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avant-garde

(Fr. ‘vanguard’). Term used in the arts to denote those who make a radical departure from tradition. In 20th‐cent. mus., Stockhausen may be regarded as avant‐garde, but not ...

avant‐garde

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The Oxford Dictionary of Music (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music
Length:
32 words

...‐garde [ Fr. ] Vanguard. Term used in the arts to denote those who make a radical departure from tradition. In 20th‐cent. music, Stockhausen may be regarded as avantgarde , but not...

avant-garde

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A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...often speak of the avant-garde in crisis terms. It is sometimes used as a synonym for modernism , but while there is an element of truth in this, it is misleading too, inasmuch as avant-garde does not imply either a particular period or style. More generally, though, avant-garde is used in critical theory as a code word for the problem of the new, which in the era of postmodernism is considered especially acute because it is thought all possible forms of artistic experimentation have been tried. The notion of the avant-garde is therefore an ...

avant-garde

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The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
73 words

...-garde Term applied since the end of the nineteenth century to theatre as well as other arts and practitioners involved in introducing original and experimental ideas, forms and techniques. Examples range from Jarry and Apollinaire to Cage and Robert Wilson . Marvin carlson See also experimental theatre ; modernism ; performance art . B. Cardullo and R. Knopf , eds, Theater of the Avant-Garde 1890–1950: A Critical Anthology (2001). C. Innes , Avant Garde Theatre, 1892–1992 ...

avant-garde

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Charles Wilson

The Oxford Companion to Music

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Music
Length:
236 words

...expectation of hostile and uncomprehending reactions from contemporaries. Many avant-garde figures, notably Schoenberg in the 20th century, remained hopeful of the ultimate acceptance and wider adoption of their innovations—even though such recognition would, paradoxically, entail the reintegration of the avant-garde into the dominant artistic establishment. Such was widely perceived as the fate of the European avant-garde after World War II, its composers (including Boulez and Stockhausen ) rapidly absorbed into the institutions of the radio station and...

Avant-garde

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...-garde (French, ‘vanguard’) The advanced guard of an army, otherwise the vanguard. The term is also applied to artists, writers, musicians and the like whose techniques or ideas are markedly experimental or ultra-modern....

avant-garde

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
64 words

...-garde A French military term for the vanguard or advanced guard, it was appropriated for artistic usage in early 19th-century France to describe art that was at the forefront of artistic development. The concept originated in socialist political theory and its first major artistic exponent was Gustave Courbet in his Realist paintings of the 1850s. Today avant-garde is almost synonymous with modern...

avant-garde

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...-garde The French military and political term for the vanguard of an army or political movement, extended since the late 19th century to that body of artists and writers who are dedicated to the idea of art as experiment and revolt against tradition. Ezra Pound ’s view, that ‘Artists are the antennae of the race’, is a distinctly modern one, implying a duty to stay ahead of one’s time through constant innovation in forms and subjects. Peter Bürger’s book Theory of the Avant-garde ( 1984 ) proposed a distinction between modernist innovation in general and...

avant-garde

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Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
59 words

...avant-garde [LME] This French phrase was first used in English in its original sense for the vanguard of an army. Use for those in the vanguard of what is new in the arts dates from the early 20th century. Vanguard [ME] itself was originally French avan(t)guard , the foremost division of an army, shortened to van in the 17th...

avant-garde

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David Pellegrini

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,187 words

...relationship between avant-garde discourse and techniques and the instruments of fascist legitimization; others emphasize that German, Italian, and Russian forms of totalitarianism were singularly effective in silencing the avant-gardist rhetoric of dissent, even if the first two of those regimes borrowed avant-garde methods. Historians have often categorized the avant-garde as a subset of modernism, particularly in theatre where the mainstreaming of avant-garde techniques was more evident than in other cultural forms. The avant-gardists themselves...

Avant-Garde

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Encyclopedia of Aesthetics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
3,295 words
Illustration(s):
1

...even from the failure of the avant-garde project. Beuys takes up the project of the avant-garde after its failure in full consciousness of the aporia in which he thereby is caught. As an avant-gardist, he cannot define himself as an artist; but because the avant-gardes have failed, he cannot define himself outside of their project either. He may find a place neither within the institution of art nor outside of it, but only in an impossible realm “in between.” He may only link his work back to the historical avant-gardes, and thereby remain on a level with...

Avant-Garde

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Peter Bürger

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
3,301 words
Illustration(s):
1

...even from the failure of the avant-garde project. Beuys takes up the project of the avant-garde after its failure in full consciousness of the aporia in which he thereby is caught. As an avant-gardist, he cannot define himself as an artist; but because the avant-gardes have failed, he cannot define himself outside of their project either. He may find a place neither within the institution of art nor outside of it, but only in an impossible realm “in between.” He may only link his work back to the historical avant-gardes, and thereby remain on a level with...

avant-garde

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The Companion to Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
1,143 words

...-garde A French military term, ‘advance guard’, became synonymous with progressivism in both art and politics in the later nineteenth century in Europe, and has since been applied to distinguish socially engaged art movements from other strands of modernism. ‘Avant-garde’ still denotes non-commercial and experimentally minded artists, though not necessarily overtly political ones. If the ‘historical’ avant-garde movements that arose in the inter-war era may be characterized as the ‘modernism of modernism’, that was mainly the result of their collision with...

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
71 words

...-garde A French phrase used to refer to people or actions that are novel or experimental, particularly with respect to philosophy, the arts, and culture. In human geography it is sometimes used to refer to various thinkers, writers, artists, and iconoclasts who have proposed radically new ways of conceiving landscape , nature , place , region , space , and urbanism . An example is the work of the Situationists...

Avant-garde

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The Oxford Companion to Western Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
69 words

...-garde , a term taken from the French which originally applied to the foremost part of an army, or vanguard, and was used in this sense in English from the 15th to 19th century. However, since the early 20th century ( Daily Telegraph , 1 July 1910 ) it has been used to describe contemporary pioneers or innovators in any of the arts and also signifies work which challenges accepted standards. Harold...

avant-garde

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The Oxford Dictionary of Art (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
128 words

...-garde . A term originally used to describe the foremost part of an army advancing into battle (also called the vanguard) and now applied to any group, particularly of artists, that considers itself innovative and ahead of the majority; as an adjective, the word is applied to work characteristic of such groups. In its original sense the term is first recorded in English in the late 15th century (in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur ). During the 19th century, it was associated particularly with radical political thought, but from the early 20th century it was used...

avant-garde

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A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
1,765 words

...definition is usually referred to as the ‘historical avant-garde’, which distinguishes it from the broader definitions. A number of writers have noted parallels between the aspirations of the avant-garde to transform life and that of extreme totalitarian political movements in spite of the fact that artistic avant-gardes, whether in Nazi Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union, found themselves in conflict with the regimes under which they operated. As Tzvatan Todorov put it, ‘What dictators and avant-garde artists have in common is their radicalism, their...

avant-garde film

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A Dictionary of Film Studies (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
699 words

...World War II Europe, the avant-garde impulse informs the work of Len Lye , Norman McLaren and Alberto Cavalcanti in Britain , as well as the poetic documentaries of Joris Ivens in the Netherlands and Henri Storck in Belgium . In 1929 , the first international conference on avant-garde film, held in La Sarraz, Switzerland, was attended by Sergei Eisenstein, Cavalcanti, and Richter, among others. Jean Cocteau’s Le sang d’un poète/The Blood of a Poet (France, 1930 ) was a major influence on a canonical body of avant-garde filmmaking in North...

Avant-garde Dance

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The International Encyclopedia of Dance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
1,968 words

...dance, to the historical avant-garde art movements like futurism and dada. Avant-garde dance has undergone its political moments, for example, the fusion of new ballet and revolutionary politics encouraged by Anatoly Lunacharsky in the Soviet Union and the communist agitprop dances in Germany in the 1920s, the Workers' Dance Movement in the United States of the 1930s, and the militant African-American dance movement in the late 1960s. In choosing to focus primarily on the medium of dance as an abstract art, the avant-garde choreographers of the 1950s...

Avant-garde jazz

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Mark C. Gridley and Barry Long

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
328 words

...-garde jazz . A term applied to a range of progressive jazz styles originating in the 1950s and early 1960s. Though initially synonymous with Free jazz , much of the music was distinct from that style, engaging structure and organization through composed melodies; predetermined, if shifting, meters and tonalities; and distinctions between soloists and accompanists. Harmonic contexts avoided traditional jazz conventions, and improvisers similarly broke with bebop and post-bop expectations in favor of increasingly blurred divisions between the written and...

Soviet avant garde

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A Dictionary of Film Studies (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
812 words

...and the conviction that film should be used as a force for progressive political change have remained a strong influence on avant-garde and political filmmaking the world over. See also avant-garde film ; compilation film ; found footage ; futurism ; modernism ; politics and film ; poster ; ussr, film in the . Further Reading: Cavendish, Philip The Men with the Movie Camera: The Poetics of Visual Style in Soviet Avant-garde Cinema of the 1920s (2013). Hicks, Jeremy Dziga Vertov: Defining Documentary Film (2007). Nesbet, Anne Savage Junctures:...

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