Top 10 Obscure Art Movements That Will Make You Scratch Your Head

Art can be complicated. Often, it is hard to understand its meaning or uncover the message that the artist wants to convey. Other times, it is difficult to understand the techniques and methods used.

However, art also belongs to various different categories and art movements that further complicate things. Some movements are straightforward, others not so much. Below I have compiled a list of the strangest and most obscure art movements that existed or still exist in the world.

1.  Intentism




Have you have ever been to an art exhibition and start wondering what the artist is trying to say with his art works? There are times that understanding the intent or meaning of art can pose to be a difficult task and then you come to a conclusion that perhaps there is no intention to the art. Or maybe the intent is whatever we intend it to be. Followers of intentism however disapproves of this fact.

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2.  Orphism Art Movements


Orphism Art Movements


This is an art movement also known as orphic Cubism that gain prominence in the early 20th century after it was named by the French poet, Guillaume Apollinaire in 1912. This art movement concentrated on achieving harmony of color. Guillaume Apollinaire is of the opinion that this new style of painting brought musical qualities to the paintings. The name Orphism however is coined from Orpheus, who is a poet and singer from the ancient Greece mythology.

3.  Fluxus Art Movements


Fluxus Art Movements


This was a group of artists well known for mixing diverse artistic media in the 1960’s. theFluxus artists are scattered all over the globe but are more concentrated in New York and also in various German cities. The main founder of the group is known to be George Maciunas. He derived the name Fluxus and also did the editing of most of the movement’s publications.

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4.  Arte Povera


Arte Povera


The Arte Povera other wisely known as poor art started in the 1960s as an artistic movement. This art movement group was created by Italian artists who created their art from common materials such as paper, rocks and clothing. The group were against modernist abstract painting and minimalism.

5.  Yellowism




It all happened in 2012 when a vandal by the name ‘Vladimir Umanets’ tried destroying the mural of Mark Rothko’s mural that was on exhibit at the London’s Tate Modern by writing his name on the mural, which later resulted in a potential piece of yellowism. This later gained international recognition.

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6.  Mannerism Art Movements


Mannerism Art Movements


This art movement started in 1520 in Italy and soon afterward was known all over Europe. The whole concentration of this movement is based on complexity and virtuosity as against naturalistic representations. A very good example of an artist in line with this movement is Giuseppe Arcimboldo who made portraits entirely from objects such as fruits, flowers, vegetables and the likes. The name mannerism is coined from the Italian word ‘maniera’ simply interpreted as style.

7.  The Incoherents


The Incoherents


This is an art movement started in 1882 by Jules Levy who was a publisher and Parisian writer during her lifetime. This movement consist mostly of exhibitions of people or children who cannot draw. This movement was not just meant to be an artistic exhibition but also as a form of entertainment.

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8.  Dazzle Camouflage


Dazzle Camouflage


This movement was used to camouflage ships used in World War I as well as world war II and after. It can also be referred to as razzle dazzle. Norman Wilkinson is believed to be the creator of this Art movement.

9.  Fauvism Art Movements


Fauvism Art Movements


This art movement emerged in the early 20th century in france and was among the primordially successful avant-garde movements. The artists of this movement preferred using individual expression and intuition over accurate representation. Thus making their works abstract and simple.

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10.  Stuckism Art Movement


Stuckism Art Movement


Charles Thomson and Billy Childish discovered the Stuckism Art Movement which favors figurative painting ahead of conceptual art in 1999. The name stuckism came to existence when childish’s girlfriend insulted him by referring to his art works as being ‘stuck, stuck, stuck.’ The group now has over 187 groups in 45 countries as a result of their holding demonstrations to oppose the turner prize.