History of Modern Art: Futurism

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city. It was largely an Italian phenomenon, though there were parallel movements in Russia, England and elsewhere.

The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy.

Image provided by Author (Source: World Architecture Festival 2012 )

When Architecture Becomes Art

When does architecture become art? Well in my opinion, architecture is one of the greatest art forms.

This is because architecture involves a certain way of thinking that other art forms don’t have to deal with. For example, an architect must think about the relationship between the piece of architecture and anyone that uses it, experiences it, or sees it. The architect must also think about how someone is going to perceive space whilst inside the building. This means that as an architect, you have a huge responsibility to your client, the people that use your creation and the public in general who come into contact with it in some way or other.

Image provided by Author (Source: World Architecture Festival 2012 )

Image provided by Author (Source: World Architecture Festival 2012 )

That isn’t to say that all buildings are architecture; this is evidenced by the highly amusing Eyesore of the month website, which takes a look at some of the worst buildings that have been constructed across the globe. In order for a building to be a piece of architecture, you must first create a work of art.

Real architecture is one of the only true synergies in the world, as the architectural creations are so much more than the sum of their parts. Nowhere is this as evident, than at the World Architecture Festival, which is held in Singapore every year.

The World Architecture Festival is the perfect showcase for thrilling architectural artwork, celebrating landmark architecture projects that have brilliant building design at their core. As with any form of art, architecture is undoubtedly subjective and certain people will find value in certain things that other people don’t. However, most brilliant pieces of architecture have become their own benchmark for success.

There was a common theme that ran through many of the architectural entrants at the World Architecture Festival – many of the competition entries featured exterior cladding. According to a spokesperson from Sotech, a leading supplier of innovative exterior cladding solutions, the reason that exterior cladding is being used more and more in modern architecture, is that it has immense architectural fabrication capability. This means that exterior cladding has the ability to be used in various architectural applications and also provides a peerless aesthetic quality, due to it being available in a range of natural material finishes.

One example of this is the Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, located in Singapore. This piece of architecture won the World Building of the Year award in 2012, and acts as the centrepiece of the Gardens by the Bay complex.

The Cooled Conservatory Complex is one of the largest-climate controlled glasshouses in the world; the two main conservatories are the ‘Flower Dome’ and the ‘Cloud Forest’, which each have their own personality. These two glasshouses highlight the powerful relationship between plant life and our plant, and they both aim to highlight the dangers of climate change.

Article publié pour la première fois le 08/02/2013

Photo provided by Author

America’s Melting Pot of Design

The evolution of the American building captures the true ingenuity of the modern age.  No matter what part of the country one might find themselves, there seems to always be old bustling neighborhoods.  These are the original homes of the country with a touch of modern technology and the feel of classic American architecture.  The regions of the country and the buildings within them tell stories of different historical events throughout the last 500 years.  Whether it’s in the colonial north east, or the Spanish influence of the southwest, American architecture is a melting pot of design as much as it is a melting pot of its inhabitants.

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In America’s early days, a large majority of the land was inhabited by many different cultures that held the land for a long time.  In fact, the longest inhabited capital city in the U.S. is the city of Santa Fe New Mexico which dates back its inhabitants to 1050 to 1150 and was formed into a capital city by the Spanish in 1610 and is the third oldest surviving city founded by the European Colonists.  From this rich history of Latin and Pueblo Indian heritage now stems Santa Fe’s unique Architecture of old Spanish Churches and Pueblo ruins, to more modern buildings designed by combining techniques of both cultural influences.  Techniques such as using Adobe walls with low and flat roofs, sash windows, sharp brick and adobe edging; this has become known as Territorial Revival Architecture within New Mexico.

Almost a complete 180 of the New Mexico Santa Fe architecture, but which stems in the same historical time frame is that of the North East colonial American influence.  Many of the homes in this area stem back to the days of the 13 colonies and the original founding fathers.  These styles of homes mimicked the housing fashions of England considered Georgian styles.  These homes were very symmetrical in style and appear almost always as a large square or rectangle.  They are most notable for having decorative crowns around or over the doorway and have narrow side windows flanking the door.

A little bit further west is the country’s “second city” known as Chicago.  The city received this name after it burned down in 1871 and rebuilt itself to become one of the most notable American Cities.  The architecture in Chicago is one which can be claimed by many as the American city because the City does not have many buildings that were erected pre American independence.  It is the city built by America for America.  It was the beginning of the 1890’s and Chicago began to employ the steel frame structure and large glass panels.  However, Chicago still included its old history of Polish immigration into its buildings.  Polish designed Cathedrals can be found numerous places in the city made of stone and include external and internal ornamentation.  This style of architecture can be found in many regions of the great lakes and upper Midwest.

America is a unique country with a melting pot history which includes the old and classical architecture of the colonial days, to the modern architecture that surrounds us in the new age.

Article provided by PTS Multimedia

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/02/2013

Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 10, 1939-42, oil on canvas, 80 x 73 cm, private collection.

History of Modern Art: Minimalism

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post–World War II Western Art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It is rooted in the reductive aspects of Modernism, and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postminimal art practices.

1937 Cord automobile model 812, designed in 1935 by Gordon M. Buehrig and staff

History of Modern Art: Art Deco

Hi folks, welcome back to our journey in the history of modern art.

Today we’ll be reviewing Art Deco!

Art Deco or Deco, is an influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s, flourished internationally during the 30s and 40s, then waned in the post-World War II era. It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.

U.S. Works Progress Administration poster, John Wagner, artist, ca. 1940

U.S. Works Progress Administration poster, John Wagner, artist, ca. 1940

Deco emerged from the Interwar period when rapid industrialization was transforming culture. One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favored by its predecessor Art Nouveau.

Historian Bevis Hillier defined Art Deco as “an assertively modern style…[that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material…[and] the requirements of mass production.”

During its heyday Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

The first use of the term Art Deco has been attributed to architect Le Corbusier who penned a series of articles in his journal L’Esprit nouveau under the headline 1925 Expo: Arts Déco. He was referring to the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts).

The term was used more generally in 1966 when a French exhibition celebrating the 1925 event was held under the title Les Années 25: Art Déco/Bauhaus/Stijl/Esprit Nouveau. Here the phrase was used to distinguish French decorative crafts of the Belle Epoque from those of later periods.

Caravaggio - The Cardsharps

16 Great Baroque Painters

The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance and music. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe.

The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement.  The aristocracy also saw the dramatic style of Baroque architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and expressing triumphant power and control. Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word baroque is derived from the Portuguese word “barroco”, Spanish “barroco”, or French “baroque”, all of which refer to a “rough or imperfect pearl”, though whether it entered those languages via Latin, Arabic, or some other source is uncertain.

A defining statement of what Baroque signifies in painting is provided by the series of paintings executed by Peter Paul Rubens for Marie de Medici at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris (now at the Louvre), in which a Catholic painter satisfied a Catholic patron: Baroque-era conceptions of monarchy, iconography, handling of paint, and compositions as well as the depiction of space and movement.

Baroque style featured “exaggerated lighting, intense emotions, release from restraint, and even a kind of artistic sensationalism”. Baroque art did not really depict the life style of the people at that time; however, “closely tied to the Counter-Reformation, this style melodramatically reaffirmed the emotional depths of the Catholic faith and glorified both church and monarchy” of their power and influence.

There were highly diverse strands of Italian baroque painting, from Caravaggio to Cortona; both approaching emotive dynamism with different styles. Another frequently cited work of Baroque art is Bernini’s Saint Theresa in Ecstasy for the Cornaro chapel in Saint Maria della Vittoria, which brings together architecture, sculpture, and theatre into one grand conceit.

The later Baroque style gradually gave way to a more decorative Rococo.

A rather different art developed out of northern realist traditions in 17th century Dutch Golden Age painting, which had very little religious art, and little history painting, instead playing a crucial part in developing secular genres such as still life, genre paintings of everyday scenes, and landscape painting. While the Baroque nature of Rembrandt’s art is clear, the label is less often used for Vermeer and many other Dutch artists. Flemish Baroque painting shared a part in this trend, while also continuing to produce the traditional categories.

We talked thoroughly about many baroque artists in our masters of art series.  Here is a list of the 16 great baroque artists I personally like the most!

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16 Great Baroque Artists

A list with great baroque painters!


16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: El Greco (1541 - 1614)

El Greco born Doménikos Theotokópoulos, (1541 – 7 April 1614) was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" (The Greek) was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos), often adding the word Κρής (Krēs, "Cretan").

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Annibale Carracci (1560 - 1609)

Annibale Carracci ( November 3, 1560 – July 15, 1609) was an Italian Baroque painter. Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood first apprenticed within his family. In 1582, Annibale, his brother Agostino, and his cousin Ludovico Carracci opened a painters' studio, initially called by some the Academy of the Desiderosi (desirous of fame and learning) and subsequently the Incamminati (progressives; literally "of those opening a new way").

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Caravaggio (1571 - 1610)

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 – 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640), was a Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality. He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Frans Hals the Elder (1580 - 1666)

Frans Hals the Elder (c. 1580 – 26 August 1666) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Georges de La Tour (1593 - 1652)

Georges de La Tour (March 13, 1593 – January 30, 1652) was a French Baroque painter, who spent most of his working life in the Duchy of Lorraine, which was temporarily absorbed into France between 1641 and 1648. He painted mostly religious chiaroscuro scenes lit by candlelight.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1652)

Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8, 1593–1652) was an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation after Caravaggio. In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community or patrons, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Nicolas Poussin (1594 - 1665)

Nicolas Poussin (15 June 1594 – 19 November 1665) was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century. Until the 20th century he remained the major inspiration for such classically oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (1563 - 1639)

Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (1563–1639) was an Italian Baroque painter, one of more important painters influenced by Caravaggio (the so-called Caravaggisti). He was the father of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Domenichino (1581 - 1641)

Domenico Zampieri (or Domenichino; October 21, 1581 – April 6, 1641) was an Italian Baroque painter of the Bolognese School, or Carracci School, of painters.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Giovanni Lanfranco (1582 - 1647)

Giovanni Lanfranco (26 January 1582 – 30 November 1647) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Guercino (1591 - 1666)

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 – December 22, 1666), best known as Guercino or Il Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from the region of Emilia, and active in Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early manner is in contrast to the classical equilibrium of his later works. His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Jusepe de Ribera (1591 - 1652)

Jusepe de Ribera, probably an italianization of Josep de Ribera (January 12, 1591 – September 2, 1652) was a Spanish Tenebrist painter and printmaker, also known as José de Ribera in Spanish and as Giuseppe Ribera in Italian.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Diego de Velázquez (1599 - 1660)

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history.

16 Great Baroque Artists | Masters of Art: Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675)

Johannes Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Feel free to vote for your favourite artists and also add any baroque artists you feel should be there but are not! In the meantime you might want to check out our article about the 16 great painters of renaissance!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.


Architecture portraits by Sergio Muscat

Hello folks! Today we have with us a very cool and stunning photography project by Sergio Muscat: Architecture Portraits.

The ordinary becomes extraordinary through the photographic medium. Through this medium, Sergio has explored life, nature and our environment in the simplest ways, observing what others do not see, manipulating reality through the camera’s restricted viewpoint.

He has received critical acclaim for his nature series and architectural portraits, most recently becoming the youngest photographer to be awarded the fellowship of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography.

Buildings are much more than the brick and mortar they are made of. Some buildings exude such energies that they feel alive. Architecture is a reflection of its creators – their thoughts, concepts, and sometimes their lives go into them. Like art, each building holds a little bit of the life energy of every person that has built, inhabited or visited it.

This project is an environmental portrait of buildings – their character, their life and their effect on their surroundings.

~ Sergio Muscat

So let’s enjoy Sergio’s Photography!

Hope you enjoyed today’s photography project and looking forward hearing your impressions on it!

(These photographs are presented here because they are licensed as “Creative Commons – Attribution” works and for the sole purpose of promoting photography and the photographer’s work)

Bauhaus Typography

History of Modern Art: Bauhaus

Hello folks, and welcome back to our history of modern art series! Today we’ll be exploring Bauhaus!

Staatliches Bauhaus, commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term Bauhaus, literally “house of construction” stood for “School of Building”.

Foyer of the Bauhaus-University Weimar

Foyer of the Bauhaus-University Weimar

The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department during the first years of its existence. Nonetheless it was founded with the idea of creating a ‘total’ work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together.

The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

The school existed in three German cities (Weimar from 1919 to 1925, Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and Berlin from 1932 to 1933), under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928, Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930 and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime.

The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. For instance: the pottery shop was discontinued when the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, even though it had been an important revenue source; when Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, he transformed it into a private school, and would not allow any supporters of Hannes Meyer to attend it.

Theo van Doesburg - Counter-CompositionV (1924)

History of Modern Art: De Stijl

Hello folks, our journey in modern art history resumes, and this time will review the De Stilj (or neoplasticism) movement!

De Stijl, Dutch for “The Style”, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. In a narrower sense, the term De Stijl is used to refer to a body of work from 1917 to 1931 founded in the Netherlands.

Jean Metzinger - The Rider

History of Modern Art: Cubism

Welcome back to the history of modern art series! Today we’ll review the cubism movement.

Georges Braque - Violin and Candlestick

Georges Braque – Violin and Candlestick

Cubism is a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analysed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism’s distinct characteristics.

The beginnings of Cubism have been dated between 1907 and 1911. The question of when Cubism began depends on the questions of how it can be defined, what distinguishes Cubist art and who developed it first. Pablo Picasso’s 1907 painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon has often been considered a proto-Cubist work. As such Picasso became recognized by 1911 as the inventor of Cubism, while Braque’s importance and precedence was argued later.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the European cultural elite were discovering African, Micronesian and Native American art for the first time. Artists such as Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso were intrigued and inspired by the stark power and simplicity of styles of those foreign cultures. Around 1906, Picasso met Matisse through Gertrude Stein, at a time when both artists had recently acquired an interest in primitivism, Iberian sculpture, African art and African tribal masks. They became friendly rivals and competed with each other throughout their careers, perhaps leading to Picasso entering a new period in his work by 1907, marked by the influence of Greek, Iberian and African art. Picasso’s paintings of 1907 have been characterized as Protocubism, as notably seen in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the antecedent of Cubism.

The Cubism of Picasso, Braque and Gris had more than a technical or formal significance, and the distinct attitudes and intentions of the Salon Cubists produced different kinds of Cubism, rather than a derivative of their work. “It is by no means clear, in any case,” writes Christopher Green, “to what extent these other Cubists depended on Picasso and Braque for their development of such techniques as faceting, ‘passage’ and multiple perspective; they could well have arrived at such practices with little knowledge of ‘true’ Cubism in its early stages, guided above all by their own understanding of Cézanne.” The works exhibited by these Cubists at the 1911 and 1912 Salons extended beyond the conventional Cézanne-like subjects—the posed model, still-life and landscape—favored by Picasso and Braque to include large-scale modern-life subjects. Aimed at a large public, these works stressed the use of multiple perspective and complex planar faceting for expressive effect while preserving the eloquence of subjects endowed with literary and philosophical connotations.

Pablo Picasso - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Pablo Picasso – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

The most innovative period of Cubism was before 1914. After World War I, with the support given by the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, Cubism returned as a central issue for artists, and continued as such until the mid-1920s when its avant-garde status was rendered questionable by the emergence of geometric abstraction and Surrealism in Paris. Many Cubists, including Picasso, Braque, Gris, Léger, Gleizes and Metzinger, while developing other styles, returned periodically to Cubism, even well after 1925. Cubism re-emerged during the 1920s and the 1930s in the work of the American Stuart Davis and the Englishman Ben Nicholson. In France, however, Cubism experienced a decline from about 1925.


Juan Gris -  Portrait of Picasso

Juan Gris – Portrait of Picasso


Important Cubism artists:

Other important cubism paintings include:

  • Georges Braque – Glass on a Table 1909-10
  • Georges Braque – Bottle and Fishes circa 1910-2
  • Albert Gleizes – Portrait of Jacques Nayral 1911
  • Louis Marcoussis – Interior with a Double Bass 1929
  • Louis Marcoussis – Rain 1929
  • Juan Gris – Bottle of Rum and Newspaper 1913-4

Far from being an art movement confined to the annals of art history, Cubism and its legacy continue to inform the work of many contemporary artists. Not only is Cubist imagery regularly used commercially, but significant numbers of contemporary artists continue to draw upon it both stylistically and perhaps more importantly, theoretically. The latter contains the clue as to the reason for Cubism’s enduring fascination for artists. As an essentially representational school of painting, having to come to grips with the rising importance of photography as an increasingly viable method of image making, Cubism attempts to take representational imagery beyond the mechanically photographic, and to move beyond the bounds of traditional single point perspective perceived as though by a totally immobile viewer. The questions and theories which arose during the initial appearance of Cubism in the early 20th century are, for many representational artists, as current today as when first proposed.


Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.