Art in the 1900s

By: Caroline Shelly


Cubism was one of the most influential visual art styles of the early twentieth century. It was created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The Cubist painters rejected the idea that art should copy nature, instead they wanted to emphasize the two-dimensional shape of the canvas. So they reduced and fractured objects into geometric forms, and they resigned these with a shallow, realistic-like space.


The Abstract Expressionism movement began in the 1940s in New York City after World War II. However, the first real Abstract Art was painted by some Expressionists, one by the name of Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is best known for painting The Blue Rider in 1903


Dada was a revolt against civilization that inspired a movement that helped to show surrealism. It began in 1916 at Cabaret Voltaire, then shortly spread to Berlin. Artists like Hans Arp and Max Ernest painted works of art that were intended to disturb middle-class viewers. This shocking work of art is now very well known.


Surrealism was a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconcious mind. This movement was very popular, and styles of art, like Dada, displayed surrealism in all different ways.


Architects, as well, rejected classical traditions and began to develop new styles to match an industrial, urbanized modern world. A famous school, known as the Bauhaus school, influenced architecture by blending science and technology with design. Other architects rejected the Bauhaus beliefs, like Frank Lloyd, and made their own designs making their own mark on history.


Jazz became very popular in the 1900s, it was pioneered by African Americans who combined western harmonies with African rhythm. Jazz musicians became very famous as well, such as Louis Armstrong a talented, well-known, singer and music producer.