionized the concept of color in contemporary art. The Fauvists rejected the naturalistic tonal palette employed by the Impressionists in favor of the violent colors, introduced by the Post-Impressionists Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh, to create greater expressive emphasis. They reached an intense poetic force thanks to the strong coloring and the drawing with a very marked line, devoid of light drama.

The term fauves, literally 'beasts', was a pejorative label applied by critics on the occasion of the first exhibition, in the Autumn Salon of 1905, although the members of the group already painted in that style prior to this date. Its members were André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminick, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, Henri Manguin, Albert Marquet, Jean Puy, Emile Othon Friesz and Henri Matisse, its main exponent. The term fauves was never accepted by the painters themselves and, in fact, does not in any way describe their subjective intention or the lyricism of their images.

Technically, the Fauvist use of color derived from Matisse's experiments in Saint-Tropez during the summer of 1904, where he contacted painters who applied small spots of pure color to achieve a more scientific optical image than that of the Impressionists. Matisse's Neo-Impressionist paintings, while strictly following these rules, already showed a pronounced interest in the lyricism of color.

In the summer of 1905, Matisse and Derain painted together at Collioure with "a golden light that eliminates shadows." They began to use pure complementary colors, in vigorous and uniform brushstrokes, thus obtaining light fields rather than objective representations of light. With their strident coloring, these paintings evoke in the viewer the spirit of the Mediterranean. When they both became acquainted with Gauguin's paintings of the South Seas, their theories on the subjectivity of color were confirmed and the Fauvist movement was consolidated.

Matisse definitely broke with the naturalistic (optical) representation of color: a woman's nose can be represented with a green stain if this adds expressiveness to the composition. "I don't paint women, I paint pictures," said this artist verbatim.

Each Fauvist painter experimented with the premises of the style in his own way. By 1908, however, all of them had abandoned their connection to the group, although they maintained in their work the constant of color as an expressive element of painting.





This movement values ​​above all, the contents and emotional attitudes, the expression of one's own self; for this reason, the composition becomes torn and the color, violent, with symbolic content. With extraordinary backgrounds such as the Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944), creator of a world populated by anguished and sickly beings (The Scream), and the Belgian James Ensor (1860 - 1949), with his carnival scenes and masks (The entrance of Christ in Brúcelas), the most coherent manifestations of Expressionism emerged in Germany. The first expressionist group was founded in Since in 1904, Die Brûcke (The Bridge), consisting of Emil Nolde, Ernest Kichner, Erich Heckel, Kart Schmidt-Rottluff and Max Pechstein. Its aesthetic is well linked to that of ancient Germanic mythology, although it was influenced by black art, with a pantheistic and naturalistic flavor with numerous landscapes of strong chromaticism, which was later softened. At the end of 1910, Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) was formed, formed by Kandinsky, Franz Marc and August Macke, with a theme similar to the previous ones but with a predominance of curved lines instead of broken lines, a very soft chromaticism and an art more intellectual. Another expressionist group coalesced from 1910 around the Berlin magazine Sturn (The Storm) whose main representative was Oscar Kokoschka (1886 - 1980), which took the dramatic stance of Expressionism to the limit.

Later, in 1925, the new objectivity was born, made up of Otto Dix, George Grosz and Max Beckmann, the group of realistic, aggressive and almost cartoonish language, which responded in a certain way to the pre-war political climate and the rise of Nazism.





Movement that encompasses all artistic genres and is the expression of a nihilistic protest against all aspects of Western culture, especially against the militarism that existed during World War I and immediately afterwards. The term dada (the French word for toy horse) is said to have been chosen by Romanian editor, essayist, and poet Tristan Tzara, randomly opening a dictionary at one of the group's meetings at the Voltaire cabaret in Zurich. The Dada movement was founded in 1916 by Tzara, the German writer Hugo Ball, the Alsatian artist Jean Arp and other intellectuals living in Zurich (Switzerland), at the same time that a revolution against conventional art led by Man was taking place in New York. Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia. In Paris he would later inspire surrealism. After World War I the movement spread to Germany and many of the Zurich group joined the French Dadaists in Paris. In 1922 the Paris group disintegrated.

In order to express the rejection of all the social and aesthetic values ​​of the moment, and all kinds of codification, the Dadaists frequently resorted to the use of deliberately incomprehensible artistic and literary methods, which relied on the absurd and irrational. His theatrical performances and his manifestos sought to shock or perplex the public in order for them to reconsider established aesthetic values. To do this they used new materials, such as waste found in the street, and new methods, such as the inclusion of chance to determine the elements of the works. The German painter and writer Kurt Schwitters stood out for his collages made with used paper and other similar materials. French artist Marcel Duchamp exhibited common commercial products — a bottle dryer and a urinal — as works of art, which he called ready-mades. Although the Dadaists used revolutionary techniques, their anti-norm ideas were based on a deep belief, derived from the Romantic tradition, in the intrinsic goodness of humanity when it has not been corrupted by society.

As a movement, Dada declined in the 1920s and some of its members became prominent figures in other modern art movements, especially Surrealism. In the mid-1950s, some interest in Dada re-emerged in New York among composers, writers, and artists, who produced works of similar characteristics.





Surrealism emerged as a movement both literary and pictorial. In their dreamlike and subjective painting, the surrealists tried to go beyond visible reality, exploring from different sides, through dreams and automatism, the depths of the inconsistent in order to get rid of bourgeois tradition and artistic conventions. The word "surrealism" was used for the first time by the poet Apollinaire in 1917. In 1924 André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto and a year later the first exhibition of the Pierre de Paris gallery was held, with Chirico, Arp, Er nest, Klee, Man Ray, André Masson, Miró, Picasso and Pierre Roy. The history of the surrealists was Giorgio de Chirico, creator of a goal pinura physics , a mysterious, motionless, maniquies world.

The most representative painter of the first moment is Max Ernest (1891 - 1976), whose painting is equivalent to the psychic automatism of the surrealist poets, with a fantastic Universe full of mysterious animals and landscapes. André Masson stands out for the poetic treatment he gives to the world of dreams and his fine eroticism.

Abstract Surrealism: Artists like Masson or Miró, who create extraordinarily personal figurative universes, based on fucking automatism, a kind of magical dictation born of the unconscious.

Figurative Surrealism: Artists such as Dalí, Delvaux or Magritte, more interested in the oneiric way, whose works exhibit an almost photographic realism, even though they are totally removed from traditional painting due to the unusual and enigmatic associations of objects and figures.