A woman painting on a wall

The contemporary art of today draws from different art movements. Many of these movements became popular because they were a response to political upheaval, social changes, and in some cases even the artistic conventions of the time. Others were simply a natural progression of art, and the result of artists wanting their work to stand out.

We discuss some of the most influential art movements and their origins below:

1. Baroque

Like all the most popular art movements, baroque left a mark not just on art but also on architecture and design. Baroque artists depicted intensely dramatic scenes, with details that could be clearly distinguished from each other. The baroque movement flourished in Europe throughout the 17th century. Some famous examples include:

  • ‘Judith Slaying Holofernes’ by Artemisia Gentileschi
  • ‘The Calling of St Matthew’ by Caravaggio
  • ‘The Night Witch’ by Rembrandt van Rijn

2. Cubism

A relatively modern movement spearheaded by Pablo Picasso in the early 20th century, cubism challenged people’s beliefs of what art could look like. Picasso—and other artists who popularized the movement—reinvented the most popular artistic themes and presented them as striking, fragmented images. A few well-known examples are:

  • ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ by Pablo Picasso
  • ‘Woman with a Guitar’ by Georges Braque
  • ‘Portrait of Pablo Picasso’ by Juan Gris

3. Expressionism

Expressionist artists understood that one’s emotional experience could be different from their physical experience. Their work prioritized emotional expression, and used various styles and techniques to leave a memorable impression on the viewer. Popular expressionist artworks include:

  • ‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch
  • ‘Portrait of a Man’ by Erich Heckel
  • ‘Mad Woman’ by Chaim Soutine

4. Installation Art

Artists with imaginations too big to be restricted to a canvas often turn to installation art to convey their message. Installation art utilizes different materials and is usually constructed as a large piece intended to evoke a specific response in the viewer. Modern-day artists often use installation art to address issues that are important to them. Here are some renowned works of installation art:

  • ‘Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away’ by Yayoi Kusama
  • ‘An Exploded View’ by Cornelia Parker
  • ‘Pharmacy’ by Damien Hirst

5. Pop Art

Pop art was an effort by American and British artists to make art more accessible and relevant to the public. They included public figures and well-known everyday products in their art. Paired with bright colours and loud tones, pop art is designed to capture attention. A few notable examples are:

  • ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ by Andy Warhol
  • ‘Drowning Girl’ by Roy Liechtenstein
  • ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ by Richard Hamilton

A woman painting in the garden

As a contemporary art gallery and one of the best online art exhibition websites, Four You Gallery is committed to highlighting the work of emerging female artists on our platform. Learn more about our work by getting in touch with us today.

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