Artsy Editorial

Art History 101

Art
Surrealism
The art movement was actually far more diverse than is widely known, spanning various disciplines, styles, and geographies from 1924 until its end in 1966.
Jon Mann
Sep 23, 2016
Art
Impressionism
Fin-de-siècle artists like Degas, Morisot, and Monet liberated painting from the stuffy academic establishment to capture modern urban life.
Alison Chang
Dec 13, 2017
Art
Art Nouveau
In the late 1800s, artworks, design objects, and architecture in Europe and the United States sprouted with the sinuous, unruly lines of Art Nouveau.
George Philip LeBourdais
Nov 23, 2016
Art
Fauvism
With their wild colors and rough, untamed brushwork, Henri Matisse, André Derain, and the Fauvists burst onto the avant-garde Paris scene of the early 20th century.
George Philip LeBourdais
Oct 09, 2017
Art
Cubism
Picasso and Braque’s two-man movement shattered tradition to create a thoroughly modern art that would influence every avant-garde group that followed.
Alison Chang
Dec 11, 2018
Art
Futurism
A group of artists in pre-war Italy believed that violence and machinery were the engines of human progress—and that art should hurtle us into the future.
Jon Mann
Feb 02, 2017
Art
Constructivism
Inspired by the Communist revolution in Russia, artists like Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko set out to create a new, mass-produced art.
Laura Hillegas
Jan 04, 2019
Art
The Bauhaus
The short-lived German school was like an über-designed version of IKEA, churning out items for everyday use that were nonetheless fit for the museum.
Karen Chernick
Mar 20, 2019
Art
Abstract Expressionism
Action painters from Jackson Pollock to Helen Frankenthaler championed freedom of expression, placing New York at the center of the Western art world.
Jon Mann
Jan 02, 2018
Art
Fluxus
In the counterculture spirit of the 1960s, artists rebelled against the elitism of the art world by intertwining art and life.
Karen Kedmey
Jan 14, 2017
Art
Symbolism
Everything you need to know about Symbolism, a movement that encompasses a diverse range artists who created lush, psychologically complex artworks.
Alina Cohen
Nov 28, 2018
About the Series

“Art History 101” is Artsy’s ever-evolving guide to the artists and movements that have shaped our world. Far from a static discipline that can be confined to textbooks, art history is a living thing that requires constant reappraisal to reflect society’s changing attitudes and norms. These articles offer primers on some of art history’s most pioneering artistic experiments, from Claude Monet’s impressionistic studies in light to Kasimir Malevich’s radical Black Square to Jackson Pollock’s mid-century Action paintings. Although the start and end periods for modern movements in art history can be difficult to pinpoint exactly, they are presented here in a loose chronological order oriented to the height of each one’s popularity and influence.

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