Table Number Art Movement Descriptions

Find out more about the art movement at your table with the descriptions below or download a PDF here: Table Number Art Movement Descriptions.pdf

  1. Gothic: Gothic art is a style of painting, architecture, and sculpture that began in Paris in the middle of the 12th century and showed up throughout Europe into the 1500s.  The architectural style's definitive feature is the pointed arch, while the definitive feature of Gothic painting and sculpture is naturalism. 

  2. Renaissance: Renaissance art is marked by a gradual shift from the abstract forms of the medieval period to the representational forms of the 15th century. Subjects grew from mostly biblical scenes to include portraits, episodes from Classical religion, and events from contemporary life. 

  3. Mannerism: Mannerism art moved away from balanced compositions and idealized humanistic forms. Works were decorated elaborately. Human figures were densely packed into the works, and artists could create a highly artificial composition. 

  4. Baroque: The work from the Baroque period illustrates the desire to evoke emotional states by appealing to the senses, often in dramatic ways, underlies its manifestations. The qualities most frequently associated with the Baroque are grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, vitality, movement, tension emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur the distinctions between the various arts. 

  5. Neoclassical: Neoclassicism in the arts is an aesthetic attitude based on the art of Greece and Rome in antiquity, which invokes harmony, clarity, restraint, universality and idealism. 

  6. Romanticism: Romanticism celebrated the individual imagination and intuition during the search for individual rights and liberty. Its ideals of the creative, subjective powers of the artist fueled avant-garde movements well into the 20th century.  

  7. Realism: Realism in the arts is generally the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding speculative and supernatural elements. 

  8. Impressionism: Impressionists rebelled against classical subject matter and embraced modernity, desiring to create works that reflected the world in which they lived.  Uniting them was a focus on how light could define a moment in time, with color providing definition instead of black lines. 

  9. Naturalism: Naturalism refers to a style of art that deals content-wise with the natural world. It is also a realistic type of art that aims to capture aspects of the world, particularly human beings, with detail and accuracy. 

  10. Post-Impressionism:  Post-Impressionism is a term used to describe the reaction in the 1880s against Impressionism. The Post-Impressionists rejected Impressionism's concern with the spontaneous and naturalistic rendering of light and color. Instead, they favored an emphasis on more symbolic content, formal order and structure. 

  11. Symbolism: Symbolism was a late 19th century art movement seeking to represent absolute truths symbolically through language and metaphorical images, mainly as a reaction against naturalism and realism. 

  12. Expressionism: Expressionism was a modernist movement, presenting the world solely from a subjective perspective and distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. 

  13. Art Nouveau: Art Nouveau is a compelling and energetic style in the visual arts which spanned from around the early 1890s to the First World War. Art Nouveau artists took organic subjects and flattened and abstracted them into sophisticated, sinuous and flowing motifs. 

  14. Cubism: Cubism was a revolutionary new approach to representing reality in the early 1900s by artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. They brought different views of subjects together in the same picture, resulting in paintings that appear fragmented and abstracted. 

  15. Futurism: Futurism was focused on representing a dynamic vision of the future, often portraying urban landscapes and new technologies including trains, cars and airplanes. The artists glorified speed, violence and the working classes, believing they would advance change. 

  16. Dadaism: Dadaism or Dada was a form of artistic anarchy born out of disgust for the social, political and cultural values of the time. It emphasized the absurd and rejected the conventional in order to question society and culture. 

  17. Art Deco: Art Deco is a popular design style of the 1920s and '30s characterized by sleek geometric or stylized forms and by the use of man-made materials.   

  18. Bauhaus: The Bauhaus's core objective was to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts. Bauhaus design is often abstract, angular and geometric with little ornamentation. 

  19. Surrealism: Surrealism is a cultural movement that developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I in which artists depicted unnerving, illogical scenes and developed techniques to allow the unconscious mind to express itself.  

  20. Abstract Expressionism: Abstract Expression is the term applied to new forms of abstract art, characterized by gestural brush-strokes or mark-making, and the impression of spontaneity.  For Abstract Expressionists, a painting is meant to be a revelation of the artist's authentic identity. 

  21. Pop Art: Pop Art is a movement that presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture such as advertising, comic books and mundane mass-produced objects. 

  22. Minimalism: Minimalist art is an extreme type of abstract art that usually is depicted through simplistic shapes and hard edges, all while exposing the essence of the forms and materials used. The movement debunked the myth that art was only to be enjoyed by the elite. 

  23. Neo-Expressionism: Neo-Expressionist artists depicted their subjects in an almost raw and brutish manner, newly resurrecting the highly textural and expressive brushwork and intense colors that had been rejected by the immediately preceding art movements. 

  24. Constructivism: Constructivism is an art movement aimed to reflect modern industrial society and urban space. The movement rejected decorative stylization in favor of the industrial assemblage of materials.  

  25. Fauvism: Fauvism is an art movement that was established in the beginning of the 20th century and is characterized by its bold colors, textured brushwork and non-naturalistic depictions. 

  26. Precisionism: Precisionism was the first indigenous modern art movement in the United States and was driven by a desire to bring structure back to art. The Precisionists found inspiration in all different forms of American architecture in order to establish the structure underlying reality which they sought to depict. 

  27. Tonalism: Tonalism was an artistic style that emerged in the 1880s when American artists began to paint landscape forms with an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist. 

  28. Orphism: Orphism is an abstract style that favors geometric shapes, and is easily recognizable by its use of bright colors and light. The style of Orphism was designed to invoke a sense of the musical quality of painting and convey rhythm and movement.