Cyclical Art Style
Here is a very interesting idea about a cyclical nature of artistic expression mirroring the cultural life-stage. Most people I've read tend to express art history as a linear progression from cave-man stick figures up to post modern art. I really like this take better. Posted on a sculpting forum by Wayne Hanson http://www.figuresculpture.net/bio.htm
I use the analogy of art styles below for my kids in sculpting class:
the 3 or 4 styles of art:
1. STOIC: any early culture and beginning artist use the stoic style automatically.
Examples would be cubist art, early Egyptian art and architecture, Mycenae art, early Greek art and sculpture. Characteristics of the stoic style are religion-dictated figural rules, Masculine/ patriarchal, no emotion, symmetry, geometrical, powerful, monumental, immortal or long-lasting.
Typical forms are equilateral triangle, pyramid, square.
2. CLASSICAL: any culture at its peak in the bell curve.
Examples: Athens during the reign of Pericles, Egypt during the reign of Nephretiti.
Characteristics are figural art based on observation of nature, a balance of things like male/female, Restrained use of emotion, dynamic curves used with restraint.
Typical forms are sine wave, Golden rectangle, Golden triangle proportions, spiral and sphere/circle.
3. NEOCLASSICAL: any culture past its peak and in decline. Examples are Rocco styles, neoclassical, Cretan, Victorian. An all Female style with more curves than form, overly-dramatic with contemporary art used as reference rather than nature. We are currently in this era of culture. Anything new and/or bizarre is preferred to reality. Comic books and video games inspire our current creations.
4. I add COMIC ACTION STYLE: take a dash of stoic and blast it into action with loads of diagonal lines and forms. Example is any comic book slash page. Video game culture and characters.
Artistic statements and designs can be made better by integrating chosen art styles above to enhance any particular artwork from performance art to sculpture and mixed media.