4 Art Movements that Shaped the World as We Know It

There have been hundreds of art movements since the beginning of time. A few specific movements have changed the way people see the world, whether they enjoy art fully or not. These four art movements have changed our view of the world.


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Image via Flickr by docoverachiever

Impressionism was, as its name suggests, extremely impressionable on the people of the late 19th century when the movement began. It started in 1870 in France where artists used a more colorful style of painting. Artists wanted to analyze the effects of color and light in nature more specifically.

Impressionism was meant to capture an atmosphere of a certain time and point. The artists worked outdoors to achieve this. Since nature was constantly moving and changing, the artists used small, brightly colored brush strokes without paying attention to detail. Impressionists simply wanted to capture the look and feel, or impression, of their site. They enriched the previous idea of shadows from brown and black to becoming broken up with lines of color.


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Image via Flickr by Renaud Camus

Abstract art was extremely influential. It offered a huge break from traditional artwork and encouraged people to look at the world in new and interesting ways. The art was meant to take part of something larger and urge viewers to consider it separately. Usually this meant an element of the larger piece, such as a line, shape, tone, pattern, form, or texture.

There are two kinds of abstraction:

  • Semi Abstraction refers to the scenario in which the piece is technically classified as another movement, such as Cubism, but the artist chooses to develop and refine certain visual elements of the whole to create a more poetic reconstruction or simplification of the original piece.
  • Pure Abstraction is when the artist takes those visual elements and uses them independently from the subject of the piece.


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Image via Flicker by MCAD Library

Bauhaus is arguably one of the most influential art movements of the twentieth century. It began after WWI and started in Germany as a school teaching this new style. The goal was to unify fine art, architectural design, and the recent emergence of industry. Students of the school combined training in all the fine arts and learned how to use those skills to design and manufacture beautiful yet practical objects.

This school was created because people were beginning to realize that technology was the future. The Bauhaus movement was full of artists who wanted art to be remembered in the age of technology.


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Image via Flickr by JasonParis

Contemporary art is defined differently by many people. It indicated the shift from the modern art movement that began in the 1970s. The shift was due to the evolution of socially conscious artists that put this new understanding into their work. Usually art from the contemporary era is connected to modern issues. This ranges from AIDS, feminism, poverty, culture, and more. There are more artists making art in this movement than any other.

Stephen Dent, and other contemporary artists, are a culmination of influences of every great artist that came before them. Dent incorporates many historical art movements in his work. He’s fascinated by an array of factors. In his own words he said, “I have been interested in the wide variety of ways in which we categorize information and objects…”

All of these art movements have completely changed the art and previous understanding of the world. They were very important to how the world was shaped and future art movements will continue this legacy.

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He's an avid gadget geek and spends most of his time reading or writing.

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