Secco: Fresco-secco is a painting technique in which watercolors are applied to dry plaster that has been moistened to simulate fresh plaster. In true fresco painting (buon fresco), the plaster is still fresh and has not dried when the watercolors are introduced. Because the pigments do not become part of the wall, as in buon fresco, fresco-secco paintings are less durable. The colors may flake off the painting as time goes by.
Secession: The Vienna Secession (also known as Secessionsstil, or Sezessionsstil in Austria) was part of the highly varied Secessionism movement that is now covered by the general term Art Nouveau. It was formed in 1897 by a group of 19 Vienna artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt.
Self-portrait: Self-portraits, many now unrecognised, have been made by artists since the earliest times, in a wide range of media. By the Early Renaissance, during the mid 1400s, we can more frequently distinguish artists depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, and the advent of the panel portrait, many painters, sculptors and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. The genre is venerable, but not until the Renaissance, with increased wealth and interest in the individual as a subject, did it become truly popular.
Sgraffito: Sgraffito ("scratched", plural Scraffiti and often also written Scraffito) is a technique either of wall decor, produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors to a moistened surface, or in ceramics, by applying to an unfired ceramic body two successive layers of contrasting slip, and then in either case scratching so as to produce an outline drawing. A combed wall surface is produced by dragging a comblike tool over a prepared surface, producing stripes or waves. Sgraffito has been used in Germany since the 13th century, was common in Italy in the 16th century, and can currently be found in African art.
Silk-screen: A stencil process of printmaking in which an image is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing surface. Also called serigraphy and screen-printing. Andy Warhol and Robert Raushenberg used silkscreens as a means of applying paint to canvases. Also, a print made by this method, sometimes called a screenprint.
Silverpoint: Silverpoint (or metalpoint) predates the use of graphite as a drawing medium and was used by old masters such as Jan Van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Durer and Raphael. The technique is commonly associated with the Renaissance but enjoyed a revival in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Renaissance artists used silver and occasionally leadpoint for underdrawings of their paintings and for separate studies on paper.
Situationism International (SI): Revolutionary alliance of European avant-garde artists, writers and poets formed at a conference in Italy in 1957 (as Internationale Situationiste or IS). It combined two existing groupings, the Lettrist International and the International Union for a Pictorial Bauhaus. The leading figure was the writer and film maker Guy Debord and the group also prominently included the former Cobra painter Asger Jorn. The former Cobra artist Constant was also a member, and the British artist Ralph Rumney was a co-founder of the movement. The IS developed a critique of capitalism based on a mixture of Marxism and Surrealism, and Debord identified consumer society as the Society of the Spectacle in his influential 1967 book of that title. In the field of culture Situationists wanted to break down the division between artists and consumers and make cultural production a part of everyday life. Situationist ideas played an important role in the revolutionary Paris events of 1968. The IS was dissolved in 1972.
Socialist Realism: A form of modern realism imposed in Russia by Stalin following his rise to power after the death of Lenin in 1924. The doctrine was formally proclaimed by Maxim Gorky at the Soviet Writers Congress of 1934, although not precisely defined. In practice, in painting it meant using realist styles to create rigorously optimistic pictures of Soviet life. Any pessimistic or critical element was banned, and this is the crucial difference from social realism. It was quite simply propaganda art, and has an ironic resemblance to the Fascist realism imposed by Hitler in Germany (see Entartete Kunst). Outside the Soviet Union, socialist artists produced much freer interpretations of the genre. (Source: Tate Gallery)
Still Life: One of the principal genres (subject types) of Western art. Essentially, the subject matter of a still life painting or sculpture is anything that does not move or is dead. So still life includes all kinds of man-made or natural objects, cut flowers, fruit, vegetables, fish, game, wine and so on. Still life can be a celebration of material pleasures such as food and wine, or often a warning of the ephemerality of these pleasures and of the brevity of human life (see Memento mori). In modern art simple still life arrangements have often been used as a relatively neutral basis for formal experiment, for example by Paul Cézanne and the Cubist painters.
Stuckism: Founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999, Stuckism is an art movement that is anti-conceptual and champions figurative painting. Thomson derived the name from an insult by the Young British Artist, Tracey Emin, who told her ex-lover Childish that his art was „stuck, stuck, stuck”. Since its modest beginnings Stuckism is now an international art movement with over a hundred members worldwide. Childish left in 2001, but the group continues its confrontational agenda, demonstrating against events like the Turner Prize or Beck's Futures which the movement argues are among a number of art world events controlled by a small number of art world insiders. (Source: Tate Gallery)
Superflat: Superflat is a postmodern art movement, founded by the artist Takashi Murakami, which is influenced by manga and anime. It is also the name of a 2001 art exhibition, curated by Murakami, that toured West Hollywood, Minneapolis and Seattle. Superflat is used by Murakami to refer to various flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." A self-proclaimed art movement, it was a successful piece of niche marketing, a branded art phenomenon designed for Western audiences. In addition to Murakami, artists whose work is considered “Superflat” include Chiho Aoshima, Mahomi Kunikata, Sayuri Michima, Yoshitomo Nara, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, and Aya Takano.
Support-surface (BRMT): "Support/ Surface" or BRMT; a group of French artists (BMRT is an acronym of their founders, Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni, Andre-Pierre Aarnal, Vincent Bioules, Daniel Buren, BMPT Group, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noel Dolla, Toni Grand, Bernard Pages, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Patrick Saytour, Andre Valensi, Claude Viallat - formally existed from 1967-1974. They sought to liberate abstract art's practice from the tyranny of taste, the banality of Expressionism, the sentimentality of late Surrealism and the purity of Art Concrete.
Suprematism: The name given by the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich to the abstract art he developed from 1913. The first actual exhibition of Suprematist paintings was in December 1915 in St Petersburg, at an exhibition called O.10. The exhibition included thirty-five abstract paintings by Malevich, among them the famous black square on a white ground (Russian Museum, St Petersburg) which headed the list of his works in the catalogue. In 1927 Malevich published his book The Non-Objective World, one of the most important theoretical documents of abstract art. In it he wrote: 'In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.' Out of the 'Suprematist square' as he called it, Malevich developed a whole range of forms including rectangles, triangles and circles often in intense and beautiful colours. These forms are floated against a usually white ground, and the feeling of colour in space in Suprematist painting is a crucial aspect of it. Suprematism was one of the key movements of modern art in Russia and was particularly closely associated with the Revolution. After the rise of Stalin from 1924 and the imposition of Socialist Realism, Malevich's career languished. In his last years before his death in 1935 he painted realist pictures. In 1919 the Russian artist El Lissitsky met Malevich and was strongly influenced by Suprematism, as was the Hungarian born Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. (Source: Tate Gallery)
Surrealism: Movement launched in Paris in 1924 by French poet André Breton with publication of his Manifesto of Surrealism. Breton was strongly influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud identified a deep layer of the human mind where memories and our most basic instincts are stored. He called this the unconscious, since most of the time we are not aware of it. The aim of Surrealism was to reveal the unconscious and reconcile it with rational life. The Surrealists did this in literarature as well as art. Surrealism also aimed at social and political revolution and for a time was affiliated to the Communist party. There was no single style of Surrealist art but two broad types can be seen. These are the oneiric (dream-like) work of Dalí, early Ernst, and Magritte, and the automatism of later Ernst and Miró. Freud believed that dreams revealed the workings of the unconscious, and his famous book The Interpretation of Dreams was central to Surrealism. Automatism was the Surrealist term for Freud's technique of free association, which he also used to reveal the unconscious mind of his patients. Surrealism had a huge influence on art, literature and the cinema as well as on social attitudes and behaviour. (Source: Tate Gallery)
Symbolism: Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the movement had its roots in Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil, 1857) by Charles Baudelaire. The works of Edgar Allan Poe, which Baudelaire greatly admired and translated into French, were a significant influence and the source of many stock tropes and images. The aesthetic was developed by Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine during the 1860s and '70s. In the 1880s, the aesthetic was articulated through a series of manifestoes and attracted a generation of writers. The label "symbolist" itself comes from the critic Jean Moréas, who coined it in order to distinguish the symbolists from the related decadent movement in literature and art.