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Carré d'artistes presents a way of understanding art through a wide selection of paintings sorted by style. Understand the logic of pictorial desacralization which results in the mixture of painting styles that have shaped artistic history.

Figuration and abstraction: the thin line between painting styles


Representation of reality through figurative art


Until the 19th century, pictorial practice was governed exclusively by the representation of exterior scenes and objects in their strictest reality, according to the academic principle of mimesis.
From the Renaissance to Realism, artists depicted Nature and Man following the rhythm of the evolution of pictorial techniques. The Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck, renowned for having perfected oil painting, distinguished himself for his portraits of a new genre while Albrecht Dürer excelled in the art of animal and landscape watercolour. During this period, the painter's emotion is conveyed by the play of colours, textures and symbols.
With the growth of Impressionism and Cubism, figuration takes on a new definition, so much so that the border with abstraction is tight. The notion of reality is distorted through shapes and colours. Surrealism tends to represent the subjective truth of the painter. Even the revival of reality initiated by the pop art movement in the 1960s is hijacked by certain artists who do not hesitate to abuse abstract references.

The transmission of emotion through abstract painting


The foundations of this artistic trend were laid by the expansion of Impressionism and Cubism. Pablo Picasso is the most striking demonstration of this when he did not hesitate to disrupt reality into geometric shapes.
The birth of abstraction is generally attributed to Wassily Kandinsky who for the first time produced a painting that moves away from the visible. From then on, it is a question of representing the sensitive world as the artist perceives it, through colours and shapes.
From then on, contemporary painters seized on this subjective movement and developed new styles of painting such as surrealism or minimalism. A brushstroke becomes a particular interpretation, a plain background a work evoking the passing of time. The academic rupture of mimesis is total: the interference of this new trend within figurative art implies a systematic adaptation of reality by contemporary artists.


The painting styles that define modern art


Painting styles extrapolating the real

  • Surrealism: this is the perfect example of the mixing of painting styles. The surrealists distort reality in an attempt to explain the inexplicable, the dream. How can one not think of "Catalan Landscape" by Miro in which the artist has interpreted real elements typical of the Spanish landscape by associating it with symbolic notions.
  • Illustration: this pictorial style is another manifestation of the crumbling of the borders between the real and the symbolic. It comes from Realism, which consists of the representation of the subject faithful to reality.
    Contemporary illustration appears as a caricature of this trend, insofar as still lifes, portraits and landscapes are distorted, coloured and interpreted in the manner of the artist. Depending on the way in which he decides to create his painting, the painter will be able to play on the symbolic dimension he wishes to attribute to a particular subject. Carré d'artistes invites you to discover Elisabeth Davy-Boutier who immerses herself in everyday moments to offer a fanciful version of them.

Contemporary painting styles

  • Street art: a pictorial movement whose flagship means of expression is graffiti. It is a personal artistic form whose purpose is to present itself to the world and to deliver a generally societal or political message. The waves of repression that have impacted the street movement have pushed some artists to texture their thoughts on a canvas. Using a spray or a can of paint, the artists depict a scene, a portrait or an object evoking the urban atmosphere. Graffmatt is a contemporary artist who proves that street art is a figurative pictorial practice tinged with expressionism.
  • Pop art: pop-art is an American style of painting from the 1960s that continues the logic of traditional Realism. Religious icons and heroic scenes are replaced by iconic figures of contemporary pop culture. Artists do not hesitate to caricature the stars and fanciful characters to offer a personal vision of their substance. The works of Valérian Lenud illustrate this trend and allow you to rediscover Darth Vader or the Pink Panther from a new angle.
  • Peculiar art: among the styles of painting, peculiar art is a unique movement that was supposedly created in the late 1970s. It brings together autodidacts who move away from the conventional pictorial character. This is a raw style by which artists free themselves from the intellectual dimension of the work to offer a spontaneous painting, an assembly of lines and shapes sometimes having no particular meaning.

Discover with Carré d'artistes the infinite wealth of painting styles that inspire the most talented contemporary artists.

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