• Expressed the artist’s role in social reform
• Artists used their works to protest against the injustices,
inequalities, immorality, and ugliness of the human
• Social realists have addressed different issues: war,
poverty, corruption, industrial and environmental hazards
and more – in the hope of raising people’s awareness and
pushing society to seek reforms
Ben Shahn’s Miners’
Wives, for example,
spoke out against the
faced by coal miners,
after a tragic accident
killed 111 workers in
Illinois in 1947, leaving
their wives and children
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica has been recognized as the most
monumental and comprehensive statement of social realism
against the brutality of war.
• Based largely around 3 artists- Wassily Kandinsky,
Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian
• Time period is approximately from late 1800’s into
the early 1900’s
• Influences: chemistry, physics, psychology,
philosophy, poetry, and music
• It is a departure from reality
• Relationships of forms and colors
• Forms: institutional, emotional, organic,
curvilinear, decorative, romantic, or focuses on
• Artists draw their inner world
Cubism was a revolutionary new approach to
representing reality invented in around 1907–08 by
artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. They
brought different views of subjects (usually objects
or figures) together in the same picture, resulting in
paintings that appear fragmented and abstracted
Cubism was one of the most influential styles of the 20th century.
It is generally agreed to have begun around 1907 with Picasso’s
celebrated painting Demoiselles D’Avignon which included
elements of cubist style. The name ‘cubism’ seems to have derived
from a comment made by the critic Louis Vauxcelles who, on
seeing some of Georges Braque’s paintings exhibited in Paris in
1908, described them as reducing everything to ‘geometric
outlines, to cubes’.
• The movement known as futurism began in Italy in the
• The futurists created art for a fast-paced, machine-
• They admired the motion, force, speed, and strength of
• Their works depicted the dynamic sensation of all these
• It is a result of the futurist movement
• In this style, basic forms such as planes,
cones, spheres, and cylinders all fit together
precisely and neatly in their appointed
• This can be seen in the works of Fernand Leger.
• Mechanical parts such as crankshafts, cylinder
blocks, and pistons are brightened only by the
use of primary colors.
• Even human figures are mere outlines, rendered
purposely without expression.
• It is the logical geometrical conclusion of
• Works in this style did not make use of
figures or even representations of figures
• They did not refer to recognizable objects or
forms in the outside world.
• Lines, shapes and colors were used in a cool,
impersonal approach that aimed for balance,
unity and stability.
• Colors were mainly black, white,and the
• Foremost among the non-objectivists was Dutch
painter Piet Mondrian.
It is the term applied to new forms of abstract art
developed by American painters such as Jackson
Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning in
the 1940s and 1950s. It is often characterized by
gestural brush-strokes or mark-making, and the
impression of spontaneity.
One form of abstract expressionism was seen
in the works of Jackson Pollock.
Action painters who attacked their canvases
with expressive brush strokes.
Pollock worked on huge canvases spread on the
floor, splattering, squirting, and dribbling paint
with (seemingly) no preplanned pattern or
design in mind. Pollock’s first one-man show in
New York in 1943 focused worldwide attention
on abstract expressionism for the first time.
Color Field Painting
In contrast to the vigorous gestures of the
action painters, another group of artists who
came to be known as color field painters used
different color saturations to create their
desired effects. Some of their works were
huge fields of vibrant color.
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the
1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and
Britain, drawing inspiration from sources in popular
and commercial culture. Different cultures and
countries contributed to the movement during the
1960s and 70s
Their works ranged from paintings, to posters,
to collages, to three-dimensional “assemblages”
and installations. Their inspirations were the
celebrities, advertisements, billboards, and
comic strips. Hence the term pop (from
popular) art emerged.
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was an American
pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy
Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist,
among others, he became a leading figure in
this new art movement.
Op art is short for 'optical art'. This was yet another
experiment – a form of “action painting,” with the
action taking place in the viewer’s eye. Artists use
shapes, colors and patterns in special ways to create
images that look as if they are moving or blurring. Op
art started in the 1960s and the painting above is by
Bridget Riley who is one of the main op artists.
Conceptual art is art for which the idea (or
concept) behind the work is more important
than the finished art object. It emerged as an
art movement in the 1960s and the term
usually refers to art made from the mid-1960s
to the mid-1970s.
Conceptual art can be – and can look like – almost anything.
This is because, unlike a painter or sculptor who will think
about how best they can express their idea using paint or
sculptural materials and techniques, a conceptual artist uses
whatever materials and whatever form is most appropriate to
putting their idea across – this could be anything from
a performance to a written description. Although there is no
one style or form used by conceptual artists, from the late
1960s certain trends emerged.