The name of avant-garde is known as the set of artistic manifestations that were developed in the first decades of the 20th century and that are characterized by the emphasis placed on innovation and in the confrontation with canonized aesthetic norms. To understand the phenomenon, it is enough to analyze the term that gives it its name; the vanguard is the line that comes into contact with the enemy for the first time, that is, it is the most advanced. Thus, one of the main objectives of the avant-garde was to create a school, to start a new trend by separating from the past.
The social context in which the avant-gardes developed was extremely agitated. The consequences of the industrial revolution were still fresh when the First World War and the Russian Revolution took place, drawing a new political map. As an aggravating factor in this convulsed situation, the economic system suffered its most serious crisis in history. It is for this reason, because of the important changes that were being suffered and because of the feeling that they could be positively contributed to, that the avant-gardes pretend to have social interference through their art. Thus, a work was no longer only intended for contemplation, but to reflect these changes.
Some examples of these movements are: Dadaism, which emphasizes the unreasonable, rebellious and destructive; the surrealism, which is based on Freud's postulates about the unconscious, trying to reflect it in the work; futurism, which was inspired by technical advances; ultraism, which favored free verse and the elaboration of metaphor; the cubism, which represented reality through geometric shapes; expressionism, which emphasizes inner experiences; and fauvism, which intended to express feelings through colors.
Usually, the vanguards failed to prosper, mainly because it lacks its own sustenance and is only based on the rejection of other tendencies. However, it is necessary to recognize that have had an important influence on artistic creations of the 20th century and those of today.