Task 1

Create an introductory study page about each of the movements including:

  • The characteristics of the movements
  • Key artists
  • Key works (with illustrations)
  • Techniques/materials that are used
  • Which other artists or movements inspired them (positively or negatively)
  • Relevant social/political/artistic/technological context
  • Impact on visual culture (art, advertising, comics, games, movies etc.) with examples



Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas.

(The Characteristics of the Movement)

Expressionism was a “Modernist” movement; derived from Germany during the early 20th century. The main characteristic of the movement was to evoke moods, feelings, and ideas to represent a subjective perspective; it was to portray the meaning of an emotional experience opposed to physical reality.

(Key artists)

Expressionist Visual Artists Include:

  • Paul Klee, Born 1879, Died 1940.

Paul Klee was born in Switzerland 18th December 1879. The movements of Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism influenced his artwork throughout his career. Klee delved into colour theory; writing excessively.

  • Edvard Munch, Born 1863, Died 1944.

Edvard Munch was born in United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway 12th December 1863. He was a Norwegian painter and printmaker, his past experiences greatly affected his work, thus, strong mental anguish was portrayed in many of his artworks.

(Key Work)

Red Balloon, was created by Paul Klee in 1922. There is no overall meaning behind the work, although, It features brightly coloured geometric shapes that portray a cityscape. Additionally, Klee cleverly attracts the viewer to the circle in the centre of the screen; a Red Balloon.

I think the artwork was painted from memory, to portray the emotion it evoked in him at the time and why this has a prominent effect throughout his life and mind. The piece is recognisable even through the abstract shapes and colours.

There could be a hidden meaning underlying the work, for example, the city represents a loud, claustrophobic environment, juxtaposing, the Red Balloon as an escape, in reality, relieving Paul Klees emotions and thoughts into the sky.

Red Balloon is a landscape abstract painting, created from chalk and oil thus forming a bold and dynamic range of tone texture and colour, additionally, further proves his extensive knowledge of colour theory and design. The black outlines are thin, contrastingly, the vibrant colours attract the viewer from a distance.

The majority of the lines and geometric shapes are straight and rigid, conveying the city structure and architecture of each individual building. The colour red dominates the page, however, the background i.e. Sky, features dark, baby, and ocean blue/ yellow to produce a sunset covered by clouds (Suggesting it was stormy, rainy or cloudy).

The painting incorporates repeating lines and shapes to show the silhouette of a cityscape. Furthermore, I imagine the texture of the surface is smooth because of the chalk and oil. Although the piece features reoccurring shapes, the artwork manages to attract the viewer to the Red Balloon at the centre of the canvas.

The simplicity of the piece, suggests it was created from imagination, though, supporting pictures may have been used to help aid the progression and flow of work. Klees Red Balloon portrays sharp lines and colours that mix fluently onto the canvas which describes the slow and precise pace he would’ve worked at.

Personally, I like this piece because it conveys warm and bright colours surrounded by bold, black outlines. It evokes happiness and content while viewing the piece which reminds me of when I’m at the beach.

In conclusion, the overall piece is colourful and abstract. It draws the viewers attention to the Red Balloon thus achieving what the artist had set out to do.


(Which other artists or movements inspired them; positively or negatively)

Expressionism had many influences; among them Edvard MunchVincent van Gogh, and African art.

Paul Klee

  • Influenced positively by Cubism and Surrealism, he deeply explored colour theory. His work is believed to reflect different aspects of his personality and life including; childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality.

Edvard Munch

  • Symbolism had greatly influenced Munches work and Expressionism during the early 20th Century. Past experiences were portrayed throughout his artwork.

(Relevant social/political/artistic/technological context)

Expressionism arose as a reaction, to counter the lost feelings of authenticity and spirituality alongside the angst of impressionism and academic art. Assessing the quality of art was justified by the artist’s feelings rather than an analysis of the composition. Expressionist’s implemented swirling, swaying, and exaggerated brushstrokes. These techniques were meant to portray the emotional state of the artist reacting to the anxieties of the modern world.

(Impact on visual culture (art, advertising, comics, games, movies etc.) with examples)

Modern Art/ Advertising

Lego Art


Batman Arkham City Poster

Image result for batman arkham city

Movies/ Films

Sin City Film Poster



A 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images.

(The Characteristics of the Movement)

Surrealism began during the early 1920s, the cultural movement encapsulates the unconscious mind, associating juxtapositional objects and scenarios forming strange imagery which depicts emotions, feelings and desires. Surrealists wanted people to create new connections between these scenarios, thus, generating new ideas. Surrealism based their core structure around “Irrationality”,  illogical thinking, i.e. A man transforming into a bird, disassociating reality to the subconscious and unconscious mind.

(Key artists)

Surrealism Visual Artists Include:

  • Salvador Dali, 1904, Died 1989.

Salvador Dali was born 11th May 1904. Dali produced a variety of media, including, film, sculpture, photography and paintings. He also implemented symbolism into his work, to portray a deeper meaning and context.

  • Andre Breton, Born 1896, Died 1966.

Andre Breton was born 19th February 1896. He was associated as the founder of Surrealism; in which he defined as “pure psychic automatism”.

(Key Work)

The Son of Man was produced in 1964 by Andre Breton. It depicts a man standing in front of a ledge, overlooking the sea covered by grey clouds. The man is wearing a black suit with a red tie, whilst a green apple with leaves hovers; hiding all facial features.

It’s completely recognisable, however, abstract due to the hovering apple; thus utilising symbolism as it evokes an intense feeling to know who is behind the object (Apple).

The Son of Man is a Self Portrait, formed from oil on canvas. Natural colours were integrated to portray the realistic element of the piece. Additionally, I imagine you could hold the painting and it would feel smooth in texture because of the materials used.

The painting is a Self Portrait, Andre Breton would’ve taken photos of himself, whilst referencing a picture/ object of an apple to convey the meaning of the piece. The realistic aspect of the painting suggests it took time to create.

I’m intrigued by The Son of Man. Andre Breton has positioned himself in the centre of the painting; standing motionless, producing an eerie and surreal effect. The symbolic meaning behind the work is expressed through the bizarre juxtaposition between the object and the man.

In conclusion, I enjoy the overall artwork, and how it expresses an unknown symbolic meaning. I believe its open to interpretation, allowing the viewer to decide, creating links between scenarios in the subconscious and unconscious mind.

Related image

(Which other artists or movements inspired them; positively or negatively)

The Surrealism movement was heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud; a neurologist, who sought to unlock the unconscious mind.

Famous artists inspired the movement:

  • Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte created a variety of witty and thought-provoking pieces, portraying ordinary objects in an unusual context, challenging viewers perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop, minimalist and conceptual art.


(Relevant social/political/artistic/technological context)

Andre Breton was a member of the Dada group and the founder of Surrealism.

Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924, stating Surrealism as “pure psychic automatism,” affecting the origins of future movements, such as Abstract Expressionism.

Andre Breton believed in the Anti-War protest, which he postulated during the First World War. This belief re-gained potency during and after World War II when the early Abstract Expressionist artists were creating works to demonstrate their outrage at the abomination occurring in Europe.

(Impact on visual culture (art, advertising, comics, games, movies etc.) with examples)

Modern Art/ Advertising

McDonalds “Fillet-O-Fish”

Image result for Surrealism in advertising


Evil Within, Poster

Image result for Evil Within Poster



A movement in sculpture and painting which arose in the 1950s, characterized by the use of simple, massive forms.

(The Characteristics of the Movement)

Minimalism is a form of modern art. It incorporates simple geometric shapes that reoccur countless times to form a complex object or design. It was extremely popular in America during the 1960’s – 70’s. Minimalism was a reaction to abstract expressionism.

(Key artists)

Minimalistic Visual Artists include:

Donald Judd, Born 1928, Died 1994

  • Donald Judd rejected the idea of traditional painting and sculpture; contrastingly, forming the ideology of an object existing in an environment, eradicating Abstract Expressionism and the reliance of self-referential elements, thus forming artwork free of emotion.

Frank Stella, Born 1936

  • Frank Stella focused on formal elements of mark making throughout his early work; progressing onto complex designs, utilising aspects of dynamism, tactility and scale: first, extending his monochromatic palette to vibrant colours, later, forming three-dimensional sculptures.

(Key Work)

Harran II was produced in 1967 by Frank Stella. It portrays an array of colourful squares and quarter circles arranged symmetrically. This piece was based purely from an invented perspective to represent the manufactured lines and curves; its composition was influenced by the drafting tool (protractor: for measuring and constructing angles).

This is a landscape architectural structure manufactured from Polymer and fluorescent polymer paint on canvas. It measures 10 x 20 feet, further justifying its structural elements. Various colours dominate the canvas; bright, muted natural. The design was created from a series of reoccurring shapes and lines formed in parallel to create a rhythmic dynamic artwork. The flat shapes composed on the canvas remind the observer that it’s just a painting.

The piece would’ve been constructed from tools allowing Frank Stella to accurately develop precise cuts and overlaps; thus assembling an architectural masterpiece. Stella could’ve used preparatory sketches providing additional support throughout the construction and progression of the painting.

The painting reminds me of a city; the horizon overlapping with houses, buildings and skyscrapers. It’s a surprising abstract design, evoking inspiration and happiness. It communicates the rejection of abstract expressionism, abolishing the reliance of self-referential elements, thus forming artwork free of emotion.

In conclusion, Frank Stella’s Harran II is complex in nature; the use of bold colours refined with manufactured tools to create angular quarter circles and straight lines defines the artistic culture of minimalism.

(Which other artists or movements inspired them; positively or negatively)

The Dutch De Stijl group, Russian Constructivists, and the German Bauhaus were shown in New York City museums and galleries. They established new representations of the visual arts by progressing past traditional painting and sculpture.

  • Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian; a founding member of the De Stijl movement and development of Neo-plasticism.; used grids, perpendicular lines, rectangular shapes in black, white, grey, and primary colours. Piet Mondrian emphasised the flatness of the picture plane, instead of portraying a window to another dimension.

  • Josef Albers

Josef Albers used arrangements of squares within squares of contrasting colour to illustrate the illusion of pictorial depth. A geometric abstractionist and influential instructor at Black Mountain College. Additionally, Albers directly influenced artists; Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Ray Johnson.

  • Vladimir Tatlin

Vladimir Tatlin was a famous Russian avant-garde artist and architect. A key figure of the Constructivist movement; it led to the creation of a contemporary art in Russia that would amalgamate art and technology in the Machine Age; it was a rejection of the idea “Autonomous Art” (A He wanted ‘to construct’ art).

(Relevant social/political/artistic/technological context)

Minimalism originated in America, New York, during the early 1960’s. Artists and Sculptors rejected Abstract Expressionism; thus manufacturing artwork from industrial materials emphasising anonymity.

The Post-Sputnik era revived interest in Russian Constructivism; it contributed to the utilisation of modular fabrication and industrial materials opposed to the techniques of traditional sculpture.

(Impact on visual culture (art, advertising, comics, games, movies etc.) with examples)


Coca-Cola Light Lemon


Bonom is an experimental minimalist comic, a character who is lost in space and time of the comic’s panel.

Super Sec Soccer

90-second matches of 5-a-side Football where the ball bounces off boundary lines and the game is never slowed by free kicks, corners, penalties or fouls.

Image result for minimalist games

Star Wars

Image result for real life minimalist film posters

Art Deco


The predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colours and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.

(The Characteristics of the Movement)

Art Deco, originally named as “style moderne”, derived from an exhibition labelled as “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes”, in Paris 1925. It developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the early 1930s.  The intention was to produce a sleek and anti-traditional elegance that expressed wealth and sophistication.

The distinguishing features include; clean geometric shapes and stylized natural forms with a “streamlined” look. Usually produced from expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances, for example, plastics, Bakelite, vita-glass and ferroconcrete. Additionally, natural resources were integrated, for example, jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal.

Art Deco inventions were rarely mass-produced. Characterised features of the style expressed glorification for the contemporaneousness for the fundamental design qualities of machine-made objects, for example, relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and unvaried repetition of elements.

(Key artists)

  • René Lalique, Born 1860, Died 1945

René Lalique; a French glass artist, Produced, Perfume Bottles, Vases, Jewellery, Chandeliers, Clocks and Automobile Hood Ornaments. Rene Lalique moved to the suburbs of Paris at the age of two but travelled to Ay for the Summer Holidays; thus influencing his naturalistic artwork later on.

  • Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Born 1860, Died 1945

Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann specialised in interior design producing luxury objects, including, Furniture, Wallpaper and Lighting; acquiring precious and exotic woods in conjunction with Ivory fittings, producing classic and timeless works of art.

  • William Van Alen, Born 1883, Died 1954

William Van Alen renowned as the architect responsible for building New York City’s Chrysler Tower. The building was completed in less than two years; four floors were completed per week, which at the time was a surprisingly rapid rate.

(Key Work)

Chrysler Building was completed 1930 by renowned architect William Van Alen. The Chrysler building is an Art Deco-Style skyscraper located in Manhatten; it stands 1,046 feet (318.9m) tall. It’s the tallest brick building in the world with a steel structure.

The architectural details were designed to reflect Chrysler’s products; Gargoyles were incorporated, modelled after the Chrysler Hood Ornament. The seven arched crowns situated at the top, feature distinctive sunburst patterns, alongside the spire; expressing chrome hubcaps with rising suns. The slick, geometric characteristics of the crown reflect the movement of streamlined, machine-age elegance, quintessential of American Art Deco.

The building was manufactured with Brick, a Steel Frame and a Stainless Steel Crown. William Van Alen would’ve used supporting sketches alongside preparatory work to represent precise and accurate measurements of each individual construction stage.  The building was completed in less than two years; four floors were completed per week, which at the time was a surprisingly rapid rate.

The building evokes power and sophistication; thus reminding me of the machine-age. It’s an unusual structure, amidst the cityscape of skyscrapers, emitting sharp geometric shapes, for example, Sunbursts, triangles, chevrons.  White and Dark Grey brickwork was integrated as horizontal decoration to enhance the window rows.

In Conclusion, I’m fascinated by the Chrysler Building; the materials, processes and design exemplify the culture and movement of Art Deco era throughout the 1930s; thus forming a classical eccentric masterpiece.

(Which other artists or movements inspired them; positively or negatively)

Art Deco was influenced by Art Nouveau, which arose during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The movement combined organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant compositions that united flowing, natural forms with more angular contours.

These formative influences include the geometric forms of Cubism, machine-style forms of Constructivism and Futurism, and the unifying approach of Art Nouveau. Its highly intense colours may have stemmed from Parisian Fauvism.

(Relevant social/political/artistic/technological context)

The desire to move into the new century led to the innovation of French artistic pioneers, they formed an organization called the Societé des Artistes Décorateurs (The Society of Decorative Artists).

One of the major goals of the new group was to challenge the hierarchical structure of the visual arts that ostracised decorative artists to a lesser significance than the more classical painting and sculpting media.


The French government hosted an exhibition, endeavouring to showcase the new style. Over 15,000 artists, architects, and designers displayed their work at the exposition.

(Impact on visual culture (art, advertising, comics, games, movies etc.) with examples)




Superman Comic Design


Black Ops 3 Zombies: Shadow of Evil

Image result for Shadows of Evil

Task 3

You will create practical responses that relate to artists from Expressionism, Surrealism, Art Deco and Minimalism. Choose at least two of the following:

  • Expressionist painting/drawing depicting a personal experience.
  • Surrealist photocollage.
  • Minimalist poster for a movie of your choice.
  • Design for Art Deco-style flyer for a 1930s-set murder mystery weekend break.

Art Deco Style: Murder Mystery 1930’s Themed Flyer


Minimalist: Poster Design