Avant-garde art What is it? features and expressions

Currently you can see various types of art that emerged in periods very close to the 21st century. Being before our century, these art styles have been very famous in our century and the vast majority of people know it. This is the case for example of contemporary art or cubist art although it is also the case of avant-garde art.

What is avant-garde art?

Avant-garde art is an artistic movement that refers to all works of art and artists who are innovative or empirical, normally this art refers to both artistic, political and cultural disciplines. For this reason, avant-garde is an impulse of all those limits that are accepted as a norm, mainly in culture.

The origin of this style of art is mainly associated with modern art since it began to emerge as a protest towards it. Furthermore, the term avant-garde refers to drastic social changes. Within avant-garde art there are various artistic movements that created an artistic renewal and distorted the techniques used for artistic representation, as was the case in disciplines such as literature, music, painting, cinema, theater, architecture, among others. .

This innovative and renewing artistic trend, which was generally dogmatic, emerged mainly in Europe during the first period of the 20th century. Shortly after this type of art is moving to other continents such as America where it was faced with modernism.

Characteristics of avant-garde art

Within this style of art we can observe different characteristics both in general and in particles. However, the most outstanding feature of this art class was the provocative nature of his works. From this characteristic sub-genres of avant-garde art begin to emerge, such as surrealist art, futurism, ultraism, cubism, among others. Although they were different avant-garde movements they all had several things in common that were:

  • Fight against tradition, to acquire innovation and individual freedom.
  • Freedom and boldness.
  • Experimental nature.

The general characteristics of this style of art can be summarized as:

  • The avant-garde artist did not agree with previous traditions and for this reason in this style of art an attempt is made to search for the originality and innovation that the artist has within, thus granting him freedom of expression.
  • The main themes of other art styles are abandoned as they do not provide an answer for artists’ innovation.
  • In certain artistic trends the trend towards the plastic arts appears.
  • Poetry focused on constantly playing with the symbol.
  • It was contrary to modern art and also went against the artists who belonged to modernism.
  • New themes begin to appear, such as the elimination of the anecdote, the poetic language.
  • The narrators’ point of view is multiple. And a close link appears between the environment and the character.

If we talk about avant-garde art in a specific way, we can highlight some characteristics of both painting and literature, these characteristics are:

  • Painting: painting was in favor of abstract art, therefore this style of art constantly fled from figurative art and with it, any personification was eliminated. The representations used to show the violence and aggressiveness of the objects and with this, very strident colors began to be used. In addition, simultaneous visions of various modifications of a single object and geometric designs originated.
  • Literature: particularly in poetry the text would be created by juxtaposing images and simultaneity. For this reason, punctuation, stanza, verse metrics and syntax are eliminated, thus creating an alteration of the traditional structure of literary works. With this new way of creating poetry, the calligraphy arises.

The expressions of the avant-garde

Within the avant-garde you can see different expressions or different avant-garde sub-genres, as we have previously commented, these different expressions were: impressionism, expressionism, fauvism, dadaism, futurism, cubism, ultraism, arieldentism, pop art, surrealism and stridentism.


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