The 5 best artists of the '10s

The atmosphere during the 1910s is decidedly moved by a historic as well as artistic point of view, the world was on its way to World War I and it’s the liveliest decade for what concerns the colonial rush. Those were the years of great artistic avant-garde movements that flourished in the XX century even if they had their roots in the historical culture of the 1800s. In Italy in 1911, late compared to the rest of the world, the first artistic avant-garde movement was developed; Marinetti and Boccioni signed the futurist technical Manifesto, while Picasso and Braque gave birth to cubism. In Russia it was a time of revolution, famous artists like Chagall and Kandinskji felt the tragic and bloody conditions of this time, and the effects are obvious in their art.

The 5 best artists of the '10s - Marc Chagall Marc Chagall ( 1887–1985 )
He can be considered one of the best artists of the second decade of the twentieth century because his art spaces throughout various categories of art that were contemporary to him, from the pre-war movements in Paris to the avant-garde up to stepping into the cubist and fauvist context. He had a traumatic childhood marked by the war and even though in his works there are continuous references to his young age Chagall’s world is colorful, almost as if it were a dreamy memory, figures floating in the air as if carried by the wind, even the darker references are veiled and mixed in with the colors that expand onto the canvas like stains or strips of color. His simple forms that connect him to Russian primitivism from the beginning of the XX century, remind us of a child’s drawing, light and free.
The 5 best artists of the '10s - Giorgio de Chirico Giorgio de Chirico ( 1888–1978 )
He was the main figure in Metaphysical art. He can be counted in the top 5 artists from the ‘10s because his work travels through 360° of artistic study. For what concerns painting, he was at first careful with mediterranean light, and then turned his attention towards study and classical architecture, always seen with a metaphysical eye, giving him his own personal key for interpretation that is decidedly original considering the perspectives that are certainly not realistic. He’s able to face metaphysical themes through landscapes, still lives, portraits in contrast with the typical themes and tendencies of contemporary art, creating fantastic ideas set into a timeless atmosphere and where spatial dimension is lost, almost confusing the eye. During his artistic practice he produced works in terra-cotta but he was also interested in bronze sculpture and set design.
The 5 best artists of the '10s - Marcel Duchamp Marcel Duchamp ( 1887–1968 )
Critics consider him one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Passing through fauvism and cubism he then went through dadaist art and surrealism. His painting isn’t particularly elaborated because during his life he dedicated himself mostly to the study of ideas giving life to conceptual art by creating ready-mades. He can be set amongst the best artists of the ‘10s because he influenced contemporary art thanks to his ready-mades (an everyday object declared as a work of art). He was the first artist to go against the museum institution as a means of selecting artworks by proposing a urinal as an artwork to the Society of Independent Artists, which of course didn’t accept it, but this gesture moved something inside of people and forced the public and the critics to think about the concept of artwork by giving the input for a new way of conceiving objects.
The 5 best artists of the '10s - Umberto Boccioni Umberto Boccioni ( 1882–1916 )
He was one of the main protagonists and theoreticians of the Italian futurist movement. In 1910, along with Marinetti, he wrote the Manifesto tecnico del movimento futurista. The aim was to go against traditional art and the artistic tendencies regarding the past by turning their attention towards the future, that of a dynamic society in movement and in continuous technological, industrial and therefore artistic evolution. The subjects of the representations had to be symbols of this type of society and therefore profiles of cities, factories, machines. In his art Boccioni was able to best express these concepts by giving life to free shapes that go beyond the rigidity of cubism, which he is a son of, but that at the same time keep a monumentality and an imposing side even if it is in continuous evolution and movement. Dynamic forms mix with the concreteness of matter that is given without the use of straight lines that separate, determine and tighten the space and therefore forms. For his sculptures Boccioni used industrial and urban building materials, such as wood, iron and glass.
The 5 best artists of the '10s - Vassily Kandinsky Vassily Kandinsky ( 1866–1944 )
The artist’s importance and therefore his place in this list is due to the fact that he thought of a new concept of spirituality of art that was developed and studied and that after time became what we now define as abstractionism. In 1911, along with Marc, he published Lo spirituale dell’arte in which he states what according to him must be at the foundation of an artwork and he specifies his tight connection with the sensory sphere, specifying all the possible effects that the use of a color rather than another can have on the viewer, stating that a color, passing through the eye and reaching the soul, can cause sensory emotions or vibrations. In Lo spirituale dell’arte also called an outline of sensory properties.
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