Twentieth Century Artists in the Graves Gallery
Glossary R - Z
Renaissance – A revival or rebirth of cultural awareness and learning that took place during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, particularly in Italy, but also in Germany and other European countries. The period was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art and design and included an emphasis on human beings, their environment, science, and philosophy.
R omanticism - An art movement and style that thrived in the early nineteenth century. It put emphasise on the emotions painted in a bold, dramatic manner. Romantic artists discarded the composed way of thinking of Classicism, which was the established art of the times, to paint pictures of nature in its untamed state, frequently with an emphasis on the past. Classicism was nostalgic too, but Romantics were more emotional, often melancholic, and sometimes melodramatically tragic.
Surrealism - A twentieth century Avant-garde art movement that originated in the nihilistic ideas of the Dadaists and especially of its founder, French writer and former Dadaist André Breton (1896-1966). He wrote three manifestos about Surrealism in 1924, 1930, and 1934, and opened a studio for "surrealist research" Inspired by the theories of the pioneer of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud (German, 1856-1939). The images found in surrealist works are heavily influenced by dreams and the subconscious; they often have a realistic, though irrational style, as in the works of René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1988), Yves Tanguy (French, 1900-1955), and Alfred Pellan (Canadian, 1906-1988). These artists were also inspired by Symbolism and the metaphysical Painting of Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888-1978). It could have a more abstract style, as in the works of Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Max Ernst (German, 1891-1976), and André Masson (French, 1896-1987). They invented spontaneous techniques, modeled upon the psychotherapeutic procedure of "free association", a creative method used to eliminate conscious control in order to express the workings of the unconscious mind. (pr. se-REE-el-izm)
Unit One – A British group set up by Paul Nash in 1933 to promote Modern Art, architecture and design. At the time two of the major movements in modern art were seen as being Abstract Art and Surrealism. Unit One embraced both movements, Nash himself made both Abstract and Surrealist work in the mid 1930s and was instrumental in the organisation of the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936. The launch of the Unit One group was announced in a letter from Nash to The Times newspaper. He wrote that Unit One was 'to stand for the expression of a truly Contemporary spirit, for that thing which is recognised as peculiarly of today in painting, sculpture and architecture'. The only Unit One group exhibition was held in 1934 accompanied by a book Unit One, subtitled The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture. It included statements by all the artists in the group, photographs of their work, and an introduction by the critic and poet Herbert Read, who was an important champion of Modernism in Britain. The other artists involved were John Armstrong (British, 1893 – 1973), John Bigge (British 1892 – 1973), Edward Burra (British, 1905- 1976), Dame Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903 -1975), Henry Moore (British, 1898 –1986), Ben Nicholson (British, 1894- 1982), Edward Wadsworth (British 1889 –1949) and the architects Welles Coates (Japanese, 1895 –1958) and Colin Lucas (British, 1906- 1988).