Art really livens up a room, albeit with regard to shape, form, color, emotion, or design. By blending these components, artists are able to craft vivid imagery that makes us think, smile, and feel.
With any given painting, it’s easy to know whether you like it. Usually, the response is immediate and more of an instinct than an intellectual consideration. Still, it does pay to know something about different art styles. That way, you can start to understand why you might be responding differently to different works.
Of course, there are countless art movements and styles, and it can take some time to learn about them all. Plus, there are some that are so iconic that almost everyone knows a little about them. And even if these styles don’t suit you, they can serve as a great frame of reference for anyone looking to discover what type of artwork they enjoy most.
Most people are familiar with Impressionism — even if they don’t know it. The dreamy painting “Impression, Sunrise” by Claude Monet is the signature display of the style that originated in 1860s France before spreading globally. Few styles are so easily identifiable, and it is marked by works that inspire feelings and emotions more than attempting to depict reality as it is. Renoir, Manet, and Cézanne were among the other prominent French Impressionist painters that almost everyone can identify.
Cubism is another iconic artistic movement. With Pablo Picasso serving as the style’s pioneer, even those who don’t know much about it at least can name its father and see the thematic influence of unusual perspective, various shapes, and three-dimensional forms. Picasso’s “Seated Nude” and “Girl Before Mirror” were painted decades apart, but both highlight different elements of Cubism, which branched out into architecture and sculpture while expanding to other areas of the globe, especially Asia.
The Art Deco movement arose around 1920 and can be seen across various creative worlds, including architecture, furniture design, fashion, painting, and vehicle design. Case in point: the Chrysler Building in New York City stands out as a leading example of the then-futuristic style.
Still, the concepts also can be seen in sculptures, like the renowned Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, and paintings, such as the Rockefeller Center lobby mural. More than a specific way of painting compared to other movements, Art Deco uses bold, geometric shapes and other elements that, while not always easy to pin down, are often something that has you saying, “You know it when you see it.”
These days, the term “abstract art” is used in various ways — often just by average people to describe works that look pretentious or silly. But it really got started as a direct alternative to the typical styles that had dominated art history and attempted to depict the world as it is. While Impressionism and Cubism offered distorted or warped views, those styles showcased actual subjects that could be found in the real world. Abstract, by contrast, is a departure from reality. While quite broad, and including many sub- or sister categories, you can usually identify it by the free and experimental characterization of not resembling anything recognizable from real life.
Finding Your Own Art Style
When designing a home, most people want some type of art on their walls. Indeed, doing so really adds personality, culture, vibrancy, and simple beauty to any room. Now, there’s no particular art style better than any other, but the key to selecting the right art prints for your home is finding something that best suits your tastes and interests.
For some, the dreamy Impressionist vibe is ideal. Others like the odd perspective of Cubism or the geometry of Art Deco. Meantime, some love Abstract. Neither is right or wrong. But if you look around and start to recognize what you’re seeing, it will be easier to understand what speaks to you and find ways to embrace your own personal art style.