MODERNISM Modernism was a phenomenon which first arose toward the end of the 19th century as artists sought to find a visual equivalent to contemporary life and thought. Modernism encompasses many of the avant-garde movements of the 20th century and is characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression.
POSTMODERNISM Art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier Modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style, and/or by carrying Modernist styles or practices to extremes.
POST-MINIMALISM Although Minimalist art of the 1960s had a stripped-down, prefabricated look, striving to be free of content, art with Minimalist tendencies from the 1970s onward typically became more content-laden. The term Post-Minimalism was coined by art historian and critic Robert Pincus-Witten in Artforum (November, 1971), where he pointed out the more embellished and pictorial approach.
ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (New York, ca. 1940) Movement of mid-20th-century painting that was primarily concerned with the spontaneous assertion of the individual through the act of painting. Generally, Abstract Expressionist art is without recognizable images and emphasizes the qualities of paint itself and its ability to convey emotional and mental states or to record an artist’s movements in creating a painting. The Abstract Expressionist movement centered in New York City and is also called the New York school.
ILLUSIONISTIC The creation of visual references within a work of art that refer to the material world.
MINIMALISM (New York and Los Angeles 1960s) Minimal art refers to painting or sculpture reduced to the essentials of single or repeated geometric forms. Industrially produced or built by skilled workers following the artist’s instructions, it removes any trace of emotion or intuitive decision-making. Minimal work does not allude to anything beyond its literal presence, or its existence in the physical world. It is generally characterized by precise, hard-edged geometric forms; planes of unmodulated color, and mathematically regular compositions, often based on a grid. Minimalist art rejects the artistic subjectivity and heroic gesture of Abstract Expressionism. In Minimal art what is important is the viewer’s experience and perception.
ICON a representation of a religious figure, venerated as sacred.
INSTALLATION an artwork designed for a specific gallery space; its components are often arranged within that space to be viewed as a single work of art
CONCEPTUAL ART (international, ca. 1966) Conceptual art is based on the notion that the essence of art is an idea, or concept, and may exist distinct from and even in the absence of an object as its representation. Conceptual art emerged at a time when both art institutions and the preciousness of the unique aesthetic object were being challenged by artists and critics.
GRID network of parallel, evenly spaced, horizontal and vertical lines.
MONOCHROMATIC pertaining to one or more shades of a single color.