The Avant-Garde


To move forward, to advance the Avant-garde believe in progress. The 'cutting edge' in a race which is characterised by the development of science. For example at one time they both existed together as somewhat elite occupations out of the reach of individuals of average schooling. . Scholers theorised, hypothesised and nobly addressed painting hand in hand with science. We can see the beginnings of this as far back as the Renaissance. A good example is the work of the 'Universal Man,' Mr Leonardo Da Vinci or later in the 19th century with the works of Impressionist artists such as Manet. It was only within the last century that we realised the existance of the A-garde. Perhaps this is because our education system has improved to a stage where anyone has access to a proper schooling regardless of status and other prejudises. So from the viewpoint of mainstream society we realised that there was in existance a group of artists and scientists who were experimental and innovative. We labelled them the A-Garde. Their work was beyond the understanding of general society.

They were in a minority challenging the accepted norm and status-quo creating the roots of Modernism The A-Garde has existed as long as society but it has taken many years to be finally acknowledged. It exists only as a product of its time.

Avant-Garde pioneers as time is unravelling, so what was regarded as Avant-Garde 100 years ago normally cannot be thought of as such now. A word that springs to mind when thinking about this is 'Pathfinder.' They were responsible for guiding the art world in a particular direction. However this has caused many problems for the Traditionalists, and the Establishment as they were resistant to change.

Today there is a new Post Modernist art movement called Stuckism who primarily embrace the tradition of painting subjectively and figuratively noted for being anti-avant-garde. They have challenged many an Art Establishment for being vangaurdist being predudist, for example only showing works from particular movements such as Conceptualism. Individual artists who have there own unique voice painting by choice traditional figurative subject matter fall into the Post Modernist category but have little power against the choices of the Establishment. The challenge arises when a group of Post Modernists share the same views, get together thus becoming a movement questioning this. It is my opinion that the very act of challenging the Establishment as a movement can be argued as being vanguardist. Perhaps the answer in this decade is to redefine what is actually Avant-Garde. The question is, is Post Modernism a kind of elite branch of the Avant-Garde? Somehow revising particulars of movements putting them together, rearranging, reshuffling them like a virtual historical

Collage. The result being the creation of a revised movement which is refreshing and new?

Back to the top.