Avant garde (Fr.: ‘vanguard’)
- Jim Samson
A term derived from French military history where it signified an advance group clearing the way for the main body of troops. The connotations of frontiers, leadership, unknown territory and risk accompanied the term as it was appropriated for and by artists. An early instance of such appropriation was Saint-Simon's proposal that artists might serve as an ‘avant garde’ in the establishment of his new secular and scientific utopia (...