One of the most popular examples of abstract art is Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937) oil painting. Some others include Composition X (1939) by Wassily Kandinsky and Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow (1930) by Piet Mondrian.
Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.
Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956)
One of the most iconic Abstract painters of all time, whose name is synonymous with the entire Abstract Expressionist movement, is American artist Jackson Pollock.
There were two types of Abstract Expressionists: Action Painting as exemplified by Jackson Pollock, and Colorfield Painting represented by Mark Rothko.
Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque's invention of Cubism was a key precipitating factor in the development of abstract art, but the Spanish artist hesitated to make the leap himself.
The Starry Night, a moderately abstract landscape painting (1889) of an expressive night sky over a small hillside village, one of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh's most celebrated works.
Characteristics of Abstract Art
The main feature of the abstract art is that it is a non-representational practice, meaning that art movements that embrace abstraction departure from accurate representation – this departure can be slight, partial, or complete.
There are four types of abstracts: informative, descriptive, critical, and highlight abstracts. However, students most often use informative abstracts.
Good abstract art has a message, a concept, a “something.” Even though the technique may seem simple and haphazard, it emerges from a place of deep thought and great meaning. You can see the same truth at work in all of the great abstract painters: Rothko, Matisse, Pollock, de Kooning.
Van Gogh used an impulsive, gestural application of paint and symbolic colors to express subjective emotions. These methods and practice came to define many subsequent modern movements from Fauvism to Abstract Expressionism.
Abstract art is more about the shapes and colors and the feelings it expresses, not about the accurate portrayal of a subject. Abstract art also encourages discussion about colors, shapes, and lines which are concepts young children are learning. Abstract art is interpreted different by everyone who sees it.
There are countless forms of art. When it comes to visual arts, there are generally 3 types: decorative, commercial, and fine art. The broader definition of “the arts” covers everything from painting through theatre, music, architecture, and more.
What is meant by an 'abstract design'? Abstract design uses the language of shape, form, colour and gestural marks to create work that does not attempt to depict visual reality accurately. Indeed, 'abstract' itself means 'to withdraw or separate something from something else'.
Abstract photography consists of images created using photography materials and equipment that don't have an immediate association with the physical world. Abstract photographers use perspective, movement, and light to transform the world we see into an unexpected, often unrecognizable image.
Stylistically, abstract art included the movements of Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism, and Fauvism.
Abstract art doesn't contain recognizeable objects, so there is nothing to grasp or hold onto. This can be very confusing, even threatening, to some who are not used to assigning their own meaning to what they see before them. The truth is, abstract art is not "about nothing".
Abstract art has a unique voice that provokes interest, permitting both artists and viewers a distinct sense of freedom and expression. Despite its often chaotic and spontaneous appearance, it possesses a structure that is composed of six key elements: colour, shape, form, texture, line, and value.
ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.
Build your abstract painting on a solid compositional structure. This is the fun part—use whatever materials and whatever technique you have at hand to support the first two steps. Finally realize, as with all creative work, there are no hard and fast rules, except the ones you make for yourself.
How much is the Mona Lisa worth? Well, it's recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as having the most expensive insurance policy in history, valued at $100 million in 1962, equivalent to $650 million in 2018. But, as the French aren't selling, it's literally priceless.
The National Museum in Oslo holds one of the world's most important collections of paintings by Edvard Munch, including such iconic works as "The Scream". These works become available for the public when the new National Museum opens on 11 June, 2022.
Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear when tempers flared with Paul Gauguin, the artist with whom he had been working for a while in Arles. Van Gogh's illness revealed itself: he began to hallucinate and suffered attacks in which he lost consciousness. During one of these attacks, he used the knife.