A History of Modern Art in Limericks

I. Cubism

When Picasso deemed one point of view
Of a subject as simply too few,
He captured all angles
In black and beige tangles,
Collapsing 3Ds into 2.

II. Futurism

These Italians were rather keen
On modernity, venting their spleen
On museums, spaghetti
And peace. Marinetti
Said 'Let's celebrate the machine.' 

III. De Stijl

Mondrian and his kith may appear,
From their work, to have been quite austere,
But the stuff they produced
Gave Dutch art the best boost
It had had since van Gogh lost his ear.

IV. Surrealism

Breton’s acolytes ventured to tap
Into all sorts of unconscious crap.
All those pictures of ants
And shit-stained underpants
Got the bourgeois critiques in a flap.

V. Abstract Expressionism

This depressive American lot
Favoured gestural marks and some got
Incandescent reviews
By deploying their hues
In dribbles direct from the pot.
VI. Pop Art

In the Sixties these guys made a case
To democratise art and replace
The stuffy high culture
Of painting and sculpture
With screen-prints of Marilyn’s face.
VII. Op Art

When Varsarely and Riley made planes
Seem to warp they showed how peoples’ brains
Could be fooled by their eyes.
Many found this gave rise
To extremely unpleasant migraines.
VIII. Minimalism

Andre, Serra et al didn’t rate
Decoration or even equate
Self-expression with what
Art’s about, they just got
Sheets of metal to stick in the Tate.

IX. Conceptualism

These new puritans tried to transcend
All that stuff artists model and blend.
They declared it was daft
That we privilege craft
When it’s ideas that count in the end.

Rob Stuart
If you have any comments on his poems,  Rob Stuart would be pleased to hear from you.