Twentieth Century Artists in the Graves Gallery
Glossary M - P
Moai – Statues carved of compressed volcanic ash on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The statues are all monolithic (carved in one piece). They can weigh more than 20 tons and be more than 20 feet tall. One unfinished sculpture has been found that would have been 69 feet tall and would have weighed about 270 tons. On Rapa Nui nearly 400 Moai still remain visible today.
Modernism/ Modern Art - The Modernist movement emerged in the mid- 19th century in France and was fixed with the idea that “traditional” forms of art, literature and daily life had become invalid and redundant, and that it was therefore essential to leave them behind and reconstruct a new culture. Modernism encouraged the reconsideration of every aspect of existence, from business to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was “holding back” progress, and replacing it with new, and therefore better ways of reaching the same end. It encapsulated artist’s attempts to come to terms with the urban, industrial and secular society that emerged during this period in Western society.
Many art movements, from Impressionism to Minimalism, fall under the umbrella of Modern art. It was no longer important to represent a subject realistically – the invention of photography had made this function of art outdated. Instead, artists started experimenting with new ways of seeing, with fresh ideas about the nature, materials and functions of art, often moving toward Abstraction. The viewer‘s interpretation was not considered part of the process of art making or as a significant part of the experience of art, as it became in Postmodernism.
Neo- Romantic – Strongly theatrical and romantic style of painting from the 1930s and 1940s. Common themes included longing for the perfect love, utopian landscapes, nature reclaiming ruins, romantic death, and history in landscape. Artists connected with the movement included Christian Berard (French, 1902-1949), Eugene Berman (American, 1899 -1972) and John Piper (English, 1903–1992). Many of the artists were influenced by Surrealism. Some critics argued that neo- romanticism lacked an adequate notion of evil in the modern world.
Pop Art – An art movement and style that had its origins in England in the 1950s with various investigations into the nature of urban popular culture, notably by members of the independent Group at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) in London. It made its way to the United States during the 1960s and blossomed as a major style, affecting not only Fine Art but many aspects of Decorative Art. Pop artists focused attention upon familiar images of popular culture such as billboards, comic strips, magazine advertisements, and supermarket products. Leading exponents are Richard Hamilton (British, 1922), Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), Jasper Johns (American, 1930), and Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925).
Post- Impressionism - Post-Impressionism is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of artists who were influenced by Impressionism but took their art in other directions. There is no single well-defined style of Post-Impressionism, but in general it is less idyllic and more emotionally charged than Impressionist work, showing a greater concern for expression and rejecting the emphasis on naturalism and the depictions of fleeting effects of light. The classic Post-Impressionists are Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903), Paul Cezanne (French 1839 -1906), Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901). The term was coined by the British art critic and painter, Roger Fry (1866-1934), on the occasion of an exhibit of works by these artists, which he curated in 1910 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Post- Modernism – Art that opposes earlier Modernist beliefs by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying Modernist practice to extremes.
Pre- Raphaelites –An alliance of English artists in 1848 who aimed to recapture the simplicity and splendour of the medieval world. The art movement reacted to the sterility of English art, along with the materialism which was a consequence of England's industrialization. They identified with Raphael (Italian, 1483-1520) and the scientific interests of Renaissance art, which they felt had strongly influenced modern technological development. They aimed to infuse their works with vivid colours, literary symbolism, and attention to detail. The founders of the Brotherhood were the painters Dante Gabriel Rossetti (British, 1828-1882) William Holman Hunt (British, 1827-1910), John Everett Millais (British, 1829-1896), James Collinson (British, 1825-1881), Frederic George Stephens (British, 1828-1907), sculptor Thomas Woolner (British, 1825-1892), and writer William Michael Rossetti (British, 1829-1919), the painter's brother.