Ch 20: Early Twentieth-Century Art

About This Chapter

This self-paced chapter talks about art in the early 20th century. Fun lessons explore notable artists, how the politics of the time impacted art, and much more.

Early Twentieth-Century Art - Chapter Summary

This chapter explains the different types of art in the early 20th century. It takes you through how the political and social aspects of society, including war, impacted art made during this time. You'll see how utopian ideals and the developing practice of psychoanalysis impacted art, and you'll take a look at the techniques of collage and assemblage. Finally, you'll go over the impact organic art had on architecture and sculptures. After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain the relationship between art and politics
  • Discuss the influence African sculpture had on early 20th-century art
  • Point out the social and artistic nature of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Compare prairie and international style architecture
  • Explain the philosophy of form following function and its development
  • Share what influenced the art of Wassily Kandinsky
  • Explain the key techniques used in Cubism
  • Discuss the effect the 1913 New York Armory Show had on American artists

This chapter is taught through fun, animated video lessons, with a written transcription available for a text-based study option. The convenient dashboard helps you keep track of where you are in your studies, and the timeline allows you to jump forward and back through the videos at your discretion.

14 Lessons in Chapter 20: Early Twentieth-Century Art
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Characteristics & Types of Early 20th-Century Art

1. Characteristics & Types of Early 20th-Century Art

Explore the styles of abstract Expressionism and the art movements that arose at the beginning of the 20th century. Learn about Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Malevich, and other modern artists that contributed to changing the face of Western art.

Abstraction & the Principles of Cubism

2. Abstraction & the Principles of Cubism

Explore the works of Pablo Picasso, George Braques, and other Cubist artists. Learn about the philosophy driving Cubist artists and how they paved the way for a new art of the 20th century. Examine the influences and cultural ramifications of Cubism.

Impact of the 1913 New York Armory Show on American Artists

3. Impact of the 1913 New York Armory Show on American Artists

Learn about the impact of the 1913 Armory Show, the first major American exhibition of European Modern art, on American popular culture and art. Explore the works on exhibit and the response from critics.

Reflections of War in Early 20th-Century Art

4. Reflections of War in Early 20th-Century Art

Explore the way in which the culture of early 20th century art reflected and interacted with the political setting of the first World War. Discover how the art movements of Dada, Futurism, and Neue Sachlichkeit reacted to and reflected their cultural moments.

The Impact of Psychoanalysis on Art

5. The Impact of Psychoanalysis on Art

Explore the art and artists associated with the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century: Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Joan Miro. Discover how the new mode of psychoanalysis pioneered by Sigmund Freud influenced the world of art.

Impact of Utopian Ideals on Art, Architecture & Crafts

6. Impact of Utopian Ideals on Art, Architecture & Crafts

Discover the utopian visions of early 20th century artists and architects. Explore the works of artists like Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky. Learn about the styles of Suprematism, Constructivism, Bauhaus and the International Style.

The Impact of Organic Art on Architecture & Sculpture

7. The Impact of Organic Art on Architecture & Sculpture

Learn about the architects, designers, and sculptors who developed the style of biomorphism in early 20th-century art. Explore the design principles and philosophies of biomorphic abstraction and organic architecture.

Relationship Between Politics & Art in the Early 20th-Century

8. Relationship Between Politics & Art in the Early 20th-Century

Explore the art, culture, and politics of early 20th-century European culture. Learn about how Dada and Futurist artists fused political messages with artistic techniques.

Art of Wassily Kandinsky: Periods, Influences & Architecture

9. Art of Wassily Kandinsky: Periods, Influences & Architecture

Explore the life and works of Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. Discover the influences that drove the three distinct periods of his artistic style. Learn about his affiliations with the Blue Rider and Bauhaus.

Influence of African Sculpture on Early 20th-Century Art

10. Influence of African Sculpture on Early 20th-Century Art

Investigate the influence of African sculpture on early 20th-century art. Explore the works of Picasso, Matisse and the School of Paris. Learn about the influence of ethnography and Primitivism on art before the First World War.

Collage & Assemblage: Techniques & Famous Works

11. Collage & Assemblage: Techniques & Famous Works

This lesson explores the techniques of Cubist and Dada artists. You'll learn about the readymades of early 20-century artists and investigate the strategies artists used to raise questions about politics and rationalism.

The Social & Artistic Nature of the Harlem Renaissance

12. The Social & Artistic Nature of the Harlem Renaissance

Learn about the key artistic and intellectual figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Explore the literature and art representative of the cultural Renaissance in 1920s Harlem and the historical context that brought about a rebirth of African-American culture.

Comparing Prairie & International Style Architecture

13. Comparing Prairie & International Style Architecture

Compare and contrast two similar, though conflicting, movements in architecture from the early 20th century. Investigate how advocates of each movement grappled with the problem of designing a better future while taking into account the social and environmental uses of architecture.

The Philosophy of Form Following Function: Development & Works

14. The Philosophy of Form Following Function: Development & Works

Explore the buildings and products designed in accordance with the philosophy of form follows function. Learn about the meaning and development of the philosophy. Discover the designers whose works pioneered the style of functionalism.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support