Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
avant-garde \a*vant`-garde"\ ([.a]*v[aum]nt"-g[aum]rd`), n. [F. avant before + E. guard, F. avant-garde. See Avaunt.] The most advanced group of people in any field of endeavor, especially in literary and artistic work, usually characterized by new ideas and experimental techniques.
avant-garde \a*vant`-garde"\ ([.a]*v[aum]nt"-g[aum]rd`), a.
Of, pertaining to, or belonging to the avant-garde.
Characterized by the use of experimental techniques; modern; daring; radical.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
(also avant garde, avantgarde); French, literally "advance guard" (see avant + guard (n.)). Used in English 15c.-18c. in a literal, military sense; borrowed again 1910 as an artistic term for "pioneers or innovators of a particular period." Also used around the same time in communist and anarchist publications. As an adjective, by 1925.\n\nThe avant-garde générale, avant-garde stratégique, or avant-garde d'armée is a strong force (one, two, or three army corps) pushed out a day's march to the front, immediately behind the cavalry screen. Its mission is, vigorously to engage the enemy wherever he is found, and, by binding him, to ensure liberty of action in time and space for the main army.
["Sadowa," Gen. Henri Bonnal, transl. C.F. Atkinson, 1907]
a. innovative, pioneering, especially when extremely or obviously so. n. 1 (context obsolete English) The vanguard of an army or other force. 2 Any group of people who invent or promote new techniques or concepts, especially in the arts.
Avant-garde refers to a style in experimental work in art, music, culture, or politics.
Avant-garde may also refer to:
- Avant Garde (magazine), a graphic design magazine
- ITC Avant Garde, a typeface
- Avant-Garde (DVD collection), a DVD series with experimental films
The avant-garde (from French, "advance guard" or "vanguard", literally "fore-guard") are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox, with respect to art, culture, and society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, esthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, and it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer.
The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981.
The avant-garde also promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning that was evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel" ("The artist, the scientist and the industrialist", 1825), which contains the first recorded use of "avant-garde" in its now customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to "serve as [the people's] avant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social, political and economic reform.
Usage examples of "avant-garde".
Pauli and the Cavern 56 3 Up the Smoke 97 4 Beatles for Sale 144 5 Lennon and McCartney 184 6 Avant-Garde London 211 7 Making the Albums 268 8 Sergeant Pepper 293 9 The Walrus Was Paul 349 10 The Maharishi 396 11 Apple 431 12 The White Album 481 13 Let It Be 526 14 John 568 Afterword 597 Bibliography 618 The Beatles have become so surrounded by myth, fantasy and speculation that determining anything other than the basic facts of their lives has become virtually impossible.
Next evening, Profane was sitting in the guardroom at Anthroresearch Associates, feet propped on a gas stove, reading an avant-garde western called Existentialist Sheriff, which Pig Bodine had recommended.
The Neoper-ceptionists regarded themselves as the avant-garde movement of literary modernism and professed an interest in all manner of contemporary European art credos, including Dada and Surrealism.
He was in fact a wealthy businessman who owned a highly bankable avant-garde retail and design empire, two shops, a restaurant and a perfume about to be launched.
The unlifelike images of the avant-garde were just as alien to a people whose limited acquaintance with the visual arts was based on the icon.
Beatles, albums see albums by the Beatles Apple Group contract, 569, 580 avant-garde, 231, 234, 329, 372 Beatlemania, xii, 73, 95, 171, 186 biographies, xii break-up, 576-88 at the Cavern, 80-83 as celebrities, 128 changes in show business, 139 disbanded, 553 dislike of image, 303-4 dispute about Allen Klein, 547-9 and drugs, 184-92, 198-9, 347, 378, first record, 37 formed from the Quarry Men, 52 and Greek Island, 377-80 in Hamburg, clothes, 71, 76, 101 at the Indra, 57-8 at the Kaiserkeller, 59-63 deported, 73 houses, 167-70 and the Maharishi, 396-404 Mayfair flat, 102 modern music, 330-1 origin of name, 52 recordings rejected by Decca, 89 sleeve design for, Abbey Road, Sgt.
Mayakovsky, the founder of LEF, a loose association of Futurists and Constructivists which sought to link the avant-garde with Proletkult and the Soviet state.
I'm the potentially gifted ten-year-old tennis and lexical prodigy whose mom's a continental mover and shaker in the prescriptive-grammar academic world and whose dad's a towering figure in optical and avant-garde film circles and single-handedly founded the Enfield Tennis Academy but drinks Wild Turkey at like 5:00 A.
Exceptionally conversant w/r/t avant-garde celluloid and avant and après-garde digital cartridges, antíconfluential cinema,61 Brutalism, Found Drama, etc.
Tempe AZ had lost two-thirds of the attendees of an avant-garde film festival in Arizona State U.
So the tenure-jockeys and critics who were hailing this millennial new Orthochromatic Neorealism thing as the real new avant-garde thing were getting tenure by blasting Dick and Godbout and the flying Snow Brothers and The Stork for trying to be avant-garde, when really they were self-consciously trying to be more like après-garde.
It wasn't impossible maybe even the name you hit with the dart was somebody dead in the last year and the phone book hadn't caught up, and here was this guy who was dead and just a random name in a phone book and the subject of what people for a few months until Himself couldn't keep a straight face anymore or had had enough revenge on the critics, because the critics were hailing not just the critics in on the joke, but actual tenure-jockeys who were getting tenure to assess and dismiss and hail they were hailing this as the ultimate in avant-garde Neorealism, and saying maybe The Stork deserved reappraisal, for a Drama with no audience and oblivious actors who might have moved away or died.
Although Junior had been in San Francisco for over a week, he had not yet sampled this avant-garde art form.
The criteria of cool were the same as at the current hottest dance clubs, and in fact the bouncers controlling the gate at the finest avant-garde galleries were those who worked the clubs.
He was said to be well known in San Francisco's avant-garde arts community.