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" 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
  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
  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. 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
  29. ^ Frank Stella Biography, Guggenheim Museum
  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]