Art Movements Timeline
Timeline Description: An art movement is a relatively unified group of artists, working intentionally in a similar style. The group may have a manifesto, or other writings guiding their works. They are conscious that they are an art movement.

Date Event
1870 Impressionism

Impressionists sought to paint what they saw as light played over surfaces. Their works were, compared to earlier works, rather quickly painted, and often quite textural. The desire is not realistic representation, but a representation of the impression of a scene.
1880 Symbolism

Symbolist painters imbued their works with meaning. They were closely tied to literary movements and trends in late 19th century Europe.
1884 Post-Impressionism

Post-impressionism shared some traits with impressionism, but became more daring. Paint was applied to the canvas in new ways, whether thickly and texturally, or in tiny dots.
1890 Art Nouveau

Art nouveau incorporated painting, print making, architecture and design. The art favored floral and natural shapes and designs, natural materials where possible, and vivid color.
1905 Fauvism

Fauvism is intended to be rather wild and child-like. There are no realistic portrayals here, but bold vivid color and strong outlines.
1908 Expressionism

Expressionism sought to show strong emotion through art. These works are often harsh, challenging the viewer and may incorporate social or political content.
1910 Cubism

Cubism broke up space and surfaces into multiple flat planes. These works, for the first time, began to significantly alter the depiction of shapes and figures.
1925 Surrealism

Surrealism sought to change perceptions of the world, by skewing objects, placing unlikely objects together and portraying dreams and fantasy.
1945 Abstract Expressionism

The abstract expressionists removed the subject from the painting for the first time. These paintings might represent a feeling or a moment, but they did not depict a scene of any sort.
1955 Color Field Painting

Color field painting is a type of abstract expressionism. In color field painting, shapes and spatters have been replaced with quiet, large fields of a single color.
1957 Pop Art

Pop art played with modern culture, including advertising, Hollywood production and mass-market goods. Pop art was often playful, and sometimes easily reproduced.
1962 Photo-Realism

Photo-realism sought to depict a scene or individual as accurately as a photo, but worked in paint. These works require great technical skill and care to produce a true-to-life image.
1963 Minimalism

Minimalism is most closely linked to sculpture. Minimalist sculptors favored simple shapes, industrial manufacturing techniques and anonymity. There was little distinguishing the work of one minimalist from another.
1970 Performance Art

Performance art, and its spin-off body art, relied upon the actions of the individual to produce art. This was a performance, watched and often recorded, as a work of art.
1970 Feminist Art(1970s)

Feminist art was an art movement specifically in response to the male dominated art world. These works focused on women's experiences of life and art.
1980 Post-Pop Art(1980s)

Post-Pop Art retains many of the traits of Pop Art. It may still incorporate commercial aspects, and is very often quite playful, drawing the attention of the viewer. It is rarely easily reproduced or accessible today.
2000 Projection Art(2000s)

Projection art relies on modern technology to project images onto surfaces. The surface can be a building, a mountain, or nearly any other large surface. This is a temporary art form, but one that can be recreated.
2000 Computer Art(2000s)

Computer art is a broad term applied to all digital art created with computers. This can vary from video art to works on paper that begin with a computer.