The Avant Garde: A Very Short Introduction explores the concept of the ‘avant-garde’ and examines its wider context through the development of western modernity, capitalist culture, and the global impact of both. The avant-garde is perhaps the most important and influential concept in the history of modern culture. What is the relation between the ‘avant-garde’ and ‘avant-garde’ qualities in a work of art, design, architecture, or any other cultural product? What does avant-gardism mean? Now that contemporary art has broken all taboos and is at the centre of a billion-pound art market, is there still an ‘avant-garde’? If so, what is the point of it and who are the artists concerned?
Keywords: avant-garde, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Denis, Clement Greenberg, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Museum of Modern Art, Pablo Picasso, Salon des Indépendants, Salon des Refusés, Georges Seurat