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

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


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

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

See also: List of 20th-century writers

Photographers, filmmakers, video artists

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

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


See also


  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

  • 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.