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Karel Srp

Term used to describe a style of Czech avant-garde art, literature, film, dance and cabaret of the period 1909–21. It was introduced by art historians and critics, notably Jiří Padrta and Morislav Lamač, in the early 1970s. The term has two meanings: a general one applicable to the tendency of the age and a specialized one referring to the synthesis of two styles that influenced the development of modern Czech art: French Cubism and German Expressionism.

Expressionism had been in vogue in Bohemia from the 1890s. In 1907 the group known as the Eight, influenced by the Edvard Munch exhibition of 1905, laid down the basic principles for the development of Czech modern art. They were dissatisfied with the prevailing naturalism and sought the reintroduction of colour as the dominant element in art, together with freer brushwork (see Eight, the). Most members of the Eight subsequently became joint founders of the ...

Article

Paul Vogt and Ita Heinze-Greenberg

International movement in art and architecture, which flourished between c. 1905 and c. 1920, especially in Germany. It also extended to literature, music, dance and theatre. The term was originally applied more widely to various avant-garde movements: for example it was adopted as an alternative to the use of ‘Post-Impressionism’ by Roger Fry in exhibitions in London in 1910 and 1912. It was also used contemporaneously in Scandinavia and Germany, being gradually confined to the specific groups of artists and architects to which it is now applied.

Expressionism in the fine arts developed from the Symbolist and expressive trends in European art at the end of the 19th century. The period of ‘classical Expressionism’ began in 1905, with the foundation of the group Brücke, Die, and ended c. 1920. Although in part an artistic reaction both to academic art and to Impressionism, the movement should be understood as a form of ‘new ...

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

(b Hamburg, Sept 14, 1876; d Pansdorf, nr Lübeck, May 13, 1954).

German painter, printmaker, poster and stage designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (c. 1894), and art academies in Düsseldorf and Berlin (c. 1897). In the first decades of the 20th century he exhibited with the New Secessionists. He drew and painted still-lifes and figures in landscapes and interiors in a strongly Expressionist style, which revealed his admiration for Cubism and for the work of Ferdinand Hodler. He was an assiduous worker; besides paintings, woodcuts and lithographs, he designed stained-glass windows, mosaics (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, Berlin), murals and painted ceilings. He also decorated the interiors of a number of Berlin theatres, as well as the Marmorhaus cinema (1913). Klein and Gerhard Marcks joined Gropius to organize the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne.

In the post-World War I ferment of cultural and political activity, Klein, with Max Pechstein and others, founded the Novembergruppe in Berlin in ...

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

Whitney Chadwick

(b Balagne, Jan 4, 1896; d Paris, Oct 28, 1987).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, and stage designer. His work played an important role in the development of both Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, although his independence, iconoclasm, and abrupt stylistic transitions make him difficult to classify. Masson was admitted to the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et l’Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels at the age of 11. Through his teacher Constant Montald, he met the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren (1855–1916), who persuaded Masson’s parents to send him to Paris for further training. Masson joined the French infantry in 1915 and fought in the battles of the Somme; he was gravely wounded, and his wartime experiences engendered in him a profound philosophy about human destiny and stimulated his search for a personal imagery of generation, eclosion, and metamorphosis.

Masson’s early works, particularly the paintings of 1922 and 1923 on a forest theme (e.g. Forest, 1923; see Leiris and Limbour, p. 93), reflected the influence of André Derain, but by late ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Derpeczyn, Podolia, May 27, 1885; d Kraków, Feb 8, 1958).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. In 1906–11 he studied painting at the studio of Teodor Axentowicz (d 1938) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and he also visited France and Italy where he came into contact with the latest artistic currents. He began exhibiting, often abroad, in 1907, and from 1945 he had a painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

Until c. 1922 Pronaszko was one of the main organizers and exponents of modern art in Poland. In 1917, along with his brother Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961) and Tytus Czyżewski, he staged in Kraków the first exhibition of Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and was one of the chief theoreticians of that tendency. The influence of Cubism is clearly evident in his pictures from that period (e.g. Act, 1917; Kraków, N. Mus.). At this time Pronaszko also made sculptures, producing one of the most celebrated Formist works, the wood monument to ...

Article

Patrick Werkner

(Franz Walter)

(b Vienna, Sept 13, 1874; d Los Angeles, July 13, 1951).

Austrian composer, painter and writer. He became an American citizen in 1941. Schoenberg took painting lessons from c. 1906 from Richard Gerstl, who long after his death was recognized as one of the leading exponents of Austrian Expressionism. For personal reasons involving Gerstl’s affair with his first wife, Schoenberg later in general denied Gerstl’s influence, which in any case was not lasting; Schoenberg remained an amateur and his painting was secondary to his life’s work as a composer and writer of theoretical musical texts, for which he is much better known. He executed approximately 60 paintings and 200 drawings: only twelve of the extant paintings are dated, eleven 1910 and one 1912; most of this output dates from before the end of 1912, during a period of personal and professional difficulty. Schoenberg’s paintings are generally small in size and fall into two groups: a series of technically inept portraits and occasional landscapes on the one hand, and highly expressive visionary works on the other....