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Avant-garde /ɑvɑ̃gɑrd/ in French means front guard, advance guard, or vanguard. People often use the term in French and English to refer to people or works that are experimental or novel, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.

According to its champions, the avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm within definitions of art/culture/reality.


[edit] Concept

The vanguard, a small troop of highly skilled soldiers, explores the terrain ahead of a large advancing army and plots a course for the army to follow. This concept is applied to the work done by small bands of intellectuals and artists as they open pathways through new cultural or political terrain for society to follow. Due to implied meanings stemming from the military terminology, some people feel the avant-garde implies elitism, especially when used to describe cultural movements.

The origin of the application of this French term to art can be fixed at May 17, 1863, the opening of the Salon des Refusés in Paris, organised by painters whose work was rejected for the annual Paris Salon of officially sanctioned academic art. Salons des Refusés were held in 1874, 1875,

The term may also refer to the promotion of radical social reforms, the aims of its various movements presented in public declarations called manifestos. Over time, avant-garde became associated with movements concerned with art for art's sake, focusing primarily on expanding the frontiers of aesthetic experience, rather than with wider social reform.

For instance, whereas Marcel Duchamp's urinal may have been avant-garde at the time, if someone created it again today it would not be avant-garde because it has already been done. Avant-garde is therefore temporal and relates to the process of art's unfolding in time. Duchamp's work retains its distinction as avant-garde even today, because it marks a historical point in the advancement of the conception of art, relative to the period in which it surfaced. Similarly, "avant-garde" can be applied to the forerunners of any new movements.

[edit] Examples

Avant-garde in music may refer to an extreme form of musical improvisation in which little or no regard is given by soloists to any underlying chord structure or rhythm, such as Free Jazz. However, it may refer to any form of experimental music, even those working within many of the traditional structures.

By some assessments, avant-garde art includes street art, for example graffiti and any other movement which pushes forward the accepted boundaries.

[edit] Relevance

Proponents of the avant-garde argue it is relevant to art because without these movements art itself would stagnate and become dormant and merely craft, repeating the same style over and over. The term is most commonly applied to the visual arts, fashion, film, and literature, but also to intellectual and new approaches to music, cuisine, politics or culture.

[edit] Avant-garde art movements

[edit] Anti-Avantgarde

[edit] Other examples of avant-garde

[edit] Avant-garde artists

  • Lydia Lunch (American singer, poet, writer and actress)
  • Man Ray (US/France photographer and filmmaker)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

da:Avantgarde de:Avantgarde es:Vanguardias fr:Avant-garde gl:Vangarda io:Avantgarde it:Avanguardia he:אוונגרד nl:Avant-garde ja:アバンギャルド no:Avant-garde pt:Vanguarda ru:Авангард (искусство) sr:Авангарда (уметност) fi:Avantgarde sv:Avantgarde tr:Avangart uk:Авангардизм


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