20th Century

Arguably the most eventful period in the history of art, the 20th century witnessed the birth (foreshadowed at the end of the 19th century) and outgrowth of abstraction, along with innumerable movements that came and went amidst radical changes across the globe. Some of most influential modern and contemporary art movements and developments of the century include Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism.

Fauvism and Expressionism


Bright vivid colors and somewhat abstract forms characterized Fauvism and Expressionism.
Bright vivid colors and somewhat abstract forms characterized Fauvism and Expressionism

Fauvism was the short lived name for the longer-lasting art movement called Expressionism. From about 1905 to 1910 artists sought to explore emotions in new ways, employing the use of bright, vivid colors and emotional images and subjects.

The Fauvism movement eventually faded into the calmer, more thoughtful expressionistic art as Fauvism- which came from the word Fauves meaning wild beasts- lost popularity.


Cubism and Primitivism

Cubism sought to deepen the consideration that expressionist artists had created by rendering objects and ideas from different angles, seeking to break up and analyze things. Primitivism was similar by extension and was influenced by American colonization and exploration in the early 1900s.

The addition of geometric figures to expressionism style paintings characterized the Cubism movement


Futurism Movement

Futurism art movement did not produce any works of art that are still widely known by the world today. However, futurism was an important political tool used by artists in the years leading up to World War I.Futurism movement featured growing unrest and unhappiness with the economic climate that was producing larger separations between the working and upper classes.

Dada art

Dada movement was fascinating in the abstract principles and ideas it sought to portray. Some call it ‘anti-art’ and some claim it is not art at all, because the creators did not consider it as such. Dada was the final explosion of the Futurism movement and gave way to surrealism by 1924.


the Surrealism movement is fascinating to look at and study today and is reminiscent of some of our strangest dreams and ideas. Surrealism was the return to a calmer art movement that sought to dig deeper into human consciousness, emotion and preference instead of overturning it.


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