Avant-garde art began in France in the 1850s and continued to develop throughout the following decades, encompassing many art forms along the way. The hallmark of collectible avant-garde art is its tendency to feature social or political statements or to be subversive or revolutionary in some way. The term modern art is often used interchangeably with avant-garde and is meant to include any art that strays from more classic styles of art, such as landscape paintings, portraits, or realistic sculptures. By definition, avant-garde art pushes the boundaries and is often abstract and representational.
Early avant-garde artists include a range of creators from Edgar Degas with his depiction of dancers to Dada artists like Marcel Duchamp. Pablo Picasso pioneered Cubism, also considered a step along the avant-garde path. In the 1950s and 1960s, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol were some of the movement's most recognized personalities. Today, contributors like the radical graffiti artist Banksy headline the new world of contemporary art. All of these artists have changed the face of art and ushered in a new era in creative expression.
Avant-garde art's definition is one of art that is unexpected and often considered ahead of its time. In modern art, this often includes performances and installations, many of which are designed to upend the expectations for art as a medium. Early Impressionism played with colors in a way that shocked gallery patrons of the time, and Pop Art often questioned the roles of consumerism and celebrity in society. In recent decades, found art and pieces like Martin Creed's The lights going on and off fly in the face of traditional art, creating often polarizing artistic impressions that make a statement about the current state of art and the world at large. Collectors can buy avant-garde art of all genres from sellers at AbeBooks Collectibles.
Banksy, Picasso, Pollock, Warhol -- which avant-garde artists most inspire you?