List of avant-garde artists

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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.

Avant Garde: Visual artists[edit]

Joan Miró 1935, photo by Carl Van Vechten

Avant Garde: Architects[edit]

Avant Garde: Jazz, composers, performance artists[edit]

Avant Garde: authors, playwrights, actors, directors (theater) and poets[edit]

James Joyce, c. 1918, Photo by C. Ruf, Zurich
Carl Van Vechten, Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1934

Avant garde: photographers, filmmakers, video artists, directors[edit]

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

Avant garde: Dancers and Choreographers[edit]

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


See also[edit]


  • Cage, John. 1961. Silence: Lectures and Writings. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. Unaltered reprints: Weslyan 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.
  • 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. Second 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 Books. ISBN 0-02-871200-5. Second edition, Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-65297-9
  • A. L. Rees, A History of Experimental Film and Video (BFI, 1999).
  • Malcolm Le Grice, Abstract Film and Beyond (MIT, 1977).
  • Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988, 1992 and 1998).
  • Scott MacDonald, Avant-Garde Film: Motion Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  • James Peterson, Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order: Understanding the American Avant-Garde Cinema (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994).
  • Jack Sargeant, Naked Lens: Beat Cinema (Creation, 1997).
  • P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974).
  • Michael O’Pray, Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (London: Wallflower Press, 2003).
  • David Curtis (ed.), A Directory of British Film and Video Artists (Arts Council, 1999).
  • David Curtis, Experimental Cinema - A Fifty Year Evolution. (London. Studio Vista. 1971)
  • Wheeler Winston Dixon, The Exploding Eye: A Re-Visionary History of 1960s American Experimental Cinema. (Albany, NY. State University of New York Press, 1997)
  • Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (eds.) Experimental Cinema - The Film Reader, (London: Routledge, 2002)
  • Stan Brakhage. Film at Wit's End - Essays on American Independent Filmmakers. (Edinburgh, Polygon. 1989)
  • Stan Brakhage. Essential Brakhage - Selected Writings on Filmmaking. (New York, McPherson. 2001)
  • Parker Tyler, Underground Film: A Critical History. (New York: Grove Press, 1969)
  • 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
  • O'Connor, Francis V. Jackson Pollock [exhibition catalogue] (New York, Museum of Modern Art, [1967]) OCLC 165852
  • The Philosophy and Politics of Abstract Expressionism 1940-1960 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2000 ISBN 0-521-65154-9
  • Tapié, Michel. Hans Hofmann: peintures 1962 : 23 avril-18 mai 1963. (Paris: Galerie Anderson-Mayer, 1963.) [exhibition catalogue and commentary] OCLC: 62515192
  • Tapié, Michel. Pollock (Paris, P. Facchetti, 1952) OCLC: 30601793
  • Jeffrey Wechsler (2007). Pathways and Parallels: Roads to Abstract Expressionism. New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries. ISBN 0-9759954-9-9. 
  • Graham, Martha (1991). Blood Memory: An autobiography. NYC: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26503-4. 
  • Freedman, Russell (1998). Martha Graham: A Dancer's Life. NYC: Clarion Books. ISBN 0-395-74655-8. 
  • Horosko, Marian (2002). Martha Graham: The Evolution of Her Dance Theory and Training. Gainesville, FL: Univ. Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-2473-0. 
  • Morgan, Barbara (1980). Martha Graham: Sixteen Dances in Photographs. Morgan & Morgan. ISBN 0-87100-176-4. 
  • Tracy, Robert (1997). Goddess - Martha Graham's Dancers Remember. Pompton Plains, NJ: Limelight Editions. ISBN 0-87910-086-9. 
  • Bird, Dorothy; Greenberg, Joyce (2002). Bird's Eye View: Dancing With Martha Graham and on Broadway (reprint ed.). Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0-8229-5791-4. 


  1. ^ "Avant-garde definitions". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  2. ^ See Claudia Schmuckli: ‘Chronology and Selected Exhibition History,’ in Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments (Tate, 2005).This account of Beuys’s biography is indebted to Schmuckli’s chronology.
  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. ^ "De Stijl". Tate Glossary. The Tate. Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  7. ^ Curl, James Stevens (2006). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860678-8. 
  8. ^ Jean Dubuffet at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  9. ^ Calvin Tomkins: Duchamp: A Biography.
  10. ^ Naum Gabo at the Tate Gallery Archive
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ James Lord (1997) Giacometti: A Biography, Farrar, Straus and Giroux* Alberto Giacometti. Kunsthaus Zürich, 2001; New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2001-2002.
  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,, p1
  17. ^ Mayakovsky, Vladimir; El Lissitzky (2000). For the Voice (Dlia golosa). The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-13377-6. 
  18. ^ Guggenheim: Kazimir Malevich
  19. ^
  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. ^ Marlena Donohue (28 November 1997). "Rauschenberg's Signature on the Century". 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. ^ Information about Claude Debussy
  34. ^ Charles Ives at Classical Net
  35. ^ Stravinsky bio at Allmusic
  36. ^ "Meshuggah". Nuclear Blast. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 

External links[edit]