The Complete and Utter
History of Modern Art

The Complete and Utter History of Modern Art is one person’s not-quite-serious attempt to grasp the history of modernism from its origins in the 19th century up to the the outbreak of World War 2. The chart lays out the many movements, factions, groups and cults of the international avant-gardes, showing their origins and influences. The research and definitions are all from my own research. The chart is represented as an organic form: a tree, or a bodily organ. Its growth begins at the bottom, in the movements of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, and develops chronologically up the chart, stopping arbitrarily at World War II. The chart is loosely divided into an intellectual axis, with movements ….. and an emotional axis, indicating


AAA – American Abstract Artists
USA 1937-40s. Group promoting abstract art in the U.S through exhibitions and publications. Stuart Davis, Balcombe Greene, Carl Holty, Josef Albers, Burgoyne Diller.

The Absolute Moderns
Holland 1916. Rotterdam branch of De Sphinx, modern artists group associated with Theo Van Doesburg, JJP Oud, Emil Filla and others. Led to the emergence of De Branding – The Wave, an important Rotterdam movement of the 1920s and 30s. Bernard Canter, Bernard Toon Gits, Laurens van Kuik.

Abstract Art
International, c1911- General term for a wide range of modern art throughout the 20th century, characterised by the complete self-sufficiency of the picture as an object, the absence of figurative, representational elements, and a concentration on the basic elements of art i.e. form, line, colour, texture etc. Abstract art can be formalist as in De Stijl, or Expressionist as in the work of Wassili Kandinski. Other strands of pure abstraction include Orphism, Suprematism and the New York School of the 1940s and 50s. Kandinsky and Delaunay made the first completely abstract paintings around 1911, followed by Malevich, Goncharova and others in 1913.

Paris 1931-36. Modern art alliance promoting geometric and biomorphic abstraction. Strong influence of Constructivism and De Stijl. Followed on after the Circle et Carre group. Periodical ‘Abstraction-Creation’.
Georges Vantongerloo, Auguste Herbin, Theo van Doesberg, Antoine Pevsner, Naum Gabo, Ben Nicholson, Piet Mondrian, Sophie Tauber-Arp, Lucio Fontana, Josef Albers, Wassili Kandinsky, Cesar Domela. Thirty American artists were members.

Die Abstrakten
Germany 1924. Artists associated with the periodical Der Sturm, making communist art and propaganda.

Institutions established to preserve professional standards and high quality in the production and dissemination of art. Ideals of classical art were promulgated, especially in the schools, of which the Royal Academy in London (established in 1768 by Sir Joshua Reynolds) and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris were the most famous. In the 19th century the Academies became increasingly conservative and were the main centres of opposition to modernity in the late 19th century. The term ‘Academy Style’ describes an often bombastic form of narrative painting of which such artists as William Bougereau in France, and Frederick Lord Leighton in England were leading exponents. See Salon Painting

Italy 1928-39. Fururist ceramic movement, founded by Tullio d’Albisola. Part of Secondo Futurismo, the movement’s second wave. A rare example (along with Russian revolutionary ceramics by Malevich and others) of ceramic artists working with the ideological mission of a fine art movement. Manifesto: Ceramica e Aeroceramica, 1930, written with Marinetti. Tullio d’Albisola, Giussepe Anselmo, Nicolaj Dinlgheroff, Farfa, Filia, Bruno Munari, Alfredo Gandenzi, Enrico Prampolini, Nino Strada.

Aesthetic Movement
Britain 1870s-1890s. Movement in the fine and decorative arts, promoting a cult of beauty and aesthetic pleasure in works of art. The slogan ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ conveyed the often extreme aestheticism of its proponents. Related to the Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts and Crafts Movemen and later to Art Nouveau. Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Walter Pater, Algernon Swinburne. James McNeill Whistler.

AKhRR – Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia
USSR 1920s. Conservative painter’s organization set up in opposition to Constructivism and other avant-garde groups; heirs of the realist ‘Wanderers’ painters of 19thc; led directly to Socialist Realism in the 1920s and 30s.

… the factory, the plant, the production worker, electrification, the heroes of labour, the leaders of the revolution, the new life of the peasants, the Red Army, the Komsomol and Pioneers, the death and funeral of the Revolution’s leader – all this contained a new colour of unprecedented power and severe fascination, a new interpretation of synthetic form, a new compositional structure; in a word, contained the aggregrate of those conditions whose execution would regenerate easel and monumental painting. – Circular to all branches of the AKhRR, 1924

Alliance of Eleven
Berlin 1889. “Vereinigung der Elf.” Group of progressive young Berlin artists led by Max Liebermann and including Walter Leistikow, Ludwig von Hoffmann and Franz Skarbina. After the exclusion of a painting by Leistikow from an official exhibition, the group was enlarged and led to the establishment of the Berlin Secession.

Allied Artists’ Association
London 1908- Platform for progressive art, formed by Sunday Times critic Frank Rutter. Modelled on the Salon des Independants in Paris, it aimed to introduce European modernism to London especially through exhibitions. The painter Walter Sickert was involved.

American Artists Congress
USA 1936-40s Organisation of left-wing artists formed to fight against Fascism and the threat of war. Raised funds for the Spanish Loyalists. Held symposiums, lectures, exhibitions etc. Stuart Davis, Margaret Bourke-White, Lewis Mumford, Meyer Schapiro, Jose Clemente Orozco.

The American Scene
USA 1930s – 40s. General term referring to realist painters of contemporary American life, including the Social Realists, the Regionalists and others who were not under the sway of European Modernism. See The Regionalists; Social Realism. Thomas Hart Benton, Ben Shahn, Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer, Charles Burchfield, Reginald Marsh, Isabel Bishop.

Analytical Art
Russia 1915 – 1930s. Movement focussing on the connection between the act of painting and the psychological and intellectual efforts of the painter. Manifestos, “Made Paintings,” “Declaration of Universal Flowering.” Pavel Filonov, Yuliya Arapova, Alisa Poret.

A work of art is any piece of work made with the maximum tension of analytical madeness. – Pavel Filonov, 1930.

De Anderen
Netherlands 1916. ‘The Others’. Shortlived precursor to de Stijl. Theo van Doesburg, Vilmos Huszar.

Anonymous Society of Artists, Painters, Sculptors and Engravers
Name of the first Impressionist exhibition, at Nadar’s studio, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, in 1874, therefore the true name of the group later known as the Impressionists. See Impressionism.

Arbeitsrat fur Kunst
Berlin 1918-21 “Work Council for Art.” Organisation of radical German artists and architects, led first by Bruno Taut, later Walter Gropius. Utopian socialist ideals born in the turbulent aftermath of WW1. See also Crystal Chain. Also Hans Poelzig, Eric Mendelsohn, Erich Heckel, Kathe Kolwitz and others.

ARBKD – German Revolutionary Artists Association
Germany 1928- Communist organisation formed to promote revolutionary proletarian art, along similar lines to those in Soviet Russia.

Armory Show
U.S.A. 1913 “The International Exhibition of Modern Art” was held at the Armory, a military trainng hall in Manhattan. Organised by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, a group of artists enthusiastic about recent developments in European art. The exhibition was massive, with 1300 works by 300 artists. It travelled to Pittsburgh, Boston and Chicago, and drew 300,000 visitors. Works by Picasso and Matisse and Duchamp introduced Modernism to America and laid the groundwork for America’s adoption of modern art

Art a la Rue
Paris, Brussels c1890-1910. Art of the street. Left-wing offshoot of Art Nouveau wherin a small number of artists and designers proposed to bring art to the masses and elevate popular taste through colorful posters and well-designed street fittings.

Art and Freedom
Cairo, Egypt 1939. Egyptian Surrealist group led by Georges Hunain who had met Andre Breton in Paris. The group held exhibitions, wrote a manifesto and conducted conferences and debates about modern, western culture helping to create a public for modern art in Egypt. Their manifesto was titled “Vive l’Art Degenere,” a response to Hitler’s Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. Periodical: al-Tatawwur.

Art Concret
Holland and international 1930. Concrete Art. Loose grouping of artists led by Theo Van Doesburg promoting abstraction as an end in itself, free from any form of representational, symbolic or emotional content. Influential on later movements such as Op Art. Theo Van Doesburg, Max Bill, Otto Carlsund, Jean Helion.

Nothing is more real than a line, a colour, a surface. Jean Helion.

Art Deco
France & international c1920-40. International design trend emphasizing a modernistic machine aesthetic, often in a stylised, quasi-cubistic style. Also called Art Moderne. See also Streamline. A.M. Cassandre, E. McKnight Kauffer, Paul Colin, Jean Carlu, Robert Mallet-Stevens, etc.

Artists Union
USA 1930s. Organization of left-wing artists included Stuart Davis; periodical ‘Art Front’ 1934-37.

Art Nouveau
International. c1890 – 1910. International design trend emphasizing organic motifs, and exotic or grotesque forms, often in sinuous tendril-like lines; related to Symbolist art; a reaction against the mass-production of Victorian eclecticism. See Jugendstijl, Vienna Secession, Wienne Werkstatte. Henry van de Velde, Hector Guimard, Victor Horta, Charles Rennie Macintosh, Antonio Gaudi, Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffman.

Arts and Crafts Movement

England and USA. 1850s to early 1900s. International movement of architects and decorative artists dedicated to the revival of traditional craft techniques, often through individual artists working in small workshops. A reaction against the perceived degradation of quality caused by industrial mass production it was related to the Gothic Revival and the Aesthetic Movement of the 1800s. William Morris a painter, designer, architect and polemicist was the unofficial leader of the movement. Though pre-modernist, the Arts and Crafts Movement had a large influence on the subsequent Vienna Secession movement, and the Bauhaus, for promoting the ideals of individual expression and the unity of the applied arts.

Art Students League

USA 1875- Independant art school in New York begun as an alternative to the National Academy. It survived early difficulties to prosper as a crucible of talent. In later decades it trained many modern artists including Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock and Roy Liechtenstein. Its instructors have included Thomas Eakins, John Sloan, Robert Henri and George Grosz.

Ashcan School

USA 1908- Group of mainly realist painters who depicted scenes of everyday life in New York. A ‘secession’ from the National Academy led by Robert Henri, its artists combined vernacular subjects with spontaneous and non-academic paint handling. Once referred to as “the apostles of ugliness.” Originally known as The Eight. Robert Henri, John Sloan, Willam J. Glackens, Georg Luks, Everett Shinn; also Ernest Lawson, Maurice Prendergast, Arthur B. Davies.
“The poetic significance of the elevated railway and the skyscraper, of crowds and slums.”

Association of the Stiff-Necked

Bohemia 1911. Avant-garde group formed by artists from the Group of Plastic Artists, Czech “Cubo-Expressionists.” Josef Capek, Jan Zrzaavy, Vaclav Spala, Rudolf Kremlicka.

Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists
Paris 1932. Set up by the Communist politician and poet Paul Vaillant Couturier and Fernand Leger.

Association against the Society of Artists
See Munich Secession

Europe and international, 19th and 20th centuries. A term meaning vanguard, or spearhead of a new movement. A french military term used in the art world since the mid-19th century. In modernism, with its preoccupation with newness and experimentation, the avant-garde became an institutionalized system, wherein radical ideas and styles, after a period of misunderstanding and ridicule, become absorbed into the mainstream of ideas, thus making way for a new avant-garde. Most “-isms” in modern art refer to movements that were, for a time, avant-garde.



Ballet Russe
Russia, France 1909-29. Russian ballet company run by the impresario Serge Diaghilev that revolutionized dance, stage and costume design in the early decades of the 20th century. Emerged out of the World of Art Symbolist group. Employed many important figures of international modern art in designing sets and costumes. Much early modern music was composed for the Ballet, including Stravinski’s Rite of Spring.Serge Diaghilev, Leon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Nicholas Roerich, Alexandr Golovin, Natalia Goncharova & Michael Larionov, Sonia Delauney, Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, Pavel Tchelitchev, Giorgio de Chirico; Nijinski, Adolph Bolm, Michel Fokine, Igor Stravinsky.

Ballet Suedois
Sweden and international. 1910s-20s. Established by Rolf de Mare. Rival to the Ballet Russe and providing a similar programme of modernist dance, music, costume and stage decor. Many modern artists of international repute such as Fernand Leger provided work for it.

Bande a Picasso
Paris c1906-14. Informal grouping of artists and friends of Picasso during the formative years of Cubism. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Max Jacob, Andre Salmon, Guillame Appollinaire.

Barbizon School
France c1840s – 50s. Realist painters of landscape and peasant life, centred in the village of Barbizon near Paris; precursors of Impressionism. Employed plein air painting later taken up with enthusiasm by Monet and others. See also Realism. Theodore Rousseau, Charles Francois Daubigny, Narcisse Virgile Diaz, Jean Francois Millet, Charles-Emile Jacque.

Germany 1919-33. Design school promoting Functionalism and the merging of art and technology. The early years at Weimar, 1919-25, were influenced by handcraft techniques with the use of natural materials and the mysticism of Johannes Ittens. From 1926, at Dessau, the Bauhaus evolved into a leading propagator of constructivist ideas in the West, and is famous for the functionalist, machine-aesthetic of its products. Its influence on architectural design is incalculable. At the time, along with Moscow’s VkhUTEMAS, it was the most advanced art school in the world and influenced art teaching methods for decades. See Functionalism; International Style. Walter Gropius, Wassili Kandinski, Paul Klee, Johannes Ittens, Lyonel Feininger, Oscar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, Walter Peterhans, Marianne Brandt, Wilhelm Wagenfield, Joost Schmidt, George Muche.

Berlin Constructivism
Germany 1922- Informal association of German and emigre artists, influenced by Russiaan Constructivism. El Lissitsky introduced constructivism into Germany, where it took on a more formalist, less marxist character. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitsky, Raoul Haussman, Hannah Hoch, Werner Graeff, Alfred Kemeny, L. Peri, Hans Richter. “Constructivism is pure substance. It is not confined to picture frame and pedestal. It expands into industry and architecture, into objects and relationships. Constructivism is the socialism of vision.” Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Ma, 1922.

Berlin Secession
Germany 1898- Breakaway from the officially sanctioned academy, the Society of Fine Artists, by a group led by the painter Max Liebermann and springing in part from the Alliance of Eleven group. Works by Edvard Munch, Van Gogh and Gauguin were shown at their exhibitions. The Berlin Secession eventually attracted such artists as Max Slevogt and Lovis Corinth who along with Liebermann and Munch painted in a northern Symbolist vein. Successful in promoting new artists through its twice-yearly salons.

Der Blau Reiter
Germany 1911- Expressionist movement, emphasizing mystical, transcendental experience and employing colour to convey precise emotional responses. According to Franz Marc they wanted to create “symbols which belong on the altar of the coming intellectual religion.” Their paintings are marked by a high degree of abstraction, in Kandinski’s case complete abstraction was reached in about 1912, possibly the first anywhere. Though Marc and Macke died in the War, Kandinsky and Klee in particular, carried on, most notably at the Bauhaus during the 1920s. Their ideas strongly influenced later developments in abstraction worldwide. Kandinsky’s books including Point and Line to Plane and Concerning the Spiritual in Art became standard texts. Wassili Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Auguste Mack, Paul Klee, Albert Bloch, Heinrich Campendonk, Gabrielle Munter, J.B. Niestle, Arnold Schonberg.

…colour directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul. – Wassili Kandinsky.

To create forms means to live. Are not children who construct directly from the secrets of their emotions more creative than the imitators of greek form? Are not the savage artists, who have their own form, strong as the form of thunder?” – Auguste Mack.

Die Blaue Vier – The Blue Four
Germany 1924- Informal association of leading modernist painters, each exploring abstraction in different ways. Exhibited as a group in America. Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Alexei Von Jawlensky.

Blok group
Poland 1924. “Unism”. Influential Polish Constructivist group. Its leading figures had worked and studied in Russia; Strzeminski, for example, had studied with Malevich. Its Periodical Blok was widely distributed. See Unism. Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Mieczyslaw Szczuka, Katerzyna Kobro.

Bloomsbury Group
London c1905 – 30s. Circle of artists, writers and critics in the London suburb of Bloomsbury devoted to contemporary art and ideas. Established Post-Impressionist and Fauvist ideas in Britain and helped create and English strand of European modernity. Became the most important group within the London Group and later led on to the Euston Road School. The formalist critic Roger Fry was a leading member. Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West.

Blue Rose
Russia 1907. Symbolist group with tendency toward mysticism, important as an early avant-garde influence in pre-revolutionary Russia. Pavel Kuznetsov, Mikhail Vrubel, Nikolai Saponov, Martiros Saryan.

De Branding
Holland 1920s-30s. The Wave. Rotterdam modern artists group; emerged from The Absolute Moderns, a branch of De Sphinx.

Die Brucke
Germany 1905-1913. ‘Bridge.’ Kunstlergruppe Brucke was an Expressionist movement based in Dresden. Brucke artists are notable for their depiction of extreme emotional states, anxiety and hysteria, or often naturist and utopian themes. These were very often depicted through nudes and figures, or in their numerous self-portraits. Their subject was usually their own emotional states, painted in styles derived from earlier northern European artists whose work had a “primitivist” strain, such as Grunewald, Van Gogh and Munch. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Emil Nolde.

Italy, Switzerland. c1917- Futurist technique adopted by the Zurich Dadaists, involving the performance of noise as a form of “music. ” Noise with imitative effects…a chorus of typewriters, kettledrums, rattles, and pot-covers to suggest the awakening of the capital! Richard Huelsenbeck, En Avant Dada 1920s.

Bunt See Revolt.

Bureau of Surrealist Research
Paris 1924- A surrealist centre, at 15 Rue de Grenelle, for the promotion and publication of Surrealist ideas.

Russia 1920s. ‘Everyday Life.’ Painting group related to Constructivism. I. Papkov, K. Parkhomenko.



Camden Town Group
Great Britain 1911. Circle of British Post-Impressionists who broke away from the N.E.A.C. before eventually merging with the London Group in 1914. Though conservative by Paris standards it was an important modern art group, at a time when academic taste was still dominant in Britain. Walter Sickert, Wilson Steer, Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Augustus John, Lucien Pissarro, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Lamb.

Cercle et Carre – Circle and Square
Paris 1930. Group promoting geometric abstraction, particularly De Stijl and Constructivism, in France. Followed by the Abstraction-Creation group. Periodical ‘Cercle et Carre.’ Michael Seupher, Joaquin Torres Garcia, Piet Mondrian, Wassili Kandinski, Naum Gabo, El Lissitski, Jean Arp, Jean Gorin, Willi Baumeister, Le Corbusier, Fernand Leger.

Chicago School
USA c1880s – c1920. Architectural trend that established modern architecture, especially the skyscraper and its frank use of modern industrial components: the lift, the structural steel skeleton, reinforced concrete, plate glass. Influential on later European modernists of the Internaional Style. Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Holabird and Roche, John Wellborn Root, William LeBaron Jenney.

Christ Inc.
Germany 1917 Dada activity by Johannes Baaden, who had previously been declared legally insane, and Raoul Hausmann. During the War pacifists could join Christus GmbH and be certified with the identity of Christ, after which they should be exempt from the military draft.

C.I.A.M. – Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne
France & international. 1928- International association of modernist architects and town planners.
Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Gerrit Rietveld, Ernst May, Richard Neutra, Avar Aalto, Farkas Molnar, Szymon Syrkus, Sven Markelius, Moses Ginzburg.

Circle of New Publicity Designers
See Ring Neue Werbergestalter

Germany 1899- “Scholle.” Group of landscape painters, related to the Neu Dachau group, who also split from the Munich Secession. Clod artists painted in style influenced by Post-Impressionism with a strong emphasis on colour. Fritz Erler, Erich Erler, Leo Putz, Walther Georgi.

France, 1886-91. fr Cloisson – division; Cloissone – enamel. A style within Post-Impressionism and Symbolism where strong flat areas of colour are separated by blue or black contours. Developed at Pont-Aven in Brittany by Emil Bernard and Paul Gauguin. See also Synthetism. Emil Bernard, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Louis Anquetin, Maurice Denis, Paul Serusier.

See Purism

The Concretists
Russia 1920s. Painting and Sculpture group related to Constructivism. P. Vilyams, B. Volkov, Konstantin Vialov, B. Liushin, Yurii Merkalov.

1. Concreteness is the object in itself.
2. Concreteness is the sum of experience.
3. Concreteness is form.

Precondition for objects:
1. Contemporaneity
2. Clarity of objective
3. Accuracy of Exexution

Russia 1921-32. The main avant-garde movement of Russian modernism; a complex of competing factions and individuals working for the communist revolution; a fundamental rejection of “fine art” with its emphasis on individualism and aesthetics – and its replacement by a new industrial / technological culture. Constructivists often turned their back on painting, and took up graphic design, photography and architecture, which were seen to be more in tune with the needs of the revolution. See Productivism, Engineerism, also Berlin Constructivism. Alexandr Rodchenko, Alexei Gan, Grigorii Miller, Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, Vladimir Stenberg, Georgii Stenberg, Alexandr Vesnin, El Lissitsky, Gustav Klucis.

The Task of the Constructivist group is THE COMMUNIST EXPRESSION OF MATERIAL CONSTRUCTIONS. Taking a scientific and hypothetical approach to its task, the group asserts the necessity to synthesize the ideological component with the formal component in order to achieve a real transition from laboratory experiments to practical activity. – Programmme of the Constructivist Working Group at INKhUK

Contemporary Arts Society
Britain 1910 - Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Kenneth Clark. Association of art collectors and professionals connected with the Bloomsbury group, formed to purchase, and therefore encourage, modern art. The only such organization in Britain. Conservative taste meant that mainly British Post-Impressionism was collected until the 1930s.

Contemporary Arts Society
Melbourne 1938- Formed by George Bell and others, with Rupert Bunny as vice-president, to combat the conservative art academy proposed by Robert Menzies and to encourage “…all contemporary painting, sculpture, drawing, which are original and creative and give expression to progressive contemporary thought and life as opposed to work which is reactionary or retrogressive including work which has no other aim than representation.”

The love birds die in the cage, the rose mildews in the bud, but we live on. Forward the Rebels! – Blamire Young, Melbourne Herald.

Vladivostok c1920. Futurist organisation. Michael Burliuk.

Crystal Chain
Germany 1919- “Glaserne Kette.” Brotherhood of artists and architects started by the architect Bruno Taut following his disapointment with the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst. Visionary ideas were discussed between its members whose real names were concealed behind pseodonyms such as Glas (Crystal), Prometh (Prometheus), Anfang (Beginning).

Friends! Comrades in innovation! Our Crystal Chain…needs tensile strength, even at the risk of an already flawed link breaking. We shall then forge a new one, and the chain will stretch out shining and multi-coloured into our sun, moon, and star-lit ether… – Bruno Taut, 1920

France and international. 1907-1930s. The ‘greatest aesthetic revolution in the twentieth century;’ characterised by the repudiation of Renaissance perspective and the treatment of paintings as a flat surface rather than as a “window” on a realistically depicted scene. It influenced many subsequent movements : see Orphism, de Stijl, Constructivism, also Purism, Rayonism, Vorticism, Synthetism, Cubo-Futurism, Cubo-Realism, Suprematism, Art Deco. See also Salon Cubism. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Leger, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Roger de la Fresnaye, Louis Marcoussis, Auguste Herbin, Andre Lhote, Henri Laurens, Jacques Lipchitz, poet Guillame Apollinaire.

Apollinaire nominated four categories of Cubism in 1912: Scientific Cubism, Physical Cubism, Orphic Cubism and Instinctive Cubism, though these caregories are now forgotten. The following are (perhaps) the more common categories

”Cezannian” Cubism
Paris 1907-09. Picasso and Braque attempted to take up where Cezanne had left off; ‘contradiction’ between the surface of a painting and the illusion of depth; influenced of African tribal sculpture. Once called “Negro” Cubism. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque.

Analytical Cubism
Paris 1910- Picasso and Braque limited their subjects to still lifes and portraits and narrowed their colour palette; subjects fragmented into multiple facets. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris.

Synthetic Cubism
Paris 1912-14. Use of collage and papier colle, semantic ambiguities, trompe-l’oiel. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris.

Salon Cubism
Paris 1910 – Group of Cubists working separately from Picasso and Braque, who developed less radical, form programmatic forms of Cubism. They codified and popularized Cubism. Gleize and Metzinger published the book On Cubism in 1912. See Puteaux Group; Section d’Or. Albert Gleize, Jean Metzinger, Roger de la Fresnaye, Andre Lhote, Henri le Fauconnier.

Salon Cubism is an attempt on the part of creatively impotent but ambitious persons, who have leaned to “hawk and spit” from Picasso, to mobilize the press and exhibitions with a view to drumming up publicity and doing business. Americanism in art. Max Raphael

c1910-20 Name given to various Czech avant-garde styles, centred around the group of artists known as The Eight, later The Group of Plastic Artists – Otto Gottfreund, Bohumil Kubista, Josef Kapek and others. The early Munch-inspired expressionist phase acquired the geometric structure of Cubism as it became known in central and eastern Europe. See also The Eight, the Group of Plastic Artists, the Association of the Stiff-Necked.

Alternative name of Precionism / The Immaculates / Sterilism.

Russia c1913- Russian Futurism. Early developments in Russian modernism wherin the latest developments of Western European art were introduced into the Russian avant-garde, largely by visiting Italian Futurist Marinetti. Led to Suprematism, Objectivism, and Constructivism. David Burlyuk, the poet Mayakovsky, Kasimir Malevich, Alexandr Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, Olga Stepanova.

Czech Cubism
Czechoslovakia c1910-25. Group of Bohemian artists, architects and designers. Otto Gottfreund, Pavel Janak, Vlatislav Hofman, Josef Chochol. Josef Gocar, Jiri Krohar.

Czech Surrealist Group
Prague 1934-51 Czech branch of Surrealism, in part an outgrowth of the Devetsil movement. Encouraged by Breton who co-signed their manifesto, which was published in the first issue of The International Bulletin of Surrealism. Toyen, Jindrich Styrsky, Karel Teige, Nezval



International 1916-c1924 A series of international movements with anarchistic and communist tendencies, which were opposed to prevailing orthodoxies in both art and politics.They proposed a radical ‘refusal’ of the world they found themselves in during the First World War, using humour and outrage to make their point. Dada mocked and attacked the bourgeoisie for its complicity the war, but it also directed its contempt toward bourgeoise art by creating anti-art objects, such as Duchamp’s Mona Lisa variation LHOOQ. Dada is responsible for some important new artistic forms, especially the Readymade (found art) and Photomontage. Tristan Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, Hugo Ball, Francis Picabia, Marcel Janco, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Hannah Hoch, Georg Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, John Heatfield.

Dada, noun. Denomination deliberately devoid of sense, adopted by a school of art and literature appearing around 1917, whose program, purely negative, tends to render extremely arbitrary, if not to suppress completely, any relation between thought and expression. Georges Hugnet, 1932
Dadaism demands:
* Compulsory adherence of all clergymen and teachers to the Dadaist articles of faith;
* Requisition of churches for the performance of bruitism, simultaneist and Dadaist poems;
* immediate organization of a large scale Dadaist propaganda campaign with 150 circuses for the enlightenment of the proletariat;
* Immediate regulation of all sexual relations according to the views of international Dadaism through establishment of a Dadaist sexual centre.
- The Dadaist revolutionary central council. German group: Hausmann, Huelsenbeck. Business Office: Charlottenburg, Kanstrasse 118. Applications for membership taken at front office.

- Berlin Dada
Germany 1918-22. Revolutionary communist variant of Dada, noted for its pessimism and vicious social satire. Its lasting legacy is the development of the new medium of Photomontage, most notably through the art of Hannah Hoch and John Heartfield. George Grosz, Raoul Haussman, John Heartfield, Richard Huelsenbeck, Hannah Hoch.

- Cologne Dada
1919-22. Theo Baargold, Max Ernst. Periodical Die Schammade.

- Geneva Dada
1919-20. Christian Schad, Serner.

- Hanover Dada – Merz
1920s. Kurt Schwitters variant of Dada, promoted in his periodical Merz. Shunned by the communist Berlin Dada group, Schwitters followed his own direction writing and performing his Merz poetry throughout Germany and Holland. His long-running periodical Merz was widely read. He converted two of his homes into “Merzbau” – Dada houses, the interiors of which were completely transformed into Constructivist installations.

- Mantuan Dada
c1917-20. Mantua, Italy. Gino Cantarelli, Aldo Fiozzi, Julius Evola.

- New York Dada
USA 1916-23. Duchamp’s visit to New York, following his succes de scandale at the Armory Show with Nude Descending a Staircase, became the focus of a small group of radical artists and wealthy collectors. This group helped set up The Society of Independant Artists, the Societe Anonyme, and supported Stieglitz and others in promoting the new art. The readymade Fountain, an upturned urinal, was displayed at this time. Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Marius de Zayas, also Walter Arensberg, Katherine Dreier.

- Paris Dada
1919 Tristan Tzara, Andre Breton, Francis Picabia, Benjamin Peret. A continuation of the activities of the Cabaret Voltaire, performances by Tzara and others at various halls; publications such as Tzara’s Dada series. Paris Dada, following Breton’s departure, led directly on to Surrealism.

- Zurich Dada
1916-1919 The original source of Dada, centred on the Cabaret Voltaire. Here, outrageous stage acts, Bruitist “music” and nonsense poetry were performed often to the dismay of the public. Periodical Dada.

See also Dada Weststupidien 3, Stupid Group, Christ inc, Neu Leben, Nothingism, H2SO4, 41 degrees, Gruppe Progressiver Kunstler. Richard Huelsenbeck, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco.

- Dada Weststupidien 3
Germany 1920. Shortlived Dada group which sought to restrain the overtly political nature of Berlin Dada, and to maintain the importance of aesthetics and personal experience in art. Employed the technique they called of Fatagaga – collaborative collages. Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Theodore Baargeld

Darmstadt Colony
Darmstadt, Germany 1901- Artists colony founded by the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bei Rhein. Joseph Maria Olbrich, Peter Behrens.

Degenerate Art – Entartete Kunst
Germany 1933-45. Hitler’s name for Modernist art, displayed in the exhibition of ‘Entartete Kunst’ 1937, which included works by Grosz, Nolde, Schmidt-Rotluff, Beckmann, Chagall and many others. Two million visitors in four months possibly made it the most popular art exhibition of all time.

No, here there are only two possibilities: Either these so-called “artists” really see things this way and therefore really believe in what they depict; then we would have to examine their eyesight-deformation to see if it is the product of a mechanical failure or of inheritance. In the first case, these unfortunates can only be pitied; in the second case they would be the object of great interest to the Ministry of the Interior of the Reich which would then have to take up the question of wether further inheritance of such gruesome malfunctioning of the eyes cannot at least be checked. If on the other hand they themselves do not believe in the reality of such impressions but try to harrass the nation with this humbug for other reasons, then such an attempt falls within the jurisdiction of the penal law.
- Adolf Hitler, speech inaugarating The Great Exhibition of German Art, 1937

Deutsche Werkbund
Munich, Germany 1907- Association for the improvement of industrial design sponsored by German manufacturers.

Prague 1920-31. Czech modernist movement of artists, writers, film makers, architects etc. formed by Franz Kafka, Jarslav Hasek, author of The Good Soldier Schweik, and others, and led by Karel Teige. The movement’s aim was to reconcile the demands of utilitarianism with subjective lyrical qualities. This meant marrying Constructivism with forms of poetics, contrary to the main direction of constructivism and functionalism elsewhere. Several members of Devetstil joined Czech Surrealism after its disbanding. See also Front Rouge, Surrealist Group, Poetism. Periodicals: Disk 1923; ReD – Revue Devetsil 1927-31. Karel Teige, Artus Cernik, Hugo Dax, Jaromir Kreccav, Karel Honzik, Jindvich Styrsky.

I hate pictures as much as I hate snobs who buy them out of a desire to be individual so they can sigh in front of them in their easy chairs between the four walls of their aesthetic furniture (a la Matisse). The picture hangs on the wall in a closed area, a barren decoration, for nothing, it does nothing, it wants nothing, it does not live. – In the periodical “Disk”1923. Karel Teige, Kurt Seifert, Krejcar,

France, Italy, c1886-1900. The theory of Neo-Impressionism. Based on scientific theories of light and colour, espaecially those of Eugene Chevreul. Breaking down the colours in nature into their constituent hues, applying these on the canvas as small brushstrokes of pure colour. See Pointillism / Neo-Impressionism. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Edmund Cross, Camille Pissarro.

Donkey’s Tail
Russia 1911-15 Circle of artists advocating a modern art based on Russian folk traditions rather than on western European models; a breakaway from the Jack of Diamonds group which was influenced by Cubism and Expressionism. Renamed Target and also given the name Neo-Primitivism. Malevich and Marc Chagall were also involved. See Target; Neo-Primitivism; Jack of Diamonds. Michael Larionov, Natalia Goncharova.

Dresden Secession
Germany 1893- Gothard Kuhl. Another of the numerous Germanic Secession movements, this one endorsing the English Arts and Crafts influence in their annual exhibitions.



Ecole des Beaux Arts
Principal art academy of France in the 19th century, as the Royal Academy was in Britain. Backed by state institutional power, it became the main target of the rising generations of modern artists in the second half of the 19th century. See Academy

L’Effort Moderne
Paris 1919- Gallery run by Leonce Rosenberg which encouraged Leger’s variant of post-WW1 Cubism.
Fernand Leger, Georges Valmier, Josef Csaky, Auguste Herbin. Le Corbusier and Ozenfant also showed there.

The Eight
Bohemia 1906-. Czech avant-garde group. Influenced by Munch, they painted in an expressionist style. Following influence from the new art emerging from Paris, some started to shift towards a cubist style, hence the group was included under the description Cubo-Expressionism. Several members later started the Group of Plastic Artists. Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubista, Friedrich Feigl, Antonin Prochazka, Willy Nowak, Otokar Kubin, Max Horb, Emil Pittermann Longen.

The Eight
Hungary 1909-12. Avant-garde group, originally called The Searchers, which was the beginnings of modernism in Hungary. Its artists worked in a range of modern styles from Cezanne to Cubism, and were influenced chiefly by developments in France. Karoly Kernstock, Bela Czobel, Robert Bereny, Dezso Czisgany, Dezso Orban, Odon Marffy, Bertalan Por, Lajos Tihanyi.

The Eight
USA 1907-. Original name for what became known as The Ashcan School. See The Ashcan School.

Holland 1926. Van Doesberg’s strand of De Stijl, where diagonals where introduced to the horizontal-vertical grid. A reaction against the puritanism of Neoplasticism; caused the split with Mondrian. Theo van Doesburg, Cesar Domela, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart.

what is the supreme state for the painter? to feel himself as colour, to be colour. without that, the work is colourless, even though it is a medley of colours. to be colour, to be white, blue, black, that is to be a painter. it is not sufficient for today’s and tomorrow’s painter to think in colour, he must be colour and eat colour and make a painting in himself. – Theo van Doesburg, De Stijl 1930.

Russia 1922. Faction of the Constructivist movement. Anton Lavinskii.

The artist-engineer creates objects at a tempo a million times more intensive, and so justifies his mission to bring about tomorrow’s progress. In summary: the representational artist is today’s monk, the non-objective artist is today’s idealist, while it is the artist-engineer who will organize a future that is posited on the full use of every medium of expression. Anton Lavinskii

Mexico City 1921- Movement of writers and artists embracing modernism and pushing for a cosmopolitan rather than indigenous art. International in character, it promoted the European influences of Futurism, Dada etc. Silvestre and Fermin Reventas, Leopoldo Mendez, German Cueto.

The need to bear witness to the vertiginous transformation of the world.

Germany 1905 – c1920. Movement in northern Europe, mainly Germany, that emphasized personal emotional experience conveyed in strong colours and simplified forms. The moods ranged from hysteria and anxiety (Kirchner, Meidner) to transcendental wonder (Marc, Kandinsky) but the stylistic origins were similar, particularly Van Gogh and the Fauves for showing them the expressive possibilities of colour. Brucke artists were strongly influenced by German Renaissance antecedents, notably the sadistic figures of Grunewald.

See Der Blau Reiter; Die Brucke; Die Pathetiker, Sema, Neue Kunstgruppe, Der Sturm, German Expressionist Cinema.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Oscar Kokoshka, Ludwig Meidner, Erich Heikel, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Kathe Kollwitz, Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller, Egon Schiele, Chaim Soutine, Ernst Barlach, Paula Modersohn-Becker, William Lehmbruck, Alexei Von Jawlensky, Paul Klee, Wassili Kandinsky, August Macke, Franz Marc.

Euston Road
England 1937- Circle of English figurative painters, opposed to the movement towards abstraction. Their subject matter was often everyday English life. Victor Pasmore, William Coldstream, Lawrence Gowing, Graham Bell, Claude Rogers.



USA 1930s. Group of Californian photographers who preferred the objective quality of sharp focus provided by small lens apertures such as f64, combined with large film formats. They are now mainly remembered for their often epic landscape images of the American west. Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Willard Van Dyke, Imogen Cunningham,

La Famiglia Artistica
Italy c1914. Group of artists and designers with ties to the Futurists.

France. 1905-07. fr. wild beasts Movement which raised the importance of colour and visual sensation over drawing. Intense, vivid colours in vigorous, spontaneous compositions. With Cubism, Fauvism was one of the two main hubs of the new art that arose out of Impressionism and Symbolism in the first decade of the new century. Its masters had long and influential careers, steering modern art towards Expressionism and primitivism. The dominant artist of the movement was Matisse who has long been considered Picasso’s only serious rival. Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Maurice de Vlaminck, Kees van Dongen, Georges Braque, Georges Rouault.

Federal Arts Project
USA 1935-40 Government project, part of the Works Progress Administration of Roosevelt’s New Deal, to help support artists during the Depression. Funded art projects of social value such as murals, were encouraged and gave emploment to over 5000 artists, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Stuart Davis.

Federation Internationale de l’Art Revolutionnaire Independant
Mexico 1938. International Federation of Independant Revolutionary Art. Short-lived association between Andre Breton, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky.

Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors
USA 1940- Non-political organisation formed to promote the welfare of American artists. A break-away from the increasingly communist-controlled American Artists Congress. Led by the critic Meyer Schapiro.

First Working Group of Constructivists
Russia 1921. Radical Constructivist group formed at INKhUK. See Constructivism. Alexei Gan, Grigori Miller, Alexandra Mirolyuva, Alexandr Rodchenko, Stenberg brothers.

The First Working Group of Constructivists states that all other groups that call themselves constructivists, such as the “Constructivist Poets,” the “Constructivists of the Chamber Theatre,” the The Constructivists of the Meierhold Theatre, ”the Lef Constructivists,” the TsIT Constructivists,” etc., are, from this group’s point of view, pseudo-constructivists and are engaged in merely making art. – Statement from the catalogue of the “First Discussional Exhibition of Associations of Active Revolutionary Art, 1924

Fitzroy Street Group
London c1900 English Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, influenced by French developments in art. Connected to the N.E.A.C. and with Walter Sickert as the most prominent figure.

Forces Nouvelle
France 1935-43. Anti-Modernist group opposed to the influence upon art of such movements as Impressionism and Expressionism. They insisted on a return to the traditional approach of drawing from nature. Henri Heraut, Jean Lasne, Robert Humblot, Georges Rohner, Alfred Pellan, Henri Jannot.

General term referring to art that has as its subject art itself, ie, where the basic ingredients of art making- form, colour, paint texture, flatness etc., become an end in themselves rather than the means to illustrate, for example, optical reality. Formalism is often concerned with the intrinsic nature of a medium. See Abstract Art

Cracow Poland 1917-22. The Formists were a Polish modernist movement, mainly Expressionist but also reflecting Cubism, Futurism and other variants of European art, as well as folk art. Periodical Formici 1919-21. Andresz and Zbigniew Pronaszko, Tytus Czyzewski.

41 degrees
Georgia c1920. Dada / Futurist group. See also H2SO4. Il’ya Zdanevich, Simon Chikovani.

Italy, 1912- Photographic branch of Futurism; long camera exposures emphasizing movement.
Antonio Bragaglia

Four Arts Society of Artists
Russia 1924 – Figurative painters interested in the decorative and lyrical aspects of art.

14th Street School
New York 1920s Group of realist painters around 14th Street and Union Square. Painted similar subjects to Ashcan painters but in a more academic style. Led by Kenneth Hayes Miller, a teacher at the Art Students League.

Front Rouge
Prague 1929- Branch of the Devetsil movement, more explicity communistic and revolutionary in its programme. Published the periodical Red. Karel Teige, Toyen, Jindrich Styrsky

Italy 1908-1930s Italy’s major contribution to the establishment of Modernism. A radical movement which ran parrallel to Cubism and strongly influenced later developments in France (Orphism), England (Vorticism) and Russia (Cubo-Futurism and thus Constructivism). Futurists were interested in describing movement and speed, and fetishised the fruits of industrialisation, e.g. cars and aeroplanes. Their paintings have the fractured, semi-abstract appearence of cubism but the subject was not so much space as energy. See also Secondo Futurismo F.T. Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, Carlo Carra, Luigi Russolo, Antonio Sant’Elia, Antonio Bragaglia, Fortunato Depero.

1. We intend to glorify the love of danger, the custom of energy, the strength of daring.
2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity, and revolt.
3. Literature having up to now glorified thoughtful immobility, ecstasy and slumber, we wish to exalt aggressive movement, feverish insomnia, running, the perilous leap, the cuff and the blow.
4. We declare the splendour of the world has been enriched with a new beauty, the beauty of speed. A race automobile adorned with great pipes like serpents with explosive breath,,, a race automobile which seems to rush over exploding powder is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. – F.T. Marinetti: Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, 1908.

Germany, Austria, and international 1920s - Philosophy of design summarised in the slogan ‘Form Follows Function;’ i.e. the design of objects should be determined by their function which will inevitably provide an aesthetically pleasing result; that decoration should be avoided as ‘false,’ and that new industrial materials should be used whenever possible. Promoted at the Bauhaus school and through the International Style. See Bauhaus, International Style. Adolf Loos, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer.



Germany, 1923-. ‘gestaltung’ meaning formation. German constructivist group; published the periodical G.
El Lissitsky, Werner Graeff, Mies van der Rohe, Friedrich Kiesler, Lazlo Moholy- Nagy.

George Bell School
Melbourne 1930s Art school started by the painters George Bell and Arnold Shore to teach modern art styles, especially those derived from Cezanne, in a systematic way. Artists such as William Frater, Russell Drysdale and Sali Herman studied there. Bell, a former academic portrait painter, was a leading exponent of a classical variant of modernism. He was often in public dispute with the reactionary opponents of new art, including federal Attorney-General Robert Menzies who attempted to set up a national art academy along the lines of the moribund Royal Academy. See Contemporary Arts Group.

German Expressionist Cinema
Germany 1919 – c1930. Films distinguished by stylised lighting and cinematography, exaggerated acting and set design, and scenarios of madness and dread. Influenced by the theatre of Max Reinhardt, Expressionist painting, and gothic art. Robert Wiene, F.W.Murnau, Fritz Lang; Walter Reimann (set designer).

German Worker Photography
Germany 1926 – 1930s. Mass organization of german industrial workers photography groups initiated by publisher Willi Munzenberg : left political subject-matter photographed by workers; published in Der Arbeiter-Fotograf magazine and dispersed to left-wing organizations to counter bias of rightist magazines and picture agencies.

For proletarian photography, the output of class-conscious members of the working class must play its part in protecting the work of Soviet socialist construction against attack by the imperialist gangsters. It must help to spur on the workers and peasants of all countries to destroy the capitalist system and establish the rule of all workers and the dictatorship of the proletariat. – Willi Munzenberg, Tasks and Objectives, Der Arbeiter-Fotograf, 1931

Glaserne Kette
See Crystal Chain

Golden Fleece Group
Russia c1906-10. Russian Symbolist group centred around the periodical Zolotoe Runo (golden fleece). Promoted and held exhibitions of Symbolist art including work by members of the World of Art and Blue Rose groups. Salon of the Golden Fleece 1908. Later, modern French art was introduced including works by Van Gogh, the Fauves etc. Larionov and Goncharova were involved for a time and Golden Fleece later led to the founding of the Jack of Diamonds group.

Around us, like a raging whirlpool, seethes the rebirth of life. In the thunder of the fight, amid the urgent questions raised by our time, amid the bloody answers provided by our Russian reality, the Eternal, for many, passes away.
In the name of this new life to come, we the seekers of the Golden Fleece, unfurl our banner:
Art is eternal, for it is founded on the intransient.
Art is whole, for its single source is the soul.
Art is symbolic, for it bears within it the reflection of the eternal within the the temporal.
Art is free, for it is created by the free impulse of creation.
- Nikolai Ryabushinsky, preface to The Golden Fleece, 1906

Goppeln group
Germany 1890s. Artists colony of landscape painters, similar in style to the Worpswede school. Situated at Goppeln near Dresden. Carl Bantzer, Paul Baum, Robert Sterl.

Le Grand Jeu
Czechoslovakia 1920s. Circle of artists working in an imaginative vein parrallel to the Czech surrealists. Frantisek Muzika, Josef Sima, Zdenek Rykr.

Groupe de Bateau-Lavoir
Paris 1908. Group of artists and poets at the Bateau-Lavoir, the Montmartre tenement where Picasso lived. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Max Jacob, Marie Laurencin, Guillame Apollinaire, Andre Salmon, Maurice Raynal, Juan Gris, Gertrude Stein, Leo Stein.

Groupe des Artistes Radicaux
Switzerland 1919 Dada group. See Radikaler Kunstler. Hans Arp, Viking Eggeling, Marcel Janco, Hans Richter

Groupe Impressioniste et Synthetiste
See Pont-Aven Group

Group of Fine Artists
Czechoslovakia 1911. Circle of Czech Cubists. Emil Filla, Josef Kapek, Antonin Prochaska, Otto Guttfreund, Bohumil Kubista.

Group of Plastic Artists
Bohemia 1911-17 Avant-garde circle with Cubist / Expressionist leanings. Galerie-Sturme exhibition, Berlin 1913. See also The Eight, the Association of the Stiff-Necked, Cubo-Expressionism. Edwin Filla, Otto Gottfeund, Karel Capek.

Group of Seven
Canada 1920s- Circle of Canadian landscape painters working in the north of Canada.Contoversial for its time, working in various post-impressionistic styles.

Group X
Britain 1920. Shortlived attempt by Wyndham-Lewis to restart the Vorticist group in the aftermath of World War 1

Groupe 33
Switzerland. Kunstlervereinigung Groupe 1933. Basle modernist group. Otto Abt, Theo Elbe, Walter Bodmer

Gruppe K
Germany 1924. .K – Konstruktivismus. Hanover version of the constructivist G group. Later expanded to form ‘die abstrakten hannover.’ Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Hans Nitzsche, Friedrich Keisler.

Gruppe 1919
Germany 1919- Left-wing group co-founded by Otto Dix in the aftermath of the War.

Gruppe Progressiver Kunstler – Group of Progressive Artists
Cologne 1928 Dada-inspired leftist group derived from the Stupid Group. Collaborated with the periodical Die Aktion.

Gruppo 7
Milan 1926 Rationalist architecture group, the first to support Modernism in Italy. See Rationalism.



Die Hannov Abstrakten
Germany1927- Hanover constructivist group formed with members of Gruppe K. Kurt Schwitters, Cesar Domela, Rudolf Jans, Carl bucheister, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Hans Nitzsche, Friedrich Keisler.

Georgia c1920. Dada/Futurist group. See also 41 degrees. Il’ya Zdanevich, Simon Chikovani

Heidelberg School
Australia late 19thc. Victorian landscape painters working in the bush around the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg and elsewhere. Realist painters somewhat in the style of the Barbizon school, they established a new aesthetic based on plein air techniques describing specifically Australian effects of light and colour. Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Fred McCubbin, Charles Condor.

Hylaea Group
Russia 1912. Cubo-Futurist group; manifesto, “A Slap in the Face of Public Taste.” David Burlyuk, Khlebnikov, Kruchenykh, Vladimir Mayakovsky.



The Immaculates
See Precisionism, Cubo-Realism

France and international c1870 - Radical innovation in painting involving the depiction of modern day subjects – street scenes, middle-class life, landscapes etc – in a ‘modern’ way, fresh, spontaneous application of paint instead of the laborious finishing process in the studio favoured by the academy. Impressionists often completed their paintings en plein air and strived for an effect of optical reality. Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, August Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassat, John Peter Russell, Gustave Caillebotte, Henri de Fantin-Latour,

And this the collection of botched-up things being exhibited to the public without any thought of the fatal consequences they may entail. Yesterday in the Rue de Peletier an unfortunate man was arrested because on coming out of the exhibition he had started to bite passers-by. – Albert Wolff, review of the second Impressionist exhibition, Le Figaro, 1876.

Inkhuk – Institute of Artistic Culture
Russia 1920- A department of the Soviet Ministry for Enlightenment set up by Anatoly Lunacharsky to promote the new culture of Modernism in the arts and education. Along with the Vkhutemas school, and other bodies, it helped to establish Constructivism as the dominant and officially- sanctioned art of the early years of the Revolution. Wassili Kandinski, Alexandr Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, Alexei Gan, Stenberg brothers, Varvara Stepanova.

International Faction of Constructivists
Germany 1922. Merging of Constructivism and Dada. Congress held in Weimar 1922. Led to Richter starting G magazine.
Hans Richter, El Lissitsky, Theo Van Doesburg.

International Style
International, 1920s – 1960s. Dominant architectural and design philosophy of the Modernist era. Functionalist geometric emphasis and use of modern mass-produced materials Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Harry Seidler, Oscar Niemeyer, Wallace Harrison, Gordon Bunshaft, Richard Neutra.

The characteristic qualities of the machine aesthetic include an acceptance, indeed an exploitation, of mass-production: the multiplication of standard patterns, implying the elimination of personality from the process of manufacture; the disappear- ance of the handicraft respect for technical virtuosity, and respect for rarity as such; the acceptance of a new formal vocabulary, derived from the needs of machine production and influenced by the example of machines themselves.
- J.M. Richards, The Condition of Architecture and the Principle of Anonymity, in ‘Circle, 1937

France c1890s. Later development of two of the leading artists of the Nabi group, Bonnard and Vuillard; the term derived from the complete absoption with the ‘intimacy’ of the interior domestic subject. See The Nabis. Pierre Bonnard, Eduard Vuillard.



Jack of Diamonds Group
Russia 1910-17 Group of artists promoting various strands of modern art. It was of great importance in establishing the new art in pre-revolutionary Russia, thus setting the foundations for the revolutionary movements to follow. Expressionist, Cubist and Fauve artists from Western Europe exhibited with them, influencing the direction of art in Russia for years to come. Alexandra Ekster, Vladimir Burliuk, Petr Konchalovsky, Michael Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Nikolai, Kulbin, Ilya Mashkov, Lyubov Popova, Kasimir Malevich, Marc Chagall.

Only in the twentieth century have we begun to have painting as art – before there used to be the art of painting, but there was no painting Art. This kind of painting (up to the twentieth century) is called conventially – from a certain sense of compassion toward the endless sums spent on museums – Old painting, as distinct from New painting. – David Burliuk, Kubizm, from A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, Moscow, 1912.

France and International, late 19thc. The influence of Japanese art and design, especially the woodcuts of Hiroshige and Hokusai, on 19th century western art.

Das Junge Rheinland – Young Rhinelanders
Germany 1920s Modern art group functioning in the conservative Rhineland district. Otto Dix, Gert Wollheim, Otto Pankok, Gerd Arntz, Adolf Uzarski

Germany, Austria c1890 – 1914. “Youth Style.” Name for German and Austrian Art Nouveau. Applied to the design products of the Vienna Secession, Wiener Werkstatte and Secessionist movements in Germany. Otto Eckmann, Peter Behrens, Herman Obrist, Henry Van de Velde and many others.



Karo Bube
Russia c1907 New artists group looking to Russian folk art and later to French art. Burliuk brothers, Natalia Goncharova, Michael Larionov, Kasimir Malevich.

Knave of Diamonds Group
See Jack of Diamonds Group

Russia 1919 Kom-Fut: Communism / Futurism. Group allied to Constructivism, seeking to unify art and communism.
Osip Brik, Boris Kushner.

All forms of everday life, morals, philosophy and art must be recreated on communist principles. Without this the further development of the communist revolution is not possible. Osip Brik, Komfut manifesto,1919.

Krug – The Circle
Russia 1920s Leningrad group related to Constructivism.

Germany c1924 – 45. Cultural Bolshevism. Nazi term used to associate modernist art with communism.

Artistic Bolshevism is the only possible cultural form and spiritual expression of Bolshevism as a whole. Anyone to whom this seems strange need only subject the art of the happily Bolshevized states to to an examination and, to his horror, he will be confronted by the morbid excrescences of insane and degenerate men… – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924



The League of Three
Russia 1920s. Painting group related to Constructivism. Andrei Goncharov, Alexandr Deineka, Yurii Pimenov.

The Linked Ring
Britain 1892-1909. Pictorialist photography secessionist society, a breakaway from the Royal Photographic Society. Founded by Henry Peach Robinson and Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (Julia Margaret Cameron’s son).

London Group
Britain 1913 – 30s. English art group that attracted artists from the Camden Town Group and other progressive artists influenced by continental developments. A focus of new art in England and an alternative to the stagnating N.E.A.C.
David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, John Nash, Christopher Nevinson, Edward Wadsworth, Walter Sickert, Percy Wyndham-Lewis, Harold Gilman.

London Impressionists
London 1880s-90s Group within N.E.A.C. that took over its control under the leadership of Sickert who argued for a modern approach to art and subject-matter. Sickert himself often depicted scenes of everyday life, eg music halls.
Walter Sickert, Wilson Steer.

London Surrealist Group
London 1930s. Eileen Agar, E.L.T. Mesens, Roland Penrose, Herbert Read, Ithell Colquhoun.



Hungary 1921-. Magyar Aktivismus (Hungarian Activism). Constructivist group. Periodical, ‘Ma’ (Today). Lazlo Moholy Nagy, Leon Kassak, Sandor Barta.

The new world of the masses needs Constructivism because it needs fundamentals that are without deceit..
Laszlo Moholy Nagy, ‘Constructivism and the Proletariat’, Ma, 1922

Machine Age
International c1910-c1940. General term describing the technological utopianism of the first decades of the twentieth century. In the arts it refers to Futurism, Art Deco, Constructivism, Bauhaus etc, especially their promulgation of machine imagery and technical aesthetics.

Machine Art
USA and international 1930s. Use of machines and machine parts as sculptural objects in their own right. Exhibition 1934 Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The beauty of machine art is in part the abstract beauty of “straight lines and circles” made into actual tangible “surfaces and solids by means of tools, lathes and rulers and squares. Alfred Barr, Machine Art and Geometrical Beauty, in Machine Art, New York 1934

Germany 1920s. Variant of Neue Sachlichkeit. Dreamlike, anecdotal paintings. Franz Roh (critic), Carlo Mense, Alexander Kanoldt, Schrumpf, Otto Dix. Franz Radziwill.

Magic Realism
France 1920s – 30s Surrealist tendency, derived from De Chirico. Paul Delvaux, Pierre Roy, Rene Magritte

Les Maudits
France 1920s fr maudit – cursed, damned. Name given to individual painters in Paris whose work sometimes had an expressionist quality and whose bohemian lifestyle involved poverty, illness and alienation. Amadeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, Jules Pascin, Maurice Utrillo.

Meldrum School of Painting
Melbourne 1920s-30s Focus of conservative experiments in Post-Impressionist techniques; run by Max Meldrum whose European training, at the Academie Julian and elsewhere, led him to an approach of “scientific” optical realism based on tonal rendition and partly abstracted representation.

Germany 1919-47. Hanover Dada. Kurt Schwitters’ name for his own branch of Dada practice, typically collages made of litter and found objects. The word comes from an abbreviation of the word Kommerz, found in one his collages. Schwitters was a busy and successful artist and graphic designer. His periodical Merz ran for nine years, he wrote and performed his Dada poems extensively and he built an extraordinary constructivist installation in his home(s) called the Merzbau.

The word Merz denotes essentially the combination, for artistic purposes, of all conceivable materials and technically the equal distribution of the individual materials. – Kurt Schwitters

The Method (Projectionists)
Russia 1920s. Group related to Constructivism, followers of Vladimir Tatlin. Sergei Luchishkin, S. Nikritin, M. Plaksin, Kliment Redko, N. Triasko, A. Tyshler.

The artist produces not consumer goods, a cupboard or a picture, but PROJECTIONS, or a METHOD – an organization of the materials.

Italy 1930-31. Movimento Italiano del’Architettura Razionale – Italian Movement of Rational Architecture.
See Rationalism, Gruppo 7.

Moderne Kunstring – Modern Art Circle
Netherlands 1910- Association in Amsterdam promoting modern art. Mondrian was involved, as was Jan Toorop. Exhibited work by Cezanne, Picasso and Braque, and the Futurists.

Der Moderne Bund
Switzerland 1912. The Modern Group. Expressionist circle. Paul Klee, Hans Arp.

ModernismInternational. Late 19thc to the present. A cultural era, as in the Baroque, the Rennaissance etc. Distinguished by the prevalence of industrial economies, urban life, and technological development; a social mythology of material progress, and political ideologies of equality and class mobility. In art, Modernism is distinguished by the independance of the artist from tradition, and the establishment of the avant-garde as a constantly self-renewing system. From its beginnings in Impressionism, its primary focus has been to deal with the modern world in a modern way, thus the preeminence of the individual artist and his/her isolation in personal investigations which resemble scientific research; the development of abstraction and other radical forms often based on the intrinsic nature of specific mediums, eg the surface texture of paint on canvas; investigation of subjective emotional states, dreams, and meditations on the experience of the individual in the modern industrial metropolis; the embracing of the machine aesthetic as a signifier of material progress.

The Modern Movement
British name for International Style design, and for Modernism in general.

Munich Secession
Germany 1892- Social and professional association of artists, a breakaway from the officially sanctioned art academy by a group of artists interested in the new art from Paris. Named the ‘Association against the Society of Artists.’ Its members were the leading Symbolists of the time. Franz von Stuck, Fritz von Uhde, Hugo von Habermann, Fernand Khnopff, Max Lieberman.

The Mural Block of Painters
USA 1932. Group of mural painters in California started by the Mexican artist David Siqueiros



The Nabis
France c 1886-99. The ‘Prophets.’ Group of young artists, originally students at the Academie Julian, who were inspired by Gauguin’s ideas of using pure, flat colour. Nabi paintings often have stylised, decorative, print-like designs in flat colours and patterns. Subject matter is frequently intimate scenes of French bourgeois life. See Intimisme; Neo traditionism. Pierre Bonnard, Eduard Vuillard, Aristide Maillol, Maurice Denis, Paul Serusier.

Naive Painting
Vague category describing art by untrained artists who work in an instinctive, personal style outside of the mainstreams and movements. Occasionally, talented individuals become known for the distinctiveness of their work, for example Douanier Rousseau and Grandma Moses. In Modernism, such artists are highly valued for their originality. In much the same way, children’s art and the art of the insane is appreciated for its directness and ‘authenticity.’

France 1920s. Stylized realism, directly concerned with the experience of nature, and landscape scenes. Opposed to Cubism and abstraction. Dunoyer de Segonzac, Andre Favory; also Marcel Gromaire, Maurice de Vlaminck, Andre Lhote, Luc-Albert Moreau.

I step into my painting as if into my house. I step into it with my life. And when I am healthy, and when I work optimistically as I should, I am not inferior to the job I’ve set myself. This landscape in front of me, I carry it like a mother carries her child, and I make it as I wish it to be in my heart. One day, beneath a stormy sky which clawed the black, bare trees, I knew the greatest happiness of my life. Forgetting all that anyone else had done, all that I had done myself up to then, I arrived, a man before nature, at the way I painted when I was sixteen years old.. Maurice de Vlaminck, 1924

NEAC – New English Art Club
Great Britain 1886-1920s. Organization of English artists set up in opposition to the Royal Academy and taking inspiration from modern French art. An early leader was Walter Sickert who steered it towards Impressionism. A later influences on its direction was the aestheticism of Charles Condor and William Rothenstein in the 1890s and by 1900 its connection to the Slade School was providing it with new members. However by the 1910s other movements in new art such as the Camden Town Group and the London Group were leaving it behind. For many years though, most ‘radical’ painting in England was shown at NEAC exhibitions. Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert, Augustus John, James McNeil Whistler., Charles Condor, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer.

France, Italy c1920s. Tendency amongst Cubists and others to abandon abstraction in favour of a classical art based on figuration, often with a mediterranean influence. See also School of Paris. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Cocteau, Gino Severini, Jean Metzinger

See Neo-Romanticism

France 1886- General term for the theories of Seurat and others, a rejection of the ‘formless’ character of Impressionism, and the proposal of a ‘scientific’ approach to colour, based on the theories of simultaneous contrast developed by Chevreul. Divisionism and Pointillism are specific terms in Neo-Impressionism. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Edmund Cross, Camille Pissaro.

Holland 1924 -1944. Mondrian’s particular strand of De Stijl, based strictly on the vertical-horizontal grid, and primary colours.

The important task of all art is to destroy the static equilibrium by establishing a dynamic one. Nonfigurative art demands an attempt of what is a consequence of this task, the destruction of particular form and the construction of a rythm of mutual relations, of mutual forms of free lines. We must bear in mind , however, a distinction these two forms of equilibrium in order to avoid confusion; for when we speak of equilibrium pure and simple we be for, and at the same time against, a balance in the work of art. It is of the greatest importance to note the destructive-constructive quality of dynamic equilibrium. Then we shall understand that the equilibrium of which we speak in non-figurative art is not without movement of action but is on the contrary a continual movement. – Mondrian, ‘Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art. 1937.

Russia 1908-13. Early avant-garde movement employing imagery influenced by Eastern peasant designs and child art rather than French modern art. Michael Larionov, Nathalie Goncharova, Alexandr Shevchenko

Yes, we are Asia and are proud of this, because “Asia is the cradle of nations;” a good half of our blood is Tartar and we hail the East that is to come, the source and cradle of all culture, of all arts. – A Shevchenko, Neo-Primitivism: Its Theory, Its Potentials, Its Achievements, 1911

France 1920s-30s. Anti avant-garde movement which rejected the radical developments of Cubism and Surrealism and aimed for a more conservative form of modernity, one which would embrace French traditions of art. Part of the post-war ‘rappel d’ordre’ (call to order) tendency to step back from the perceived extremism of the avant-garde. Dunoyer de Segonzac, Maurice Asselin, Jean-Louis Boussingault, Maurice Brianchon, Charles Dufresne, Luc-Albert Moreau, Robert Lotiron.

The search for originality at any price has led only to a terrible monotony. The world of illegibility, the lecture-picture and the puzzle-picture, which are the result of a decadent symbolism, is going to become dated. Dunoyer de Segozac

Britain 1930s-50s. Loose category of artists whose work focussed, in personal, and poetic ways, on the landscape and the body and recalled the English Romanticism of Wordsworth and Blake. It included painting, illustration, writing and theatre, and was one of the main trends in modern English art in the mid-century. Sometimes referred to as Neo-Humanism. Paul Nash, John Piper, Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, Graham Sutherland.

France 1930s. Surrealist tendency in mainly French art employing precise painting techniques to convey strange and unsettling imagery. Pavel Tchelitchew, Christian Berard, Eugene Berman, Leonid Berman.

France 1890- Maurice Denis’ term describing the new movements of Symbolism, Synthetism and the Nabis, where abstraction and decorative effect played a large part.
It is well to remember that a picture – before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote – is essentially a plane surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.

Universal triumph of the imagination of the aesthetes over crude imitators; triumph of the emotion of the Beautiful over the naturalist deceit. – Maurice Denis,‘Definition of Neotraditionism,’ 1890.

Neu Dachau
Germany 1890s Group of artists who split from the Munich Secession. Painted landscapes, especially of the moors around Dachau in lyrical colourful styles. Ludwig Dill, Adolf Hoelzel, Arthur Langhammer.

Neue Kunstlervereinigung – New Artists Association
Germany 1909. Breakaway group from the Munich Secession. Lead to Der Blau Reiter. Wassili Kandinsky, Alexei von Jawlensky, Marian von Werefkin, Alfred Kubin, Karl Hofer.

Neue Leben
Switzerland 1918-20. ‘New Life.’ Association of modern artists and craftspeople, with contacts in Dada and other avant-garde movements. Promoted the influence of Cubism, Fururism and Expressionism. Fritz Baumann , Arnold Bruger, Otto Morach, Marcel Janco, Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Augusto Giacometti.

Neue Sachlichkeit
See New Objectivity

Neue Sezession
Germany 1910 Breakaway from the Berlin Secession. Included Moris Melzer, Otto Mueller

Vienna 1909- New Art Group, set up by Egon Schiele with a group of young Austrian artists, the emphasis being on a complete break with tradition and on the complete individuality of each artist. Egon Schiele, Albert Paris von Gutersloh, Anton Faistauer, Franz Wiegeler, Hans Bohler.

The Neukunstler is and must be his unlimited self, he must be a creator, he must be able to build his foundations completely alone, directly, without all the past and the traditional…Each one of us must be-himself. – Egon Schiele, in Die Aktion 1914

New Artists Society
Bulgaria 1931-c1944. Association of artists promoting new trends in art, especially those from Western Europe.
Alexander Zhendov, Bencho Obreshkov, Ivan Nenov, Kiril Tsenov.

The New Bauhaus
Chicago 1937 An attempt to re-establish the Bauhaus on American soil. Moholy-Nagy was the director and with Gropius’ approval re-established the Bauhaus philosophy and teaching methods. It survived only one year due to poor financial backing, however it soon evolved into the School of Design, later the Institute of Design, which, because of the G.I. Bill ensured its success and influence long after the war.

New Objectivity
Neue Sachlichkeit. 1920s Germany. Painting style emphasizing detailed realistic representation in portraits and social subjects; a reaction against the perceived narcissism of Expressionism. One of the principal forms of painting in the Weimar period, its exponents sought to apply a level of scritiny to its subjects, to reveal maximum detail even if this emphasized grotesque or disturbing qualities. ‘Sachlichkeit’ translates as objectivity or matter-of-factness. Max Beckmann, Georg Grosz, Otto Dix, Christian Schad, Carlo Meuse, Anton Raderscheidt, Karl Hubbuch, August Sander.

The New Photography
Germany, Russia and international c1920 -40. Modernist photographic style based on a machine aesthetic; the use of small handheld cameras; radical viewpoints and prosaic subject matter. Promoted especially at the Bauhaus and in various Constructivist centres in Russia. Exhibition ‘Film und Foto’ 1929. Also called New Objectivity. Albert Renger-Patszch, Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Lucia Moholy, Florence Henri, Walter Peterhans, Alexandr Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovitch, Max Dupain.
A new optic has developed. We see things differently now, without painterly intent in the impressionistic sense. Today things are important that earlier were hardly noticed – gutters, shoe-laces, machines. They interest us for their material substance; they interest us as the means of creating space and form on surfaces, as the bearers of the darkness and the light. Gustav Stotz, Film und Foto,1929

The New Typography
Germany, Europe 1928 – 1940. Constructivist trend in graphic design, articulated by Tschichold in his book
The New Typography, 1928, and in later books. Jan Tschichold, El Lissitsky, Herbert Bayer, Kurt Schwitters, Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Alexandr Rodchenko.
Contrasts by the use of various types
Contrasts by the use of bolder type
Frequent contrasts by the use of widely differentiated types
Organization without a middle point (asymmetry)
Tendency towards arrangements in isolated groups
Predominant tendency towards lucidity and functionalism
Preference for photographs
Tendency towards machine-setting.
- Jan Tschichold, The New Typography, ‘Circle’ 1937.

Non-Objective Art
Term used for abstract art in the 1920s and 1930s; e.g. the Museum of Non-Objective Art, (later the Guggenheim) established in New York in 1937, which showed many works by Kandinsky and others European modernists.

Nonobjective creation
Russia 1919-2. Name given to Stepanova’s (and others) experiments with abstraction, collage and visual poetry. Varvara Stepanova
Nonobjective creation is still only the beginning of a great new epoch, of an unprecedented Great Creation, which is destined to open the doors to mysteries more profound than science and technology.
V. Stepanova, c1920

Moscow 1919-21 “Nichegoki”. Quasi-Dada group of writers and artists. Boris Zemenkov, Sergey Sadikov, Suzanna Mar.

Novecento Italiano
Italy 1922 - Art movement opposed to avant-garde modernism, and proposing a conventional form of neo-classicism in its place. It became the quasi-official art of Fascist Italy.

Germany 1918- Broad front of artists, musicians, architects, dramatists etc., formed to deal with cultural issues of post-WW1 reconstruction in Germany. Walter Gropius, Erich Mendelsohn, Max Pechstein, Willi Baumeister, Otto Dix, Rudolf Belling etc.



Russia 1921. Circle of abstract painters, opposed to the anti-painting direction of the Constructivists Lyuba Popova, Alexandr Vesnin, Nadezhda Udal’tsova, Alexandr Drevin.

Our modern consciousness has left the representational world and the abstract world behind, is moving towards the reorganization of the phenomenal world, the creation of a concrete, objectivized organism. Our productive activity is directed towards the manifestation of the forces of the material; the revelation of its concrete properties and the construction of a new matrial organism and its concretized elements. – Declaration of the Objectivist Working Group

Objective Abstraction Group
England 1930s. Rodrigo Moynihan

Russia 1919- Society of Young Artists, a Constructivist group of students from the SVOMAS art school. Gustav Klucis, Medunetski, Yakulov, Lentulov, Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg, Nikolai Prusakov, Gavriil Zhukov

October – Association of Artistic Labour
USSR 1928 -32. Organization promoting left-radical art across a variety of disciplines including design, archi- tecture, film and photography. A late avant-garde development terminated by Stalin’s Decree on the Reconstruction of Literary and Artistic Organizations.
Gustav Klucis, El Lissitsky, Alexei Gan, Sergei Eisenstein, Diego Rivera, Alexandr Rodchenko, Alexandr & Viktor Vesnin, Pavel Novitsky, Paula Freiberg, A. Alekseev, Moisei Ginzburg, A. Kurella.

The ultimate orientation of the artist who would express the cultural interests of the revolutionary proletariat should be to propagate the world view of dialectical materialism by the maximum means of expression within the spatial arts, and to design materially the mass, collective forms of the new life. In the light of this, we reject the philistine realism of the epigones; the realism of a stagnant, individualistic way of life; passively contemplative, static naturalistic realism with its fruitless copying of reality, embellishing and canonizing the old way of life, sapping the energy and enervating the will of the culturally underdeveloped proletariat. Declaration, 1928

Omega Workshops
England 1913-19. Applied-art studio set up by Roger Fry to promote the manufacture of ceramics, furniture, and textiles by modern English artists. Vanessa Bell, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Henri Doucet, Winifred Gill, as well as Fry, produced work. See Bloomsbury Group.

Paris 1912 - Outgrowth of Salon Cubism; prismatic combinations of pure colour often in completely abstract paintings. Primacy of colour over issues of visual representation (“Colour alone is form and subject”). See Simultaneism. Robert Delaunay, Sonia Terk-Delaunay, Frantisek Kupka,
Colour is used in its revolving sense: form develops in the dynamic circular rhythm of colour.

OSA – Union of Contemporary Architects
Russia 1920s. Constructivist architects group.

OST – Society of Easel Painters
Russia 1925- Group of painters and sculptors working parrallel with Constructivism but maintaining the relevance of painting.
I. Papkov, K. Parthomenko, A. Goncharov, A. Deinika, S. Lushishkin, N. Triaskin, A. Tyshler.

a) The rejection of abstraction and peredvizhnichestvo in subject matter.
b) The rejection of sketchiness as a phenomenon of latent dilettantism.
c) The rejection of pseudo-Cezannism as a disintegrating force in the discipline of form, drawing, and colour…
- Platform of OST, 1929 / 33



Park Avenue Cubists
USA 1937-1940s. Rich, high society members of A.A.A. (American Abstract Artists) who worked in a formalist Cubist style and held separate annual exhibitions from 1937. A.E. Gallatin ran the Gallery (later Museum) of Living Art. A.E. Gallatin, Suzy Frelinghusen, George L.K. Morris, Charles G. Shaw

Die Pathetiker - The Pathetic Ones
Germany 1912. Expressionist group, showed at Dur Sturm gallery. Ludwig Meidner, Richard Janthur, Jakob Steinhardt

The Phalanx
Germany 1901-04. Group of Munich artists exploring new forms in painting; centred around Kandinsky; briefly ran the Phalanx School of Painting. Wassili Kandinsky, Rolf Niczky, Waldemar Hecker, Gustav Freytag, Wilhelm Huggen.

Photo League
New York 1930s-1951 Organization promoting humanistic and slightly left-wing photography of working class and black urban life. The Photo League ran a school, organized exhibitions and published a newsletter. Pursued by the FBI for supposed communism of its members. Sid Grossman, Sol Libsohn, Ruth Orkin, Aaron Siskind, Dan Weiner, Arthur Leipzig.

USA 1902- Pictorialist photography group in the U.S. promoting ‘art’ photography (Pictorialism) in salons and exhibitions, and through Stieglitz’ periodical Camera Work. Alfred Stieglitz, Heinrich Kuehn, Frank Eugene, Clarence White, Gertrude Kasebier.

International c1890-1920 A style of art photography parallel to Post-Impressionism and Symbolism. A repudiation of professional/commercial photography with its necessary emphasis on sharp focus and descriptive clarity, and an embracing of high art values, especially the aestheticism of the Art Nouveau era. Exponents often used difficult quasi-printmaking techniques to achieve painterly effects. See Photo-Secession; The Linked Ring. Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Heinrich Kuehn, Frank Eugene, James Craig Annan, Robert Demachy, Gertrude Kasebier

Pittura Metafisica
Italy. 1910-C1920. ‘Metaphysical Painting’. Circle of Italian modernists influence by Arnold Bocklin and other Symbolists. Direct precursor of Surrealist painting, which continued its imagery of dreamlike eeriness and dislocation. Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carra, Giorgio Morandi.

We who understand the signs of the metaphysical alphabet, know what joys are hidden within a portico, the angle of a street or even a room, on the surface of a table, between the sides of a box. The limits of these signs constitute for us a kind of moral and aesthetic code of representation; further, in painting with claivoyance we construct a new metaphysical psychology of things.
- Giorgio de Chirico, ‘On Metaphysical Art,’ 1919.

Czechoslovakia, 1920s. Avant-garde movement that grew out of the Devetsil movement. Parrallel to Surrealism although its proponents were critical of Surrealism’s narrative and often academic painting styles. Red magazine devoted an issue in 1928 to Poetism. were associated with it. Karel Teige, Styrsky,Vitezlav Nezval

Paris 1880s- The technique of Divisionism. Paint is applied small adjacent dots of colour.
See Divisionism; Neo-Impressionism. Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Edmund Cross, Camille Pissarro

Pont-Aven Group
France 1886-91. Painters working together in the town of Pont-Aven in Brittany, exponents of Cloissonism and Synthetism.. They exhibited together at the Cafes des Arts (Cafe Volpini) on the grounds of the 1889 Paris Exhibition as the Groupe Impressioniste at Synthetiste. See Cloissonism, Synthetism. Paul Gauguin, Emil Bernard, Vincent van Gogh, Louis Anquetin, Charles Laval.

France c1880s-1900. Loose category of artists who repudiated Impressionism as a Realist activity, and developed more structural systems for translating observed reality to the flat picture plane. The term was creared by the English critic Roger Fry, in 1910, and encompasses Neo-Impressionism (Pointillism), Gauguin’s Synthetism and other movements. Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat.

See Unism.

USA 1920s. Machine Age painting style combining cubist-influenced compositions in precise geometric depictions mainly of the urban/industrial landscape. Alternative names were Cubo-Realism, The Immaculates, New Claccisism and Sterilism.
Charles Sheeler, Georgia O’Keefe, Charles Demuth, Ralston Crawford, Niles Spencer.

A term used to refer to the cultures of so-called primitive peoples, e.g. Africans, Polynesians etc. These were often seen as more natural and therefore more ‘authentic’ than European industrial society. The influence of motifs from “primitive” peoples occured notably with Gauguin’s journey to Tahiti and Picasso’s use of African masks in the early development of Cubism.

As for me, my mind is made up. I am going to Tahiti, a small island in Oceania, where the material necessities of life can be had without money…A terrible epoch is brewing in Europe for the coming generation: the kingdom of gold. Everything is putrified, even men, even the arts…The Tahitian only has to lift his hands to gather his food; and in addition he never works. – Paul Gauguin

Russia 1918- Militant, theoretical branch of Constructivism. Alexei Gan, Osip Brik, Boris Arvatov, Nikolai Tarabukin.

Art is finished! It has no place in the human labour apparatus.

The Progressives
Germany 1920s-30s ‘Progressiven.’ Avant garde group in the consevative Rhineland district. Published the journal A-Z for several years.

Proletkul’t – Proletarian Culture
Russia 1917 – c1928. Mass cultural / educational organisation set up under Lunacharsky, the People’s Commisar for Enlightenment, to promote left art ideals.

France 1918-25. An outgrowth of Cubism, devoted to the elimination, as they saw it, of the decorativeness that had crept in to it. Typified by paintings of still-life rendered in tightly ordered compositions. Purist paintings usually have a machine aesthetic, rigorous elimination of detail, and a mathematical/geometric emphasis based on the Golden Section (“the organic inevitability of the Golden Section”). Its main proponents, Le Corbusier and Anmadee Ozenfant, were central to the development of the International Style. Manifesto 1918 “Apres le Cubisme.” Periodical L’Esprit Nouveau, 1920-25. Book “Vers une Architecture” 1923.
Alternative name: Compressionism. Amadee Ozenfant, Le Corbusier; also Fernand Leger, Willi Baumeister, Oskar Schlemmer.

Puteaux Group
France 1911- Meetings of Salon Cubists held at the home of the Duchamp brothers in the Paris suburb of Puteaux. Its members were critical to the wide dissemination of Cubism, and were active in exhibiting and publicising it. Picasso and Braque kept aloof. See Salon Cubism; Section D’Or. Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Henri le Fauconnier, Roger de la Fresnaye, Fernand Leger, Marie Laurencin.



Radikale Kunstler – Radical Artists
Switzerland 1920- Artists group, previously named Das Neue Leben (The New Life), which was started by Hans Arp and Marcel Janco, and also included Gerhardt Richter and Viking Eggeling. The group called for the application of time in abstract art, which would soon be employed using cine film. French name, Groupe des Artistes Radicaux.

Rappel d’Ordre
France 1920s. “Call to Order.” In the aftermath of World War 1, a tendency to recoil from the seeming disorder of abstraction, and move towards less radical forms of art, re-introducing classical and figurative approaches. Picasso’s Neo-Classicism, Le Corbusier’s Purism, and the conservative Neo-Realisme style, were differnt expressions of the call to order.

Rationalism – Rationalismo
Italy 1920s-30s Movement of radical modernist architects, whose work is typified by white geometric structures of severe appearence. The movement began in Milan in 1926 with Gruppo 7. They were associated for a time with the fascist regime and in 1932-36 Giuseppe Terragni constructed the Casa del Fascio (now the Casa del Popolo), See also Gruppo 7, M.I.A.R.; Functionalism; International Style. Adelberto Libera, Giuseppe Terragni, Luciano Baldessari, Alberto Sartoris.

The Rationalists
Russia 1920s. Architectural group, originally at the VkhTUMAS school. Members of ASNOVA, Association of New Architects. N.Ladovskii, Ivan Lamtsov, M. Turkus, Mikhail Korzhev, Georgii Krutikov.

Russia 1913. Russian strand of cubistic abstraction, based on pseudo-scientific interpretation of physics of energy and light. Manifesto 1913, Moscow. Michael Larionov, Nathalie Goncharova.

Between the objectivized forms before our eyes, there is a real undeniable crossing of rays coming from different forms. These crossings compose nontangible new forms that the eye of the painter can see. – Michael Larionov

France 1850-60s. Naturalistic painting of scenes of peasant life etc., depicted in a more or less straightforward way; an opposition to the narrative and mythical subjects of the academies; precursor to Impressionism. See also Barbizon School. Gustave Courbet, Jean Francois Millet, Eduard Manet.

Moscow 1920- The Constructivist faction of Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner. Published the Realist Manifesto. They moved to western Europe in the early 1920s where they continued their abstract sculptural works, having a huge influence paricularly in England. Were involved in Abstraction-Creation.

1. We renounce colour as a pictorial element…
2. We renounce in a line its descriptive value…
3. We renounce volume as a pictorial and plastic of space. – Realist Manifesto, Naum Gabo, 1920

Rebel Art Centre
London 1914. Started by Wyndham Lewis as an alternative to Roger Fry’s Omega Workshops, the centre also known as the Cubist Centre, was to be a club for radical artists and craftspeople, and a focus for the production of new art and craft. Its rooms in Great Ormond Street were brightly decorated with geometric murals by Lewis and others. It lasted only 9 months, but helped to give birth to Vorticism, Britain’s only true avant-garde movement at the time. See Vorticism; Omega Workshops.

Red Group
Germany 1924. Left faction of Verism, allied to the communist party. Georg Grosz, Otto Dix, Otto Greubel, Schlichter, Davringhausen.

The Regionalists
U.S.A. 1930s- Stylized realism with regional subject-matter as a conservative reaction against avant-gardism of modern art. See also The American Scene. Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry.

Poland 1918-20. “Bunt.” Expressionist group with connections in Germany to the Brucke movement and to the periodicals Die Aktion and Der Sturm. Related to the Formists. Jerzy Hulewicz, A. Bedevski, Stanislav Kubicki.

The Ring
Germany 1923 -33. Professional body of Modernist architects formed to encourage research, publicity and exhibitions in the new movement subsequently called International Style. The Weissenhof housing project, for example, was dominated by members of the Ring. See also Ring of Ten; Functionalism; International Style. Mies van der Rohe, Hugo Haring, Bruno Taut, Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer et al

Ring Neue Werbegestalter – Circle of New Publicity Designers
Germany 1927- Group of graphic designers promoting Constructivism and the New Typography. Jan Tschichold, Kurt Schwitters, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Willi Baumeister, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Herbert Bayer, Max Burchatz, Walter Dexel, Robert & Ella Michel, Cesar Domela, Piet Zwart, El Lissitski.

Ring of Ten – Zehnerring
Germany c1920. Group of Modernist architects including Mies van der Rohe, Peter Behrens, Erich Mendelsohn, Hans Poelzig, Bruno Taut, Max Taut, Hugo Haring, Karl Krayl.

To struggle against impractical and bureaucratic resistance for the establishment of a new concept of building.

Rose + Croix
France 1892. Circle of Symbolist artists; based on Rosicrucian cult. Inspired by the sinister and fantastical ideas of Edgar Allan Poe, Rose + Cross painters depicted scenes of extreme perversity and sexuality, and bizarre fantasy in allegorical tableaux painted with an attention to detail reminiscent of thr Pre-Raphaelites. A preoccupation with themes of sex and death are typical.
Jean Delville, Armand Point, Louis Anquetin, Carlos Schwabe, Leon Frederick, Emile Bernard. Ferdinand Hodler, Erik Satie.



Salon Painting
France, England and international, 19th century. Term used to describe “official” art, ie forms of art sanctioned by the art academies, professional associations, and by government and public taste. Typified by extreme technical polish; narrative subject-matter painted with near photographic realism; and classical forms derived from tradition rather than experimentation. The Salons were large, annual public exhibitions of recent art, held at grand public venues such as the Palais de l’Industrie in Paris and at Burlington House in London. Juries selected works sub- mitted by artists, and inclusion was an important measure of professional success. Gradually, modern art and the growth of alternative salons and private galleries eroded their significance. See Academy.

Salon d’Automne
Paris 1903 - Annual exhibition of contemporary art held each year during autumn. Far from radical in its exhibition policy, it was nevertheless more open to modern efforts than the descendants of the official salon, the Salon des Artistes Francais and the Salon de la Nationale. The Salon d’Automne was large and important enough to be held at the Grand Palais and showed a wide range of work, notably by the new Fauve artists, and the Cubists.

Salon des Independants
Paris 1884 – 1914. Annual exhibition of avant garde art established by Georges Seurat and Odilon Redon as a counter to the official salon which promoted academic art. No jury system was used and artists could easily exhibit their work.

Salon des Refuses
Paris 1863. Salon of the Refused. Following an outcry after a reactionary jury of academic painters rejected many works submitted to the Salon of 1863, a second exhibition was set up in another part of the Palais de l’Industrie. These were of the refused works, which included paintings by esteemed artists such as Jongkind, Fantin-Latour and Whistler. Manet’s La Dejeneur sur l’Herbe caused an outrage and brought even more notoriety to the exhibition which can be seen as the beginning of Modernism in painting..The notion of refused or rejected artists working in opposition to the mainstream- a central myth of Modernism- crystallised at the Salon of 1863.

School of Paris
France c1917 – 1940. Umbrella term describing the general professionalism and increasing acceptance of modern art in postwar Paris, while implying a degree of conservatism in the previously radical movements of Cubism, Fauvism etc. School of Paris art is generally cheerful and charming, in contrast with the troubled Modernism of Germany and Russia at the same time. Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Coco Chanel, Raoul Dufy, Sonia Delauney, Serge Diaghalev, Darius Milhaud, Marie Laurencin

The Searchers
Original name of Hungarian avant-garde group The Eight founded in 1909. See The Eight.

Secondo Futurismo
Italy c1920-40. The second wave of Futurism, after the death or dispersal of the original Futurists. Centred in Turin and Rome, it was associated with Fascism becoming for a time the more or less official style of the party. It gradually lost political favour, becaming academic and dogmatic. Manifesto of Aeropittura, 1929. See Futurism.

Section of Monumental Art
Russia 1920- Arm of Inkhuk established by Kandinsky. Its aim was to explore the connections between the arts, and to establish a ‘new synthetic art’ between painting, music, poetry, and dance. This theory-based, aesthetic approach was repudiated by Rodchenko, who had co-founded Inkhuk with Kandinski, and caused the establishment there of the Working Group of Objective Analysis.

Section d’Or
Paris c1912. Exhibition in 1912 by members of the Puteaux Group, whose use of the Golden Section and other theoretical means led to more abstract variants of Cubism than Picasso and Braque. See Puteaux Group; Salon Cubism. Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Villon Brothers, Fernand Leger.

Germany c1911. Munich Expressionist group. Alfred Kubin, Egon Schiele, Paul Klee.

7 and 5 Society
England c1924. Conservative exhibiting group of “would-be avant-gardists” that included at one time, Ben Nicholson.

France 1912- Alternatve name for Orphism, and the name generally preferred by its exponents. Robert Delauney, Sonia-Terk-Delauney, Frantisek Kupka.

Simultaneity in light is harmony, the rhythm of colours which creates the Vision of Man… In order that art attain the level of sublimity,
it must draw upon our harmonic vision: clarity. Clarity will be colour, proportion; these proportions are composed of diverse elements, simultaneously involved in an action. This action must be representative harmony, the synchronous movement (simultaneity) of light which is the only reality. This synchronous action then will be the Subject, which is the representative harmony. – Robert Delauney, in Der Sturm, 1913. See Orphism

Social Realism
USA 1930s. Depiction of everyday life, often of the poor, usually from a left-wing position. Not to be confused with Socialist Realism. See also American Scene. Ben Shahn, Raphael Soyer, Isaac Soyer, Moses Soyer, Reginald Marsh, Peter Blume,

Yes, paint America, but with your eyes open. Do not glorify Main Street. Paint it as it is – mean, dirty, avaricious. – Moses Soyer

Socialist Realism
Soviet Union and international 1930s- The official art of Stalinist Russia and later of other communist regimes.
A revival of conservative 19th century realism, especially that of The Wanderers group, combined with communist subject-matter. Propaganda. Diametrically opposed to Modernism, which was forbidden after 1932.

…any formalist idiosyncrasies not justified by the content and not necessary for its expression are either methods of disguise for the class enemy or, by allowing a different interpretation can serve the interests of the class enemy… We must intensify the struggle for a genuinely realistic art…We must fully unmask the remnants of the class enemies in art. And we shall accomplish this. – Iskusstvo, periodical, 1934

Societe Anonyme
USA 1917 -1930s. Group promoting and exhibiting modern art in the U.S. The influence of Paris Dada was evident in some of their efforts. Marcel Duchamp, Katherine Dreier, Man Ray.

Society Against the Association of Artists
Germany 1892- “Gegenverein zur Kunstlergenossenschaft.” See Munich Secession. Franz von Stuck, Fritz von Uhde, Hugo von Habermann

Society of Independant Artists
New York 1916- A separate mainstream organisation from the moribund National Academy of Design and an American version of the French Salon des Independants. Formed in the circle of the collector Walter Arensberg and the initiators of the Armory Show it succeeded in creating a new public for modern art, especially through its First Exhibition in 1917. Twice the size of the Armory Show, it attracted enormous crowds and received wide publicity. Duchamp’s Fountain urinal was rejected from the exhibition, despite his being involved in the organising commitee, and other works created public contraversies, including Brancusi’s Miss Bonaparte.

…We are not of the class that favours drapery for the legs of the piano stool, but phallic symbolism under the guise of portraiture should not be permitted in any public exhibition hall, jury or no jury… America likes and demands clean art.”

De Sphinx
Holland 1916- Circle of Dutch modern artists in Leiden; predecessor to De Stijl. Emerged from an earlier group, De Anderen, which dissolved due to conflicts between the rationalist and expressionist factions. JJP Oud and Van Doesburg led the group which they expected would have ties to architects and designers. The group suffered a similar fate to De Anderen. The Rotterdam faction was known as De Volstrekt Modernen -The Absolute Moderns, which inturn led on the group called De Branding – The Wave. Theo van Doesburg, JJP Oud, Jan Wils, Emil Filla, Harm Kamerlingh Onnes, Bernard Canter, Bernard Toon Gits, Jan Sirks, Laurens van Kuik. See De Stijl, De Anderen.

Alternative name for Precisionism / Cubo-Realism / The Immaculates

De Stijl
Holland 1917-32. Wide-reaching modernist movement and the preeminent Dutch avant-garde, which influenced modern art and design throughout Europe for two decades. Its proponents pursued an ideal of universality based on extreme reduction of form, usually to a rectangular grid composed of primary colours (“the quadrangle is the token of a new humanity”) Not confined to painting, some of its leading associates were architects-JJP Oud, furniture designers-Gerrit Rietveld, and graphic artists-Vilmos Huszar. Periodical “De Stijl” 1917-28. Several manifestos, starting in 1918. Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, Gerrit Rietveld, J.J.P.Oud, Georges Vantongerloo, Vilmos Huszar, Robert van’t Hoff, Cesar Domela. See also De Anderen, De Sphinx, Elemtarism, Neo-Plasticism.

USA & international c1930-45. Design trend, a U.S. Depression-era variant of Art Deco. The smoothed forms of machines derived in part from wind tunnel tests became a prevailing metaphor for modernity in the 1930s; The Chrysler Airstream car, the DC3 airplane, and the Empire State Building, all with sleek simplified lines, are typical of this style. Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfus, Norman Bel Geddes, Walter Dorwin Teague.

Stupid Group
Cologne 1920 Communist Dada group proposing a proletarian art. Breakaway from Dada Weststupidien 3. Held exhibition Dada Vorfrubling in a brewery, entry to which was gained through a toilet. Inside, visitors were invited to destroy a sculpture by Max Ernst. Periodical Die Schammade, the shame. Heinrich Hoerle, Angelika Hoerle, Anton Raderscheidt, Franz Seiwert.

Der Sturm
Germany 1910-32. Publishing house, magazine and art gallery in Berlin run by Herwarth Walden which promoted modern art and writing in Germany. Works by most of the leading European modernists were shown and published, some for the first time in Germany; these included the Cubists, Futurists and Constructivists, and the German Expressionists.

Russia 1915- Avant-garde movement at the forefront of developments in abstract art. Concentrating on purity of form and reduction to elemental shapes Suprematism was free from any political or social meaning – a purely aesthetic and formal project. Its leader Kasimir Malevich was one of the most important figures in the Russian avant garde, involved with all the major artists, many of whom he taught or who joined his movement, for example Rodchenko and El Lissitsky. Suprematism’s apolitical nature meant it was inceasingly sidelined during the 1920s as utilitarian and communistic forms such as Constructivism took over. Kasimir Malevich
Under Suprematism I understand the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art.
To the Suprematist the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth. Kasimir Malevich, The Non-Objective World.

Russia c1915 Suprematist group formed during the 0.10 exhibition by Malevich. Kasimir Malevich, Ivan Puni, Mikhail Menkov, Ivan Klyun, Olga Rozanova.

France and international. 1924- Movement based on the complete freedom of the imagination and the investigation of new techniques to exploit the subconscious mind for creatve ideas. A strong anti-establishment attitude encouraged the exploration of sexuality, anti-clericism (most of the Surrealists were ex-Catholics) and left-wing political themes. The movement was strongly influenced by the ideas of Freud, particularly the notion of the Id as the driving force in human affairs. Surrealists liked to find bizarre new methods that derived from chance, for example automatic writing, cadavres exquis (a childrens’ game) and frottage. The movement was organised formally, and was led by the poet Andre Breton. Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Max Ernst, Benjamin Peret, Georges Sadoul, Meret Oppenheim, Toyen, Yves Tanguy, Dora Maar, Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Frida Kahlo, ReneMagritte, Andre Masson, Eileen Agar, Alberto Giacometti, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning. See also Surrealist Group, London Surrealist Group

Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express… the real process of thought. Thought’s dictation, free from any control by the reason, independant of any aesthetic or moral preoccupation. – Andre Breton

Surrealist Group
See Czech Surrealist Group

(Sydney) Contemporary Group
Sydney1926. Artists exhibiting group influenced by Post-Impressionism; formed by Thea Proctor and Roy de Maistre. Margaret Preston, George Lambert, Elioth Gruner, Roland Wakelin, Grace Cossington Smith, Vida Lahey, Thea Proctor, Adelaide Perry, Roy de Maistre

France & international. Late 19thc to early 20thc. The embracing of poetic and imaginative themes, sometimes inspired by dreams, literature or myth. In part a reaction against the (Impressionist) notion of observed nature being the necessary subject of art. Symbolist paintings are exotic and stylised often with an intense emotional and erotic content. Manifesto 1886. See also Les XX, Rose et Croix. Gustave Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes, Odilon Redon, Paul Gauguin, Aubrey Beardsley, Franz von Stuck, Fernand Khnopff, Felicien Rops. Also Stephan Mallarme, Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde.

Paris 1913- Related to Orphism; Cubist/Futurist abstraction based on synesthesia; theories of the interaction of colours to create specific emotions. Manifesto 1913. Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Morgan Russell, Patrick Henry Bruce

I strive to divest my art of all anecdote and illustration and to purify it to the point where the emotions of the spectator will be wholly aesthetic, as when listening to good music… Colour must be used as an abstract medium…I created my pictures by means of colour-form which, by its organization in three dimensions, resulted in rythm. – Macdonald Wright, 1916

Syndicate of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors
Mexico 1922. Radical-left art movement, noted for the murals its members created in Mexico and the U.S.A. David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco.

We hail the monumental expression of art because such art is public property. – Manifesto, Mexico City 1922

France 1880s-1900s. Theory developed by Emil Bernard and Paul Gauguin at Pont-Aven in Brittany.
The rejection of naturalistic representation as in Impressionism, and instead the depiction of ideas, moods, emotions; a synthesis of the idea of the painting and its decorative, abstract forms. A Symbolist movement. See also Cloissonism. Emil Bernard, Paul Gauguin, Maurice Denis, Paul Serusier, Charles Filiger.

To synthetize… is to simplify in the sense of rendering intelligible…to set each picture to a single rhythm.
‘Synthesis,’ said Serusier,’consists in containing all possible forms within the smallest number of forms which we are capable of conceiving: straight lines, the several angles, arcs of circles, and ellipses. Outside of these we become lost in an ocean of varieties.’ Here is doubtlessly a mathematical conception of art, not lacking in grandeur. – Maurice Denis, 1907.



Paris 1920s. Offshoot of Dada. Suzanne Duchamp, Jean Crotti.

Russia 1913. Circle of artists advocating an independant style of Russian painting looking to the indigenous folk art of Russia, with its roots in the East. Renaming of Donkey’s Tail. The Target group was also the platform for the development of Rayonism. Exhibition ‘Target,’ 1913. See Donkey’s Tail; Neo-Primitivism Michael Larionov, Natalia Goncharova.

Transcendental Painting Group
U.S.A. 1938- New Mexico artists working in spiritual forms, taking painting “beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light and design, to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual.” Emil Bisttram, Ed Garman, Raymond Johnson



Poland 1924. Polish development of Suprematism, led by Wladyslaw Strzeminski. Also called Post-Suprematism.
Periodical ‘Blok.’ See Blok Group. The organic unity of forms and surface of a painting.

Unit One
London 1933- Group of English artists and architects promoting modernism in England. Its aim, according to the critic Herbert Read, was “to form a point in the forward thrust of modernism in architecture, painting and sculpture, and to harden this point in the fires of criticism and controversy.” Published the book Unit One in 1934 and Circle in 1937. The latter was important in introducing Constructivist and Bauhaus ideas into England. Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Edward Wadsworth, John Armstrong, John Bigge, Edward Burra, Tristram Hillier, Frances Hodgkins, Colin Lucas, Wells Coates, Douglas Cooper.

To stand for the construction of a truly contemporary spirit, for that thing which is recognized as peculiarly of today in painting, sculpture and architecture. – Paul Nash., The Times, 1933.

Russia 1919- “Union of the New Art / Affirmers of the New Art.” Artists group that emerged out of Malevich’s Suprematist teachings at Vitebsk Free School.



Germany 1920-24. Variant of Neue Sachlichkeit. Georg Grosz, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann

The Verist holds a mirror to his contemporaries’ ugly snouts. I drew and painted from a spirit of contradiction, and tried by means of my works to convince the world that it is hideous, sick and dishonest. – George Grosz

Vienna Secession
Austria (Austro-Hungary) 1897- An independant organisation promoting Viennese Art Nouveau,
a breakaway from the Viennese art establishment. Famous for the extremely high quality of its products, including the applied art of Josef Hoffman, the gilt artwork of Klimt and the early modernist architecture of Wagner, and Adolf Loos. Periodical “Ver Sacrum.”
Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffman, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Max Klinger, Adolf Bohm, Ferdinand Andri, Egon Schiele, Oscar Kokoshka.

Vkhutemas – Higher State Artistic and Technical Studios
Russia 1920-30. School of art and design devoted to modernist principles, with the goal of training students for industrial production. Departments of Painting, Sculpture, Textiles, Ceramics, Architecture, Woodwork and Metalwork. Closely associated with the Constructivist movements, its Woodwork and Metalwork faculty included Rodchenko, Gustav Klucis, Vladimir Tatlin and El Lissitsky. Similar to the Bauhaus, it was one of the most advanced schools in the world. Alexandr Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, Naum Gabo, Antoine Pevsner, Alexandr Vesnin, Anton Lavinskii., Aleksandr Drevin, Anton Lavinski

London 1914-. English avant-garde movement. Members of the Rebel Art Centre in London, led by Percy Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists wanted to create an English alternative to Futurism and Cubism which were continental developments. Vorticism focussed on energy and movement and its polemics, published in the periodical Blast, used explosive metaphors to refer to a sweeping away of Victorian conservarism. It was overtaken by events; the First World War destroyed the movement and several of its members, despite Wyndham-Lewis attempting to ressurect it as Group X in 1919. Vorticist Manifesto 1914. Periodical ‘Blast’ 1914-15.
Percy Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, CRW Nevinson, Henri Gaudia-Brzeska, Ezra Pound, Alvin Langdon Coburn.

The Vortex is the point of maximum energy. It represents, in mechanics, the greatest efficiency. – Ezra Pound.
At the heart of the Whirlpool is a great silent place where the energy is concentrated. And at the point of concentration is the Vorticist. – Wyndham Lewis.



The Wanderers – Peredvizhniki
Russia 1871- Movement of Russian realist painters, opposed to the academic styles then in ascendancy which favoured allegory based on classical themes. They painted exclusively “the immeasurably rich subjects from urban and rural life of our fatherland,.” and became very popular and influential. Were later the model for Socialist Realism in the 1930s. Ilia Repin, Vasili Surikov, Ivan Kramskoi, Vasili Perov, Ivan Shiskin, Nikolai Ge.

The Wave
See de Branding

Holland 1918-1930s. Graphic arts style related to De Stijl. The name comes from the art journal ‘Wendigen’ edited by H.Th.Wijdeveld, the designer most known for this style and whose name is sometimes attached to it. More intricate and decorative than De Stijl, it is nevertheless grid-based and rectangular, and distinctly Dutch- modernist. H.Th.Wijdeveld, J.J.Hellendoorn, Anton Kurvers

Wiener Werkstatte – Vienna Workshops
Austria (Austro-Hungary) 1903-32. Craft guild producing and selling Art Nouveau applied arts. Based partly on William Morris’ Arts and Crafts Movement and on the Vienna Secession. Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Fritz Warndorfer.

Working Group of Objective Analysis
Russia 1920- Arm of Inkhuk, the Institute of Artistic Culture, a breakaway from Kandinski’s Section of Monumental Art. It was one of the roots of Productivism, which soon established itself as central to the Constructivist project, and caused the rapid diminishing of Kandinski’s influence. Alexandr Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova.

World of Art
Russia 1898-1904. Russian Symbolist group with close ties to western Europe; periodical ‘Mir Isskustva’ (World of Art); several artists later involved with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe. See also Ballet Russe. Serge Diaghilev, Alexander Benois, Leon Bakst, Konstantin Somov, Nicholas Roerich, Alexandre Golovin.

Worpswede Colony
Germany 1895- “Kunstlervereinigung Worpswede.” Utopian/socialist artists colony situated in moorlands near Bremen, home to German Romantic-inclined landscape painters. Paula Modersohn-Becker, who later became an important Expressionist, was there. … an organic emergence of the artwork from the spirit of the land and the people. Paula Modersohn-Becker, Otto Modersohn, Heinrich Vogler



Les XX
Belgium 1880s. ‘Les Vingt,’ the Twenty. Exhibition group in Brussels promoting new art especially Symbolism, Impressionism and Art Nouveau. Held annual shows fronm 1883 until 1893 which included Monet, Redon and Van Gogh (the only painting he ever sold was at a Les XX exhibition, in 1890 the year he died). It was actively supported by the magazine L’Art Moderne. Over its ten year span the group had 32 members, not 20. James Ensor, Paul Dubois, Fernand Khnopff, Auguste Rodin, Felicien Rops, Paul Signac, Jan Toorop, Octave Maus, Henri van der Velde.



Zehnerring See Ring of Ten