Art Term

Art autre

Also known as art informel, art autre translates as 'art of another kind' and was used to describe the dominant trend of abstract art in the 1940s and 1950s characterised by an improvisatory approach and highly gestural technique

Karel Appel, ‘People, Birds and Sun’ 1954
Karel Appel
People, Birds and Sun 1954
Tate
© Karel Appel Foundation

The term was used by the French critic Michel Tapié in his 1952 book Un Art Autre (Art of Another Kind). Tapié defined a tendency in postwar European painting that he saw as a radical break with all traditional notions of order and composition. In describing such work he used the term art informel (from the French ‘informe’, meaning unformed or formless).

related terms and concepts

Art Term

Art informel

Art informel is a French term describing a swathe of approaches to abstract painting in the 1940s and 1950s which ...

Art Term

Abstract art

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use ...

Art Term

Gestural

Gestural is a term used to describe the application of paint in free sweeping gestures with a brush

selected artists in the collection

selected artworks in the collection