Which 20th Century Art Movement Are You?

Take this test to see which style of art suits you best

By Google Arts & Culture

The Double Secret (20th Century) by René Magritte (1898-1967) and France, Paris, Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne © ADAGP, Paris 2018Original Source: Paris, Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne - Centre de création industrielle

The 20th century saw art develop at a furious pace. In centuries past, artistic movements would take decades to build and spread throughout the world. But with the development of commercial travel, technological advancements and mass media, artistic ideas could grow faster than ever before.

Movements developed quickly all over the world as a result, each with a loosely defined code of rules to distinguish it. Scroll on to take the test and find out which movement fits you best.

Self-Portrait (1970) by Man RayOscar Niemeyer Museum

Do you refuse to play by the rules?

Then you might be Dadaism

A group of young artists in Zurich reacted to the horrors of the First World War by producing work that rejected traditional artistic values. The group favored working in collaboration, preferring found objects rather than traditional painting and sculpture. 

(Untitled) (1931) by Man RayOscar Niemeyer Museum

The name ‘Dada’ was apparently chosen at random by sticking a knife into a dictionary. Famous works include Duchamp’s Fountain, consisting of an upside down urinal. The Dadaists refused to play by the rules and pushed the very boundaries of what constituted art.

We inhabit the corrosive littoral of habit (1940) by James GleesonNational Gallery of Victoria

Do you see the world in a different way?

Then you might be a Surrealist

Surrealism incorporated art and literature, and emerged between the two World Wars. Much of the work deliberately defied reason as a reaction against the so-called ‘rationalism’ many felt had led Europe into such a destructive conflict. 

La présence d'esprit (The Presence of Mind) (1960) by René François Ghislain MagritteMuseum Folkwang

André Breton's 1924 book The Surrealist Manifesto claimed to reunite conscious and unconscious thought, creating a world where dreams would combine with reality, inspired by pioneering psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Key artists included Salvador Dalí and Rene Magritte. 

Wall Drawing (1996 - 1996) by Sol LewittCAMUSAC Cassino Museum of Contemporary Art

Do you like to keep things simple and efficient?

Then maybe Minimalism is your thing

Originating in New York in the 1960s and chiefly concerned with visual art and music, the emphasis was on extreme simplicity. Minimalism represented the culmination of the reductionist tendencies that had been happening since the start of the century.

Ngapgya sumchu sonyi (2005/2005) by Paola PiviAssociazione Amici della Fondazione Hospice Seràgnoli Onlus

The idea was to strip back every artwork to its bare minimum so that it should not refer to anything other than itself. No hidden meanings or subtexts, just simple form, designed to provoke a reaction in the listener or viewer. 

McSorley's Bar (1912) by John SloanDetroit Institute of Arts

Are you ruled by your conscience?

Then discover Social Realism

Art is occasionally guilty of overlooking real life and focusing on beauty and form. The Social Realism school of the early 20th century, sometimes known as the Ashcan painters, turned the gaze toward the everyday realities of life.

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Painters such as John Sloan, Robert Henri, and George Bellows depicted images of America ravaged by the Great Depression, displaying a political conscience that other movements had chosen to ignore. The movement was also important in Mexico, with muralists such as Diego Rivera and Jose Orozco.

Nighthawks (1942) by Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967)The Art Institute of Chicago

Do you like to see things as they really are?

Perhaps you'll like Photo-realism

Reacting to the proliferation of photography, this movement began in the US in the 60s and 70s. The aim was to reproduce images as realistically as possible, evolving from the Pop Art movement of the 50s and 60s.

Alex/Reduction Block (1993) by Chuck CloseParrish Art Museum

The movement was also a reaction against the prevailing trends in art toward the expressive and abstract. Leading figures included Edward Hopper, who tried to capture everyday scenes and images as realistically as possible, and, later, portrait artists like Chuck Close.

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So, what kind of art movement were you?

If you would like to know more about the different styles that emerged in the 20th century, you can see more here.

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