Vol. 1 No. 1 (2021): Beginnings

The Radical Avant-Garde and the Obsession for a New Beginning

Ștefan Gaie
University of Oradea

Published 2021-05-29


  • art history,
  • modern art,
  • avant-garde,
  • beginning,
  • contemporary art


Rising in an extremely troubled context in the first decades of the 20th century, the so-called radical avant-garde (especially Futurism, Dadaism, Suprematism and Constructivism) obsessively pleaded for a ”new beginning”, a real ”restart” of art. Its discourse, both theoretical, of the avant-garde manifestos, and visual, aimed at giving alternatives for what were meant to become the new benchmarks of art history.

We know today that the face of art definitely changed as a result of the avant-garde assaults. Even if the effects of this radicality faded in the past century, they are still evident. This study is intended to understand this radicality within the context of its occurrence, to find some of its constants and to follow its effects upon contemporary art, in order to attempt to understand to what extent we can speak about  a success or a failure of the avant-garde.