7 Important Non-European Artists & A Few Tips On Diversifying Art Classroom Content - 7 Important Non-European Artists & A Few Tips On Diversifying Art Classroom Content -
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7 Important Non-European Artists & A Few Tips On Diversifying Art Classroom Content

7 Important Non-European Artists & A Few Tips On Diversifying Art Classroom Content

Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
Oct 16, 2023

The field of art history is always evolving, and only very recently has the issue of representation, and diversity in curation been discussed in earnest. What’s more, curators are constantly finding new artists, both alive and in history, whose contributions shouldn’t be overlooked. 

While European artists have long been revered in the art world, one shouldn’t go without learning about non-European artists who have also had a significant impact on the development of modern art, and whose work is often worthy of much more praise than it gets.

We must always ask who is telling the story, and we’re happy to redirect the eye to some of the artists we mention in this article. Studying non-European art can help to broaden one’s understanding of the different cultures that make up our world.

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most influential non-European artists of all time. We will explore their backgrounds and examine their contributions to the world of art.

By doing so, we hope to provide a better understanding of the important role diverse representation in curation truly is, and make the point that non-European artists have played a much larger role in shaping our cultural heritage than most art history books give credit for.

Overview of Non-European Artist Influence

The term “non-European artists” refers to artists who come from geographic regions outside of Europe. This includes countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Non-European artists have often been marginalized within the art world, despite their significant contributions to the development of modern art.

Non-European artists have played a vital role in shaping the course of modern art.


Identifying the Most Influential Non-European Artists of All Time

When trying to identify the most influential non-European artists of all time, it is important to first research and examine a variety of different non-European art styles. This will give you a better understanding of the different techniques and influences that these artists have had on modern art. Additionally, by looking at a variety of different non-European art styles, you will be able to identify which artists have had the biggest impact on the art world.

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In the late 19th century, French artist Paul Gauguin traveled to Tahiti, where he was inspired by the vibrant colors and expressive forms of Tahitian culture. His work helped to pave the way for the development of Expressionism and Fauvism in European art.

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In the early 20th century, African-American artist Aaron Douglas was instrumental in developing the style known as “ Harlem Renaissance ” or “New Negro Art”. His paintings fused elements of traditional African art with Cubist abstraction, creating a unique visual language that reflected the experiences of black Americans living in an increasingly urbanized society.

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During the 1950s and 60s, Japanese artist Yoko Ono became involved in the Fluxus movement, which challenged traditional ideas about what art could be. Her work often took the form of simple instructions that could be carried out by anyone – such as “Cut Piece” (1964), in which she invited audience members to cut off pieces of her clothing with scissors. Ono’s work anticipated many later developments in Conceptual and Performance art.

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Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist who was highly influential in the development of ukiyo-e, a type of woodblock printing. He is best known for his series of prints entitled The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, which contains some of the most iconic images of Japan. Hokusai’s work had a significant impact on Western artists, including Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

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Aminah Robinson is an African-American artist who is best known for her mixed media collages and paintings that incorporate elements of calligraphy, quilting, and found objects. Her work often addresses issues of race, gender, and religion. Robinson has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and her work is held in several major collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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Siona Benjamin is an Indian-born artist who works in a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, video, and installation art. Her work often deals with themes of identity, displacement, and belonging. Benjamin has exhibited her work internationally and her work is held in several prestigious collections, such as the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Varujan Boghosian is an Armenian-American artist who is best known for his collages made from found objects and trash collected from the streets of New York City. Boghosian’s work often comments on social issues such as poverty, war, and consumerism. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and is included in several major collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Tate Gallery in London.

Representation Matters for Students

Learning about non-European artists can help us to understand the diversity of perspectives that has shaped modern art. It can also provide valuable insights into different cultures and histories. In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to broaden our horizons and expand our understanding of other cultures.

Here are a couple resources for diversifying your art classroom content:

1) One good way to research non-European art styles is to visit museums that specialize in this type of art. For example, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an extensive collection of non-European art from various regions and cultures. By visiting museums like this, you can get a better understanding of the different styles that exist within non-European art. Additionally, many museums offer educational programs that can provide you with more information about specific artists and their work.

2) Another way to research non-European art styles is to look online for resources. Our Not Just Dead White Guys Coloring Book being one awesome example. There are a number of websites that offer information about different types of non-European art. Additionally, there are often online galleries that showcase the work of various non-European artists. By doing some online research, you can get a better sense of the range of styles that exist within this type of art.

Between highlighting some diverse list of non-European artists and giving some tools that can be used to further rotate the inspiration in your art classroom, we hope you’ll find it easier to freshen things up. 

Representation makes kids feel seen, and you’d be surprised what simply featuring non-European or non-white artists will do for the kids who look like them. What’s more, it will show white children that art and contributions from other parts of the world are equally worthy of research and appreciation.

If you need more support in this area, be sure to check out our K-12 Art Lesson Plan Book which features an entirely different set of artists from all different backgrounds, nationalities, races, and perspectives!

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Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
Oct 16, 2023