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The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '
vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military c ...

vanguard
', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental,
radical Radical may refer to: Arts and entertainment Music *Radical (mixtape), ''Radical'' (mixtape), by Odd Future, 2010 *Radical (Smack album), ''Radical'' (Smack album), 1988 *"Radicals", a song by Tyler, The Creator from the 2011 album ''Goblin (album ...
, or unorthodox with respect to
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use ...
,
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
, or
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
.John Picchione,
The New Avant-garde in Italy: Theoretical Debate and Poetic Practices
' (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), p. 64 .
It is frequently characterized by aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability.Kostelanetz, Richard, ''A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes'', Routledge, May 13, 2013
The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the
norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy) Norms are concepts ( sentences) of practical import, oriented to effecting an action, rat ...
or the
status quo is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation wit ...
, primarily in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of
modernism Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...
, as distinct from
postmodernism Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of philosophical skepticism, skepticism toward what it describes as the meta-narrative, grand narratives and ideology, ideologies of modernism, as well as oppos ...
. Many
artists An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. ...

artists
have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement, and still continue to do so, tracing their history from
Dada Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at ...

Dada
through the Situationists and to postmodern artists such as the
Language poets The Language poets (or ''L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E'' poets, after the magazine of that name) are an avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adj ...
around 1981. The avant-garde also promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning that was evoked by the
Saint Simonian Saint-Simonianism was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental c ...
Olinde Rodrigues Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues (6 October 1795 – 17 December 1851), more commonly known as Olinde Rodrigues, was a French banker, mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Gree ...

Olinde Rodrigues
in his essay, "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel" ("The artist, the scientist and the industrialist", 1825). This essay contains the first use of "avant-garde" in its now customary sense; there, Rodrigues called on artists to "serve as he people'savant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social, political and economic reform.


History

The term was originally used by the French military to refer to a small group that scouted ahead of the main force. It also became associated with
left-wing Left-wing politics support social equality Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social in ...
French radicals in the nineteenth century who were agitating for
political reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill's Association movement ...
. At some point in the middle of that century, the term was linked to art through the idea that art is an instrument for
social change Social change involves alteration of the social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structure In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned soci ...
. Only toward the end of the nineteenth did ''l'art d'avant-garde'' begin to break away from its identification with left-wing social causes to become more aligned with cultural and artistic issues. This trend toward increased emphasis on
aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetic
issues has continued to the present. ''Avant-garde'' today generally refers to groups of intellectuals, writers, and artists, including architects, who voice ideas and experiment with artistic approaches that challenge current cultural values. ''Avant-garde'' ideas, especially if they embrace
social issue A social issue is a problem that influences many citizens within a society. It is a group of common problem in present-day society and one that many people strive to solve. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual's ...
s, often are gradually assimilated by the societies they confront. The radicals of yesterday become mainstream, creating the environment for a new generation of radicals to emerge.


Theories

Several writers have attempted to map the parameters of avant-garde activity. The Italian essayist
Renato Poggioli Renato Poggioli (April 16, 1907 in Florence – May 3, 1963 in Crescent City, California, Crescent City), was an Italian academic specializing in comparative literature. After 1938, he lived in the United States. At the time of his death, he was t ...
provides one of the earliest analyses of
vanguardism In the context of the theory of Leninist Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the Dictatorship of the proletariat#Vladimir Lenin, dictatorship of the pr ...
as a cultural phenomenon in his 1962 book, ''Teoria dell'arte d'avanguardia'' (''The Theory of the Avant-Garde''). Surveying the historical, social, psychological and philosophical aspects of vanguardism, Poggioli reaches beyond individual instances of art, poetry, and music to show that vanguardists may share certain ideals or values, which manifest themselves in the non-conformist lifestyles they adopt. He sees vanguard culture as a variety or subcategory of
Bohemianism Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary, or spiritual pursuits. In this context, bohemians may be wanderers, ad ...
. Other authors have attempted both to clarify and to extend Poggioli's study. The
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...
literary critic Peter Bürger's ''Theory of the Avant-Garde'' (1974) looks at
the Establishment The Establishment is a term used to describe a dominant group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, ...
's embrace of socially critical works of art, and suggests that in complicity with capitalism, "art as an institution neutralizes the political content of the individual work."
Raymond Williams Raymond Henry Williams (31 August 1921 – 26 January 1988) was a Welsh socialist writer, academic, novelist and critic influential within the New Left The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of a ...
devotes two chapters of his book, The Politics of Modernism (1989), to a discussion of the politics and language of the avant-garde. Bürger's essay also greatly influenced the work of contemporary American art-historians such as the German Benjamin H. D. Buchloh (born 1941). Buchloh, in the collection of essays ''Neo-avantgarde and Culture Industry'' (2000), critically argues for a dialectical approach to these positions. Subsequent criticism theorized the limitations of these approaches, noting their circumscribed areas of analysis, including Eurocentric, chauvinist, and genre-specific definitions.


Relation to mainstream society

The concept of avant-garde refers primarily to artists, writers, composers and thinkers whose work is opposed to mainstream cultural values, and often has a trenchant social or political edge. Many writers, critics and theorists made assertions about vanguard culture during the formative years of modernism, although the initial definitive statement on the avant-garde was the essay '' Avant-Garde and Kitsch,'' by New York art critic
Clement Greenberg Clement Greenberg () (January 16, 1909 – May 7, 1994), occasionally writing under the pseudonym K. Hardesh, was an American essayist known mainly as a very influential visual art critic closely associated with American Modern art Modern a ...
. It was published in ''
Partisan Review ''Partisan Review'' (''PR'') was a small circulation quarterly "little magazine" dealing with literature, politics, and cultural commentary published in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York St ...
'' in 1939. Greenberg argued that vanguard culture has historically been opposed to "high" or "mainstream" culture, and that it has also rejected the artificially synthesized
mass culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and ...
that has been produced by industrialization. Each of these media is a direct product of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
—they are all now substantial industries—and, as such, they are driven by the same profit-fixated motives of other sectors of manufacturing, not the ideals of true art. For Greenberg, these forms were therefore ''
kitsch Kitsch ( ; loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or ...
'': phony, faked or mechanical culture. Such things often pretended to be more than they were by using formal devices stolen from vanguard culture. For instance, during the 1930s, the advertising industry was quick to take visual mannerisms from
surrealism Surrealism was a cultural movement A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") ...

surrealism
, but this does not mean that 1930s advertising photographs are truly surreal. Various members of the
Frankfurt School The Frankfurt School (german: Frankfurter Schule) was a school of social theory and critical philosophy associated with the Institute for Social Research The Institute for Social Research ''Social Research: An International Quarterly'' is ...
argued similar views: thus
Theodor Adorno Theodor is a masculine given name. It is a German form of TheodoreTheodore may refer to: Places * Theodore, Alabama, United States * Theodore, Australian Capital Territory * Theodore, Queensland, a town in the Shire of Banana, Australia * Th ...
and
Max Horkheimer Max Horkheimer (; ; 14 February 1895 – 7 July 1973) was a German philosopher and sociologist who was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the Frankfurt School of social research. Horkheimer addressed authoritarianism, militaris ...

Max Horkheimer
in their essay '' The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass-Deception'' (1944), and also
Walter Benjamin Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (; ; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish The history of the Jews in Germany goes back at least to the year 321, and continued through the Early Middle Ages (5th to 10th centuries CE) and ...

Walter Benjamin
in his highly influential "
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935), by Walter Benjamin Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (; ; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosop ...
" (1935, rev. 1939) spoke of "
mass culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and ...
." They indicated that this bogus culture is constantly being manufactured by a newly emerged culture industry (comprising commercial publishing houses, the movie industry, the record industry, and the electronic media).Theodor W. Adorno (1963)
, "
Culture Industry Reconsidered ''Culture Industry Reconsidered'' (german: Résumé über Kulturindustrie), was written in 1963 by Theodor W. Adorno, a German philosopher who belonged to the Frankfurt School The Frankfurt School (german: Frankfurter Schule) was a school of so ...
: Selected Essays on Mass Culture", London: Routledge, 1991
They also pointed out that the rise of this industry meant that artistic excellence was displaced by sales figures as a measure of worth: a novel, for example, was judged meritorious solely on whether it became a best-seller; music succumbed to ratings charts, and to the blunt commercial logic of the Gold disc. In this way, the autonomous artistic merit, so dear to the vanguardist, was abandoned and sales increasingly became the measure, and justification, of everything. Consumer culture now ruled. The avant-garde's
co-option Co-option (also co-optation, sometimes spelt coöption or coöptation) has two common meanings. It may refer to the process of adding members to an elite group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, m ...
by the global capitalist market, by
neoliberal Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with valu ...

neoliberal
economies, and by what
Guy Debord Guy Louis Debord (; ; 28 December 1931 – 30 November 1994) was a French Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and ...
called ''
The Society of the Spectacle ''The Society of the Spectacle'' (french: La société du spectacle) is a 1967 work of philosophy and Marxist critical theory by Guy Debord, in which the author develops and presents the concept of the Spectacle. The book is considered a semina ...
'', have made contemporary critics speculate on the possibility of a meaningful avant-garde today. Paul Mann's ''Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde'' demonstrates how completely the avant-garde is embedded within institutional structures today, a thought also pursued by
Richard Schechner Richard Schechner is University Professor Emeritus at the Tisch School of the Arts The New York University Tisch School of the Arts (commonly referred to as Tisch) is the performing, cinematic and media arts New media art includes artworks ...
in his analyses of avant-garde performance. Despite the central arguments of Greenberg, Adorno, and others, various sectors of the mainstream culture industry have co-opted and misapplied the term "avant-garde" since the 1960s, chiefly as a marketing tool to publicise popular music and commercial cinema. It has become common to describe successful rock musicians and celebrated film-makers as "avant-garde", the very word having been stripped of its proper meaning. Noting this important conceptual shift, major contemporary theorists such as Matei Calinescu in ''Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism'' (1987), and Hans Bertens in ''The Idea of the Postmodern: A History'' (1995), have suggested that this is a sign our culture has entered a new
post-modern Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism Skepticism (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known a ...
age, when the former
modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...
ways of thinking and behaving have been rendered redundant. Nevertheless, an incisive critique of vanguardism as against the views of mainstream society was offered by the New York critic
Harold Rosenberg Harold Rosenberg (February 2, 1906 – July 11, 1978) was an American writer, educator, philosopher and art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (produ ...
in the late 1960s. Trying to strike a balance between the insights of Renato Poggioli and the claims of Clement Greenberg, Rosenberg suggested that, from the mid-1960s onward, progressive culture ceased to fulfill its former adversarial role. Since then it has been flanked by what he called "avant-garde ghosts to the one side, and a changing mass culture on the other", both of which it interacts with to varying degrees. This has seen culture become, in his words, "a profession one of whose aspects is the pretense of overthrowing it."


Examples


Music

Avant-garde in music can refer to any form of music working within traditional structures while seeking to breach boundaries in some manner.David Nicholls (ed.), ''The Cambridge History of American Music'' (Cambridge and New York:
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (CUP) is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowled ...
, 1998), 122–24.
The term is used loosely to describe the work of any musicians who radically depart from tradition altogether.Jim Samson, "Avant garde", ''The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians'', second edition, edited by
Stanley Sadie Stanley John Sadie (; 30 October 1930 – 21 March 2005) was an influential and prolific British musicologist Musicology (from Greek 'μουσική' (mousikē) for 'music' and 'λογος' (logos) for 'domain of study') is the scholarly analys ...
and John Tyrrell (London: Macmillan Publishers, 2001).
By this definition, some avant-garde composers of the 20th century include
Arnold Schoenberg Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg (, ; ; 13 September 187413 July 1951) was an Austrian-born composer, music theorist, teacher, writer, and painter. He is widely considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was associa ...
,Larry Sitsky, ''Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook'' (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002), xiv. .
Richard Strauss Richard Georg Strauss (; 11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, and violinist. Considered a leading composer of the late Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, l ...

Richard Strauss
(in his earliest work),Larry Sitsky, ''Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook'' (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002), xiii–xiv. .
Charles Ives Charles Edward Ives (; October 20, 1874May 19, 1954) was an American modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone wh ...
,
Igor Stravinsky Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (6 April 1971) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor, later of French (from 1934) and American (from 1945) citizenship. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential 20th-century cla ...

Igor Stravinsky
,
Anton Webern Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern (; 3 December 188315 September 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. (Initially he called himself Anton von Webern, but had to drop the “von” after a 1919 anti-nobility law.) Along with his mentor Ar ...

Anton Webern
,Larry Sitsky, ''Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook'' (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002), 50. .
Edgard Varèse Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (; also spelled Edgar; December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965) was a French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States. Varèse's music emphasizes timbre and rhythm. He coine ...
,
Alban Berg Alban Maria Johannes Berg (; ; 9 February 1885 – 24 December 1935) was an Austrian composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially cla ...
,
George Antheil George Antheil (; July 8, 1900 – February 12, 1959) was an American avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or un ...
(in his earliest works only),
Henry Cowell Henry Dixon Cowell (; March 11, 1897 – December 10, 1965) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical mu ...
(in his earliest works),
Harry Partch Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical music ...
,
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
,
Iannis Xenakis Giannis Klearchou Xenakis (also spelled for professional purposes as Yannis or Iannis Xenakis; el, Γιάννης "Ιάννης" Κλέαρχου Ξενάκης, ; 29 May 1922 – 4 February 2001) was a Romanian-born Greek-French avant-garde ...
,
Morton Feldman Morton Feldman (January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987) was an American composer. A major figure in 20th-century classical music, Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music Indeterminacy is a composing approach in which some aspects of a ...
,
Karlheinz Stockhausen Karlheinz Stockhausen (; 22 August 1928 – 5 December 2007) was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th 20 (twenty; Roman numeral XX) is the natural numbe ...
,
Pauline Oliveros Pauline Oliveros (May 30, 1932 – November 24, 2016) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical music in ...
,
Philip Glass Philip Morris Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer and pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. Glass's work has been associated with minimalism In visual arts T ...

Philip Glass
,
Meredith Monk Meredith Jane Monk (born November 20, 1942) is an American composer, Performing arts, performer, Film director, director, vocalist, filmmaker, and choreographer. Significance From the 1960s onwards, Monk has created multi-disciplinary works whic ...
,Larry Sitsky, ''Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook'' (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002), xvii. .
Laurie Anderson Laura Phillips Anderson (born June 5, 1947), known as Laurie Anderson, is an American avant-garde artist, composer, musician, and film director whose work spans performance art, pop music, and multimedia projects. Initially trained in violin and ...
, and Diamanda Galás. There is another definition of "Avant-gardism" that distinguishes it from "modernism": Peter Bürger, for example, says avant-gardism rejects the "institution of art" and challenges social and artistic values, and so necessarily involves political, social, and cultural factors. According to the composer and musicologist
Larry Sitsky Lazar "Larry" Sitsky (born 10 September 1934) is an Australian composer, pianist, and music educator and scholar. His long term legacy is still to be assessed, but through his work to date he has made a significant contribution to the Austra ...
, modernist composers from the early 20th century who do not qualify as avant-gardists include Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Igor Stravinsky; later modernist composers who do not fall into the category of avant-gardists include
Elliott Carter Elliott Cook Carter Jr. (December 11, 1908 – November 5, 2012) was an American modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosop ...
,
Milton Babbitt Milton Byron Babbitt (May 10, 1916 – January 29, 2011) was an American composer, music theorist, mathematician, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his Serialism, serial and electronic music. Biography Babbitt was born in Philadelphia t ...
,
György Ligeti György Sándor Ligeti (; ; 28 May 1923 – 12 June 2006) was a Hungarian-Austrian composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially clas ...

György Ligeti
,
Witold Lutosławski Witold Roman Lutosławski (; 25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classica ...
, and
Luciano Berio Luciano Berio OMRI Omri ( he, עָמְרִי, ''‘Omrī''; fl. 9th century BC) was the sixth Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. He was a successful military campaigner who extended the northern kingdom of Israel. Other monarchs from ...

Luciano Berio
, since "their modernism was not conceived for the purpose of goading an audience."Larry Sitsky, ''Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook'' (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002), xv. . The 1960s saw a wave of free and avant-garde music in
jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human s ...
genre, represented by artists such as
Ornette Coleman Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015) was an American jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the of arranging s in time t ...

Ornette Coleman
,
Sun Ra Le Sony'r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993), better known as Sun Ra, was an American composer, bandleader, piano and player, and known for his , "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For ...

Sun Ra
,
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler (; July 13, 1936 – November 25, 1970) was an American avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, , or unorthodox with respect to , , or .J ...
,
Archie Shepp Archie Shepp (born May 24, 1937) is an American jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition thro ...

Archie Shepp
,
John Coltrane John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in ...
and
Miles Davis Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926September 28, 1991) was an American trumpeter The trumpet is a brass instrument commonly used in Classical music, classical and jazz musical ensemble, ensembles. The trumpet group ranges from the piccolo ...

Miles Davis
. In the rock music of the 1970s, the was generally understood to mean "aggressively avant-garde" or "pretentiously progressive".
Post-punk Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad genre Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Eu ...
artists from the late 1970s rejected traditional rock sensibilities in favor of an avant-garde aesthetic.


Theatre

Whereas the avant-garde has a significant history in 20th-century music, it is more pronounced in theatre and performance art, and often in conjunction with music and sound design innovations, as well as developments in visual media design. There are movements in theatre history that are characterized by their contributions to the avant-garde traditions in both the United States and Europe. Among these are
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus ...
,
Happenings A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Allan Kaprow fir ...
, and
Neo-Dada Neo-Dada was a movement with audio art, audio, visual art, visual and literary manifestations that had similarities in method or intent with earlier Dada artwork. It sought to close the gap between art and daily life, and was a combination of play ...
.


Art movements

*
Abstract expressionism Abstract expressionism is a post–World War II art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, yea ...
*
COBRA Cobra is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is someti ...
*
Conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposa ...
*
Constructivism Constructivism may refer to: Art and architecture * Constructivism (art), an early 20th-century artistic movement that extols art as a practice for social purposes * Constructivist architecture, an architectural movement in Russia in the 1920s a ...
*
Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art ...
*
Dadaism Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century, with early centres in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich), Cabaret Voltaire (c. 1916). New York Dada began c. 1915, and after 1920 ...
*
De Stijl ''De Stijl'' (; ), Dutch language, Dutch for "The Style", also known as Neoplasticism, was a Dutch art movement founded in 1917 in Leiden. De Stijl consisted of artists and architects. In a more narrow sense, the term ''De Stijl'' is used to ...
*
Expressionism Expressionism is a modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from ...
*
Fauvism Fauvism /ˈfoʊvɪzm̩/ is the style of ''les Fauves'' (French for "the wild beasts"), a group of early 20th-century modern art Modern art includes artistic work produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and d ...
*
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus ...
*
Futurism Futurism ( it, Futurismo) was an artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally a ...
*
Happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Allan Kaprow fir ...

Happening
*
Imaginism Imaginism was a Russian avant-garde poetic movement that began after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Revolution of 1917. History Imaginism was founded in 1918 in Moscow by a group of poets including Anatoly Marienhof, Vadim Shershenevich, and Se ...
*
Imagism Imagism was a movement in early-20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery Imagery is visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ (the eye) and parts of the central nervous system (the retina containin ...
*
Impressionism Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or ...

Impressionism
*
Incoherents The Incoherents (''Les Arts incohérents'') was a short-lived French art movement founded by Parisian writer and publisher :fr:Jules Lévy, Jules Lévy(French) (1857–1935) in 1882, which in its satirical irreverence, anticipated many of the art ...
*
Land art Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United StatesArt in the modern era: A guide to styles, schools, & mov ...

Land art
*
Les Nabis Les Nabis (French: les nabis, ) were a group of young French artists active in Paris from 1888 until 1900, who played a large part in the transition from impressionism and academic art to abstract art, symbolism (arts), symbolism and the other ea ...
*
Lyrical Abstraction Lyrical abstraction is either of two related but distinct art movement, trends in Post-war Modernist painting: ''European Abstraction Lyrique'' born in Paris, the French art critic Jean José Marchand being credited with coining its name in 1947, ...
*
Minimal art Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or sol ...
* Orphism * *
Precisionism Precisionism was the first indigenous modern art movement in the United States and an early American contribution to the rise of Modernism. The Precisionist style, which first emerged after World War I and was at the height of its popularity du ...
*
Primitivism Primitivism is a mode of aesthetic idealization that either emulates or aspires to recreate "primitive" experience. It is also defined as a philosophical doctrine that considers "primitive" peoples as more noble than civilized peoples and was an ...
*
Rayonism Rayonism (or Rayism or Rayonnism) was a style of abstract art that developed in Russia in 1910–1914. Founded and named by Russian Cubo-Futurism, Cubo-Futurists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, it was one of Russia's first abstract art ...
*
Situationism The Situationist International (SI) was an Proletarian internationalism, international organization of social revolutionaries made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and Political philosophy, political theorists. It was prominent in Euro ...
*
Suprematism Suprematism (russian: Супремати́зм) is an early twentieth-century art movement focused on the fundamentals of geometry (circles, squares, rectangles), painted in a limited range of colors. The term ''suprematism'' refers to an abstrac ...
*
Surrealism Surrealism was a cultural movement A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") ...

Surrealism
*
Symbolism Symbolism or symbolist may refer to: Arts * Symbolism (arts), a 19th-century movement rejecting Realism ** Symbolist movement in Romania, symbolist literature and visual arts in Romania during the late 19th and early 20th centuries ** Russian sym ...
*
Tachisme __NOTOC__ Tachisme (alternative spelling: Tachism, derived from the French word ''tache'', stain) is a France, French style of Abstract art, abstract painting popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The term is said to have been first used with regards ...
* Universal Constructivism *
Viennese Actionism Viennese Actionism was a short and violent movement in 20th-century art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by biped ...
*
Vorticism Vorticism was a London-based Modernism, modernist art movement formed in 1914 by the writer and artist Wyndham Lewis. The movement was partially inspired by Cubism and was introduced to the public by means of the publication of the Vorticist mani ...
*
Creationism Creationism is the religious belief that nature, and aspects such as the universe, Earth, life, and humans, originated with supernatural acts of Creation myth, divine creation.#Gunn 2004, Gunn 2004, p. 9, "The ''Concise Oxford Dictionary'' say ...
*
Nadaism Nadaism ( es, Nadaísmo, meaning "Nothing-ism" in English) was an artistic and philosophical counterculture movement in Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of ...
*Stridentism *Ultraist movement, Ultraist


See also

*Anti-art *Bauhaus *Experimental film *Experimental literature *Experimental music *Experimental theatre *L'enfant terrible *List of avant-garde artists *Outsider art *Relationship between avant-garde art and American pop culture *Russian avant-garde


References


Further reading

* Robert Archambeau (poet), Robert Archambeau
"The Avant-Garde in Babel. Two or Three Notes on Four or Five Words"
''Action-Yes'' vol. 1, issue 8, Autumn 2008. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per (ed.),
Centre-Periphery. The Avant-Garde and the Other
', Nordlit. University of Tromsø, no. 21, 2007. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per
"One Earth, Four or Five Words. The Peripheral Concept of 'Avant-Garde, ''Action-Yes'' vol. 1, issue 12, Winter 2010. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per
& Bodil Børset (eds.), ''Norsk avantgarde'' (Norwegian Avant-Garde), Oslo: Novus, 2011. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per & Benedikt Hjartarson (eds.)
''Decentring the Avant-Garde''
Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, Avantgarde Critical Studies, 2014. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per and Benedikt Hjartarson. “Rethinking the Topography of the International Avant-Garde”, i
''Decentring the Avant-Garde''
Per Bäckström & Benedikt Hjartarson (eds.), Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, Avantgarde Critical Studies, 2014. * Barron, Stephanie, and Maurice Tuchman. 1980. ''The Avant-garde in Russia, 1910–1930: New Perspectives: Los Angeles County Museum of Art [and] Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.'' Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (pbk.); Cambridge, MA: Distributed by the MIT Press (pbk.) * Bazin, Germain. 1969. ''The Avant-garde in Painting''. New York: Simon and Schuster. * Berg, Hubert van den, and Walter Fähnders (eds.). 2009. ''Metzler Lexikon Avantgarde''. Stuttgart: Metzler. * Crane, Diana. 1987. ''The Transformation of the Avant-garde: The New York Art World, 1940–1985''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. * Daly, Selina, and Monica Insinga (eds.). 2013.
The European Avant-garde: Text and Image
'. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. . * Fernández-Medina, Nicolás, and Maria Truglio (eds.).
Modernism and the Avant-garde Body in Spain and Italy
'. Routledge, 2016. * Harding, James M., and John Rouse, eds. ''Not the Other Avant-Garde: The Transnational Foundations of Avant-Garde Performance''. University of Michigan, 2006. * Hjartarson, Benedikt. 2013. V''isionen des Neuen. Eine diskurshistorische Analyse des frühen avantgardistischen Manifests''. Heidelberg: Winter. * Kostelanetz, Richard, and H. R. Brittain. 2000. ''A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes'', second edition. New York: Schirmer Books. . Paperback edition 2001, New York: Routledge. (pbk.) * Kramer, Hilton. 1973. ''The Age of the Avant-garde; An Art Chronicle of 1956''−''1972''. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. * Léger, Marc James (ed.). 2014. ''The Idea of the Avant Garde—And What It Means Today''. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press; Oakland: Left Curve. . * Maerhofer, John W. 2009. ''Rethinking the Vanguard: Aesthetic and Political Positions in the Modernist Debate, 1917–1962''. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press. * Mann, Paul. ''The Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde''. Indiana University Press, 1991. * Novero, Cecilia. 2010. ''Antidiets of the Avant-Garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art.'' (University of Minnesota Press) * Pronko, Leonard Cabell. 1962. ''Avant-garde: The Experimental Theater in France''. Berkeley: University of California Press. * Roberts, John. 2015. ''Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde''. London and New York: Verso. (cloth); (pbk). * Schechner, Richard. "The Five Avant-Gardes or ... [and] ... or None?" ''The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader'', 2nd ed., ed. Michael Huxley and Noel Witts (New York and London: Routledge, 2002). * Schmidt-Burkhardt, Astrit. 2005. ''Stammbäume der Kunst: Zur Genealogie der Avantgarde''. Berlin Akademie Verlag. [online version is available] * Sell, Mike. ''The Avant-Garde: Race, Religion, War''. Seagull Books, 2011. * Shishanov, V. A. 2007. ''Vitebsk Museum of Modern Art, Vitebskii muzei sovremennogo iskusstva: istoriia sozdaniia i kollektsii (1918–1941)''. Minsk: Medisont.
Online edition


External links


Historic Avant-Garde Periodicals for Digital Research, The Blue Mountain Project, Princeton University LibraryAvant-garde and Modernist Magazines (Monoskop)
*[https://web.archive.org/web/20190804201914/http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/search/collection/dada/searchterm/Periodicals/mode/exact Periodicals in Iowa Digital Library, University of Iowa Libraries]
Digital Dada Library of International Dada Archive, University of Iowa LibrariesMagazines in Digital Collections of Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript LibraryAvant-Garde Periodicals Meet Digital Archives, New York Public Library
*[http://sites.davidson.edu/littlemagazines/ Index of Modernist Magazines, Davidson College]
Modernist Journal Project, Brown University and University of TulsaSpanish and Italian Modernist Studies Forum, Pennsylvania State UniversityCollection: "Spanish Avant-Garde" from the University of Michigan Museum of Art
{{DEFAULTSORT:Avant-Garde Avant-garde art, Art movements Contemporary art Concepts in aesthetics Modern art Modernism