1920-1925 Art movements

For my Time Travel project I after doing my general research, I additionally also wanted to gain knowledge about different Art Movements that were taking place during the years 1920-1925 (which were my allocated years in the group project) but I also decided to conclude some research of my own looking into 1940s onwards to get a bit of a general understanding what took place also in the 1950-1960s (these years were given to other group members to research). I decided to do this bit of research also because I felt that I would help me with Time Travel project, but also Wish you Were Here-project and also to gain understanding about different movements and influences regards the visit to Tate Modern.


MODERNISM or MODERNIST MOVEMENT, started in Western art, architecture and design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modernism rejected past and opted for new innovations and progress. Aiming for ideal perfection, and attempted harmony of form, function and minimalism. It was an umbrella combining several movements, more like a concept of new that covered several aspects of culture and society.

If Modernism had a definition slogan it would be “less is more”.


  • Max Beckmann
  • Otto Dix
  • Lionel Feininger
  • Oskar Kokoschka

Metaphysical Painting 1910-1921

  • Giorgio DeChirico

Suprematism 1913 – 1935

In 1913, the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich developed Suprematism, a geometric style of abstract painting derived from elements of Cubism and Futurism.

  • Kazimir Malevich
  • Alexander Rodchenko
  • El Lissitzky


Constructivism used the same geometric language as Suprematism but favoured ‘Socialism of vision’ – a Utopian glimpse of a mechanized modernity according to the ideals of the October Revolution in order to serve the country. Constructivism was suppressed in Russia in the 1920s but was brought to the West by Naum Gabo .Constuctivist movements occured also in Germany and Netherlands.

  • Alexander Rodchenko
  • Vladimir Tatlin
  • Naum Gabo
  • El Lissitzky
  • Kasimir Malevich
  • Varvara Stepanova

DADAISM 1916-1920s

Form of artistic anarchy born out of disgust for the social, political and cultural establishment of the time which it held responsible for Europe’s descent into World War. Dadaism was an ‘anti art’ stance as its intent was  on destroying the artistic values of the past. The movement started in Zurich and spread as far as New York.

  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Max Ernst
  • Raoul Hausmann
  • Man Ray
  • John Heartfield
  • Kurt Schwitters

Precisionism 1915-1940s

  • Charles Demuth
  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Charles Sheeler
  • George Ault
  • Ralston Crawford
  • Preston Dickinson
  • Morton Schamberg
  • Nile Spencer
  • Elsie Driggs
  • Francis Criss
  • Edmund Lewandowski

DE STIJL (The Style) 1917-1931

De Stijl was a Dutch ‘style’ of pure abstraction developed by Piet Mondrian, Theo Van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck.

  • Theo van Doesburg
  • Piet Mondrian
  • Georges Vantongerloo
  • Jean Arp
  • El Lissitzky
  • Piet Zwart
  • Bart van der Leck
  • Gerrit Rietveld

Purism 1918-1925

  • Charles-Eduard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier)
  • Amedee Ozenfant
  • Fernand Léger

BAUHAUS 1919-1930s

Art, Design and Architecture School in Germany founded by Walter Gropius.

  • Walter Gropius
  • Lionel Feininger
  • Paul Klee
  • Vassily Kandinsky
  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
  • Franz Marc
  • Josef Albers
  • Herbert Bayer
  • Johannes Itten
  • Marcel Breuer
  • Lothar Schreier
  • Gunta Stolz
  • Hannes Meyer

International style c. 1920s–1970s


SURREALISM circa1924-1940s

Surrealists drew upon the images of dreams, tapping into unconscious and the technique of ‘automatism’, a spontaneous form of drawing/writing without the conscious control of the mind. The movement broke up at the outbreak of war in 1939 when several of the Surrealists left Europe for New York where they had a formative influence on the development of Abstract Expressionism.

  • Louis Aragon
  • Hans Bellmer
  • Andre Breton
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Paul Klee
  • Paul Eluard
  • Marc Chagall
  • Joan Miro
  • Man Ray
  • Salvador Dali
  • Marchel Duchamp
  • René Magritte

New Objectivity and Magic Realism circa 1925

A parallel art movement to Surrealism was Magic Realism, whose paintings are anchored in everyday reality, but with overtones of fantasy. The name was coined by the German art historian and critic Franz Roh in 1925, in a book entitled Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus.

ART DECO 1920s-1940s

It drew inspiration from Cubism, Egyptology, Ballet Russe, American Indian culture, the Bauhaus and Hollywood.

  • Painter Tamara de Lempicka
  • Rene Lalique
  • Erte


And for my own interest I continued outside my allocated years and looked into the art of circa 1950s-onwards, in order to have better understanding what movements were taking place at the time.


Abstract Expressionism was also known as ‘Action Painting’, an existentialist title which implied that the physical act of painting was as important as the result itself. The movement embraced paintings from a wide range of artists whose work was not always purely abstract or truly expressionistic.

  • Jackson Pollack,
  • Mark Rothko
  • William de Kooning

Color Field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s.

POP ART 1950-1970’s Drew inspiration from popular culture.

  • Andy Warhol,
  • David Hockney
  • Robert Rauschenberg
  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • Jeff Koons

POSTMODERNISM  circa 1970s is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism. Avoids classification and supporting belief that there is no absolute truth and that the way in which different people perceive the world is subjective. Postmodernism has influenced many cultural fields, including religion, literary criticism, sociology, linguistics, architecture, history, anthropology, visual arts, and music. Postmodern art blurs the distinctions between what is perceived as fine or high art and what is generally seen as popular art, also refusing to recognise authority or “style rules” in regards what art should be.

Postmodernism would maybe could be defined in saying “less is a bore”(uttered by Architect Robert Venturi’s reaction against modernism).











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