Avant-Garde

Avant-GardeA French term meaning vanguard, in Middle French the term referred to troops that marched ahead of the army. In the modern era it is used to describe artists whose work is innovative, experimental, or ahead of its time, often in contradiction to traditional, established ideas. It involves the pushing of boundaries of the status quo in the cultural realm. The term might first have been applies to art when the Salon des Refusés opened in 1863 organized by artists who had been rejected from the Paris Salon, the term was also first used in print by Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay, “L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel,” calling the people to bring about radical social reforms. Seen as the hallmark of modernist art, in postmodernism many believe the avant-garde does not exist because the mainstream is accepting and expectant of avant-garde activity.