List of avant-garde artists

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Pablo Picasso 1962

Avant-garde (French pronunciation: [avɑ̃ ɡaʁd]) is French for "vanguard".[1] The term is commonly used in French, English, and German to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art and culture.

Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The notion of the existence of the avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Postmodernism posits that the age of the constant pushing of boundaries is no longer with us and that avant-garde has little to no applicability in the age of Postmodern art.

Visual artists[edit]

Henri Matisse, 1933, photo by Carl Van Vechten
Joan Miró 1935, photo by Carl Van Vechten
Constantin Brâncuși, 1922, photo by Edward Steichen


Frank Lloyd Wright, 1954, photo: Al Ravenna, New York World-Telegram and Sun

Performance artists[edit]


Igor Stravinsky, 1921
Duke Ellington, 1965 on tour in Frankfurt, Germany
Philip Glass, 1993 in Florence
Steve Reich, 2006

Authors, playwrights, actors, theatre directors and poets[edit]

James Joyce, c. 1918
Portrait of Gertrude Stein (1934, Carl Van Vechten)

Photographers, filmmakers, video artists[edit]

Salvador Dalí and Man Ray in Paris, on June 16, 1934, making "wild eyes" for photographer Carl Van Vechten
Lithuanian artist Jonas Mekas, regarded as godfather of American avant-garde cinema

Dancers and choreographers[edit]

Isadora Duncan performing barefoot. Photo by Arnold Genthe ca. 1915–1918
Martha Graham, photo by Yousuf Karsh, 1948


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Avant-garde definitions". Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  2. ^ See Claudia Schmuckli: "Chronology and Selected Exhibition History", in Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments (Tate, 2005).
  3. ^ "Constantin Brancusi" Archived 2006-12-20 at the Wayback Machine at (Accessed March 27, 2007.)
  4. ^ Artcyclopedia – Links to Braque's works and information
  5. ^ Giorgio de Chirico in the Museum of Modern Art
  6. ^ "Art Term: De Stijl". Tate. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  7. ^ Curl, James Stevens (2006). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860678-8.
  8. ^ "Jean Dubuffet", Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  9. ^ Calvin Tomkins: Duchamp: A Biography.[full citation needed]
  10. ^ "Naum Gabo as a Soviet Émigré in Berlin" by Christina Lodder, Tate Papers, no. 14, Autumn 2010
  11. ^ "Paul Gauguin". MoMA.
  12. ^ *Lord, James (1985). Giacometti: A Biography. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374525255.
  13. ^ Guggenheim Museum biography Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Hajo Düchting. Wassily Kandinsky 1866–1944: A Revolution in Painting. (Taschen, 2000). ISBN 3-8228-5982-6
  15. ^ Cotter, Holland (November 19, 1999). "Art in Review; Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts – 'Experiments in the Everyday'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
  16. ^ "Willem de Kooning", Encyclopædia Britannica
  17. ^ Mayakovsky, Vladimir; Lissitzky, El (2000). For the Voice (translation of для голоса (Dlia golosa)). MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-13377-6.
  18. ^ "Guggenheim: Kazimir Malevich". Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
  19. ^ "The Collection | MoMA".
  20. ^ Hilary Spurling. The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse, Vol. 1, 1869-1908. London, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1998. ISBN 0-679-43428-3.
  21. ^ Hans Locher: Piet Mondrian. Colour, Structure, and Symbolism. Bern-Berlin: Verlag Gachnang & Springer, 1994. ISBN 978-3-906127-44-6
  22. ^ Review in Sculpture Magazine
  23. ^ Barnett Newman Selected Writings and Interviews, (ed.) by John P. O'Neill, University of California Press, 1990.
  24. ^ Roxana Robinson. 1990. Georgia O'Keeffe: A life. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 0-7475-0557-8
  25. ^ Oldenburg Biography at the Guggenheim Museum Archived 2003-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Piper, David. The Illustrated History of Art, ISBN 0-7537-0179-0, p460-461.
  27. ^ Donohue, Marlena (28 November 1997). "Rauschenberg's Signature on the Century". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 7 July 2006. Rauschenberg's mammoth career retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (and other New York sites) from Sept. 19 to Jan. 7, 1998... along with longtime friends pre-Pop painter Jasper Johns and the late conceptual composer John Cage, Rauschenberg pretty much defined the technical and philosophic art landscape and its offshoots after Abstract Expressionism.
  28. ^ Ad Reinhardt bio at Guggenheim Museum site Archived 2005-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Frank Stella Biography, Guggenheim Museum Archived 2006-04-27 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Wolf Vostell at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne
  31. ^ Andy Warhol at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  32. ^ Albert Ayler Biography at AllMusic
  33. ^ "The Beatles: How the White Album Changed Everything". 24 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Five Main Characters: An Overview of the Beatles and the Avant-Garde".
  35. ^ Information about Claude Debussy
  36. ^ Charles Ives at Classical Net
  37. ^ Stravinsky bio at Allmusic
  38. ^ "Meshuggah". Nuclear Blast. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  39. ^ Kaszynski, Stefan H. (2012): Kurze Geschichte der Österreichischen Literatur; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, p. 151
  40. ^ "The Forgotten World of the Badass Valeska Gert" by Elyssa Goodman, Tablet, 11 January 2018

Further reading[edit]

  • Brakhage, Stan. Film at Wit's End – Essays on American Independent Filmmakers. (Edinburgh, Polygon. 1989)
  • Brakhage, Stan. Essential Brakhage – Selected Writings on Filmmaking. (New York, McPherson. 2001)
  • Cage, John. 1961. Silence: Lectures and Writings. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. Unaltered reprints: Wesleyan University press, 1966 (pbk), 1967 (cloth), 1973 (pbk ["First Wesleyan paperback edition"]), 1975 (unknown binding); Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971; London: Calder & Boyars, 1968, 1971, 1973 ISBN 0-7145-0526-9 (cloth) ISBN 0-7145-1043-2 (pbk). London: Marion Boyars, 1986, 1999 ISBN 0-7145-1043-2 (pbk); [n.p.]: Reprint Services Corporation, 1988 (cloth) ISBN 99911-780-1-5 [In particular the essays "Experimental Music", pp. 7–12, and "Experimental Music: Doctrine", pp. 13–17.]
  • Cope, David. 1997. Techniques of the Contemporary Composer. New York, New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-864737-8.
  • Curtis, David. Experimental Cinema – A Fifty Year Evolution. (London. Studio Vista. 1971)
  • Curtis, David (ed.) A Directory of British Film and Video Artists (Arts Council, 1999).
  • Dixon, Wheeler Winston, The Exploding Eye: A Re-Visionary History of 1960s American Experimental Cinema. (Albany, New York. State University of New York Press, 1997)
  • Dixon, Wheeler Winston and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (eds.) Experimental Cinema – The Film Reader, (London: Routledge, 2002)
  • Jachec, Nancy. The Philosophy and Politics of Abstract Expressionism 1940–1960 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2000 ISBN 0-521-65154-9
  • Le Grice, Malcolm, Abstract Film and Beyond (MIT, 1977).
  • MacDonald, Scott. A Critical Cinema, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988, 1992 and 1998).
  • MacDonald, Scott. Avant-Garde Film: Motion Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  • Mauceri, Frank X. 1997. "From Experimental Music to Musical Experiment". Perspectives of New Music 35, no. 1 (Winter): 187–204.
  • Meyer, Leonard B. 1994. Music, the Arts, and Ideas: Patterns and Predictions in Twentieth-Century Culture. 2nd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-52143-5
  • Nicholls, David. 1998. "Avant-garde and Experimental Music." In Cambridge History of American Music. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45429-8
  • Nyman, Michael. 1974. Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond. New York: Schirmer. ISBN 0-02-871200-5. 2nd edition, Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-65297-9
  • O'Connor, Francis V. Jackson Pollock [exhibition catalogue] (New York, Museum of Modern Art, [1967]) OCLC 165852
  • O'Pray, Michael. Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (London: Wallflower Press, 2003).
  • Peterson, James. Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order: Understanding the American Avant-Garde Cinema (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994).
  • Rees, A. L., A History of Experimental Film and Video (British Film Institute, 1999).
  • Sargeant, Jack, Naked Lens: Beat Cinema (Creation, 1997).
  • Saunders, Frances Stonor, The cultural cold war: the CIA and the world of arts and letters (New York: New Press: Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., 2000) ISBN 1-56584-596-X
  • Sitney, P. Adams. Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974).
  • Tapié, Michel. Pollock (Paris, P. Facchetti, 1952) OCLC 30601793
  • Tapié, Michel. Hans Hofmann: peintures 1962 : 23 avril – 18 mai 1963. (Paris: Galerie Anderson-Mayer, 1963.) [exhibition catalogue and commentary] OCLC 62515192
  • Tyler, Parker, Underground Film: A Critical History. (New York: Grove Press, 1969)
  • Wechsler, Jeffrey (2007). Pathways and Parallels: Roads to Abstract Expressionism. New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries. ISBN 978-0-9759954-9-5.

External links[edit]