Every artwork contains an idea, and sometimes ideas are dangerous. Through history artists have weaponized their work to wage war on tradition, fight dogma, and promote radical change. The artists below developed new methods of creating art and wrote manifestos to share their ideas with the world. Here we find the passionate visionaries — André Breton imitating lunatics to draft the roots of Surrealism, Kazimir Malevichwishing death on the academics of his time, and Liubov Popova who rejected art itself to embrace populist craftsmanship. If you're looking for a blueprint for creating change, dig in.
Reed Enger, "Revolutionary Artists," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 20, 2016; last modified May 28, 2020, http://arthistoryproject.com/subjects/revolutionary-artists/.
A psychiatrist releases his mind and invents Surrealism1896-1966
Prophet of the violent, industrial future1888-1916
A poet creates a church of speed and violence1876-1944
"Art does not need us, and it never did"1878-1935
We shall remake the world1889-1924
Machines that scream: inventing Futurist music1885-1947
Why can’t I stop painting my mother?1882-1916
The architect of invisible cities1881-1934