The Love of Zero, a 1927 avant-garde short film by Robert Florey

The avant-garde (d/;[1] French pronunciation: ​[avɑ̃ɡaʁd];[2] from French, "advance guard" or "vanguard", literally "fore-guard")[3] are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society.[3][4][5] It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability,[6] and it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer.[4]

The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism[citation needed]. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981.[7][not in citation given]

The avant-garde also promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning that was evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel" ("The artist, the scientist and the industrialist", 1825), which contains the first recorded use of "avant-garde" in its now customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to "serve as [the people's] avant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social, political and economic reform.[8]


Fountain, a 1917 avant-garde work of art by Marcel Duchamp; photograph by Alfred Stieglitz

Several writers have attempted to map the parameters of avant-garde activity. The Italian essayist Renato Poggioli provides one of the earliest analyses of vanguardism as a cultural phenomenon in his 1962 book Teoria dell'arte d'avanguardia (The Theory of the Avant-Garde).[9] Surveying the historical, social, psychological and philosophical aspects of vanguardism, Poggioli reaches beyond individual instances of art, poetry, and music to show that vanguardists may share certain ideals or values which manifest themselves in the non-conformist lifestyles they adopt: He sees vanguard culture as a variety or subcategory of Bohemianism.[10] Other authors have attempted both to clarify and to extend Poggioli's study. The German literary critic Peter Bürger's Theory of the Avant-Garde (1974) looks at the Establishment's embrace of socially critical works of art and suggests that in complicity with capitalism, "art as an institution neutralizes the political content of the individual work".[11]

Bürger's essay also greatly influenced the work of contemporary American art-historians such as the German Benjamin H. D. Buchloh (born 1941). Buchloh, in the collection of essays Neo-avantgarde and Culture Industry (2000) critically argues for a dialectical approach to these positions.[12] Subsequent criticism theorized the limitations of these approaches, noting their circumscribed areas of analysis, including Eurocentric, chauvinist, and genre-specific definitions.[13]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Avant-garde
Alemannisch: Avantgarde
العربية: طليعية
беларуская: Авангард
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Авангард
български: Авангардизъм
Boarisch: Avantgarde
Чӑвашла: Авангард
čeština: Avantgarda
dansk: Avantgarde
Deutsch: Avantgarde
Ελληνικά: Αβάν-γκαρντ
español: Vanguardismo
Esperanto: Avangardo
euskara: Abangoardismo
galego: Vangardas
한국어: 전위 예술
Հայերեն: Ավանգարդիզմ
hrvatski: Avangarda
Bahasa Indonesia: Avant-garde
italiano: Avanguardia
עברית: אוונגרד
қазақша: Авангардизм
Кыргызча: Авангардизм
Latina: Avant-garde
magyar: Avantgárd
македонски: Авангарда
Nederlands: Avant-garde
norsk: Avantgarde
norsk nynorsk: Avantgarde
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Avangardizm
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਐਵਾਂ ਗਾਰਦ
Plattdüütsch: Avantgarde
português: Vanguarda
Simple English: Avant-garde
slovenščina: Avantgarda
српски / srpski: Авангарда
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Avangarda
suomi: Avantgarde
svenska: Avantgarde
Türkçe: Avangart
Türkmençe: Awangardizm
українська: Авангардизм
中文: 前衛