What Are Some Different Styles of Art?


Quick Answer

Some different styles of art include surrealism, abstract expressionism and pop art. These popular modern art movements reconfigured notions of conventional painting and influenced many future visual artists.

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Surrealism began in Europe after World War I. The movement was primarily centered around Paris, but its practitioners came from all over Europe, including Germany, Spain and Italy. Writer Andre Breton started surrealism as a literary movement, but its focus on the subconscious and dreamlike states made it translatable to visual art. Surrealists attempted to depict dream states, juxtaposing dissimilar images on the canvas to create bizarre, totally unrealistic scenes.

Abstract expressionism emerged in New York City during the 1940s, becoming one of the first uniquely American art movements. Dispensing with realistic representation entirely, the style focused more on the act of painting itself, combining different colors and shapes on massive, often chaotic canvases. Like the surrealists, abstract expressionists also attempted to channel unconscious states through their painting.

Pop art emerged during the post-World War II consumer boom of the 1950s and 1960s, and the movement made bold statements about what constituted fine art. Using the visual vocabulary of advertisements, comic books and celebrities, pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein blurred the distinction between high and low culture. Warhol is one of the most notable pop artists, and his Campbell’s soup can pieces are among the most recognizable from the movement.

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