The Vision of True Art

The Vision of True Art

Abstract Art-Definition, History, Types & Best Known Works

Abstract Art-Definition, History, Types & Best Known Works

Abstract Art - Definition:

Abstract Art is an irrational and non-figurative type of art, that is completely based on the imagination of it's artist. As the word 'Abstract' , itself suggests as anything which is in idea or thoughts but does not have any physical or concrete existence , hence is - Notional.However, Abstract art proves to be the gateway to peep directly inside the artist's mind and soul, but it is not always easy to draw out the exact meaning behind it, without the reference of the maker himself or someone else who already knows it.

Sometimes an artist blends the reality with one's own imagination in order to express his/her feelings to others and forms an Abstract art , that becomes a little tricky for it's audience to understand.Such form of Visual art is known as Abstract art.

 

Abstract art
Abstract art by Pablo Picasso

"THERE IS NO ABSTRACT ART.YOU MUST ALWAYS START WITH SOMETHING.AFTERWARD YOU CAN REMOVE ALL TRACES OF REALTY." - SAID PABLO PICASSO

History:

Abstract art or commonly known as Abstraction art, falls in the category of Modern art as well as Visual arts (in broader sense) , and was founded in the late 19th century in Western culture.The argument on its place of origin is still continued,and is said to be result of the demand for a new form of art that is different from prevailing arts (of that era), which paved path only to technology, science and philosophy.

However many people also argue that the abstract art originated in Celtic period (750 years before the birth of Jesus Christ), which was further taken to Christian and Islamic art in the form of lettering.

Paintings, Calligraphy (especially in China and Japan) , Pottery , Decorative arts and Textiles formed the earliest means or types of abstract art.

In early centuries Expressionism, Impressionism and Romanticism artists like J.M.W Turner (first abstract expressionist), James McNeill Whistler, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Edvard Munch, Robert Delaunay and František Kupka pioneered the way for Abstract art, through their popular artworks.

Later on (Post - Impressionism) art movements like Cubism, practiced by artist like Pablo Picasso was also added in the list of inspiration for the abstract art.

Some of the most famous Abstract Artworks of 19th Century are:

  • Les Arbres (The Trees) by Albert Gleizes, 1910–12.
  • Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II) by Wassily Kandinsky, 1912
  • Head (Tête) by Pablo Picasso, 1913–14 
  • French Window at Collioure by Henri Matisse, 1914
  • Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray by Piet Mondrian,  1921
  • The Railway Crossing by Fernand Léger 1919
  • Men In The City by Fernand Léger , 1919
  • The Yellow Curtain by Henri Matisse,1915 and
  • Windows Open Simultaneously by Robert Delaunay, 1912.
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Men In The City by Fernand Léger , 1919

"ABSTRACT ART PAINTING IS A ABSTRACT.IT CONFRONTS YOU.THERE WAS A REVIEWER A WHILE BACK WHO THAT MY PICTURES DIDN'T HAVE ANY BEGINNING OR ANY END. HE DIDN'T MEAN IT AS A COMPLIMENT, BUT IT WAS." - SAID JACKSON POLLOCK

"I UNDERSTAND ABSTRACT ART AS AN ATTEMPT TO FEED IMAGINATION WITH A WORLD BUILT THROUGH THE  BASIC  SENSATIONS OF THE EYES." - SAID JEAN HELION

Types of Abstract Art:

Abstract art is found and admired in numerous art forms, which are:

  • Abstract Expressionism
  • Lyrical Abstraction
  • Color Field Paintings
  • Minimalism
  • Geometric Abstraction
  • Monochromes
  • Digital art
  • Op Art or Optical Art
  • Assemblage art 
  • Cubism and
  • Shaped Canvas Paintings

 

1. Abstract Expressionism - Developed in 1940s , in Abstract art , Expressionism  is an American Painting Style which was first used by art critic Robert Coates. Though, it was realistically applied in 1946 but the term itself originated in  Germany in 1919 in the magazine Der Sturm, regarding German Expressionism and was also  used in Unites States in 1926  Alfred Barr in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky.

If we see, from a technical point of view, Abstract Expressionism seems to be originated from Surrealism, which is an obvious exaggeration of reality as the audience is not able to draw out the meaning and purpose of the artwork, imply due to its irrationality and different concepts.

The Dripping paint on the canvas is one of the most famous technique of this Abstract art by Jackson Pollock , which was further practiced by famous artists like Max Ernst, André Masson and David Alfaro Siqueiros , also can be seen in their successful artworks.

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Abstract art - Jackson Pollock, No. 5, 1948, Oil On Fiberboard
ABSTRACT ART
Abstract art - Drip Painting By Max Ernst

To know more about Drip Painting or commonly known as Dripping , click on the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_painting

In this famous combination of Abstract Art with Expressionism, it wasn't only paintings which were given imporatance by the artists as well as by the audience , but also Sculptures were the art forms that paved their way as a part of it, in 1950s and gained the social acceptance.

Most of these sculptures are now exhibited in Public Places like Parks and Museums all around the world.Some of the remarkable Abstract Expressionism Sculptors and their famous artworks of that era are as follows:

  • Mary Callery
  • David Smith
  • Dorothy Dehner
  • Isamu Noguchi
  • Phillip Pavia
  • Richard Stankiewicz
  • Tony Smith
  • Richard Lippold
  • Seymour Lipton and
  • Joseph Cornell
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Abstract Art - Richard Stankiewicz, Detail of Figure, 1956 in in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
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Abstract Art - Isamu Noguchi, The Cry, 1959 in Kröller-Müller Museum Sculpture Park, Otterlo, Netherlands

2. Lyrical Abstraction - Lyrical Abstraction or Painterly Abstraction is known to be a part of Abstract Expressionism which was born in Paris in 1947 i.e the Post War period and is resulted from an art movement namely, Abstraction Lyrique. Most remarkable artist i.e. Wassily Kandisky is known to have pioneered the art movement is commonly greeted as the 'Father Of Abstraction'.

As the name itself suggests, The art movement is a gateway to artist's Self Expressions and Personal Feelings, giving him or her the opportunity to paint down , whatever they feel like to , even if seems to be illogical and turn off from Professionalism.

However , the abstraction movemnets took at different times for Paris and United States, both had the same motto that was to withdraw artist's and audience's from prevailing art styles of that era like Geometric Abstraction , Minimalism , Pop Art , Cubism and Surrealism to a more expressive king of an Art , which definitely  was Expressionism.

Some of the most participator artists for Abstract Art in Paris and America, were:

  • Wassily Kandisky
  • John Hoyland
  • Ronnie Landfield,
  • John Seery
  • Helen Frankenthaler
  • Robert Motherwell and
  • Frank Bowling

To get more insights to Lyrical Abstraction , please click on the link KNOW LYRICAL ABSTRACTION .

 

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Lyrical Abstraction by Huguette Arthur Bertrand , 1960

3. Color Field Paintings - Highly influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Color field paintings are a vibrant form of paintings that emerged in New York City in 1940s-1950s. Color Field is characterized primarily by large fields of flat, solid color spread across or stained into the canvas creating areas of unbroken surface and a flat picture plane. Hence, the art type is highly non-objective and inconsistent in usage of color.

Barnett Newman is known as the highly influential face of not only Abstract Expressionism but also as the pioneer of Color field paintings.The artist used to refer his works characterised by areas of color pure and flat separated by thin vertical lines, or "zips"in particular.

Other remarkable artists in this art form were:

  • Jackson Pollock
  • Hans Hofmann
  • Mark Rothko
  • Clyfford Still
  • Hans Hofmann
  • Adolph Gottlieb
  • Robert Motherwell and
  • Ad Reinhardt 

Below are the major and most celebrated artworks of Color Field Paintings:

abstract art
abstract art by More details Gene Davis - Black Grey Beat, 1964

JACKSON POLLOCK is known to be an adept artist who was not restricted to one or two fields of Abstract art but is still known to play an exceptional role in the art industry by putting efforts and giving Gorgeous works in almost every possible field, especially on Abstract art.

4. Minimalism - Please click here to get insights to Minimalism or Minimal Art.

abstract art
Best of Minimalism Art
Best of Minimalism Art

5. Geometric Abstraction - As the name itself suggests, Geometric Abstraction uses Geometric figures , especially squares and circles that may or may not be in an objective way.Islamic Religion and art are the best prevailing example of historic as well as contemporary Geometric Abstract art.The best characteristics of this art is that , Geometric Abstraction is not only confined to Two dimensional figures but also has witnessed great artworks in Three dimensional art.Hence , has paved its way to beautiful and innovative Geometric Sculptures also.

Geometric Abstract art is sometimes also referred to as Geometric Minimalism , when one can see a combination of both Geometric Abstraction and Minimalism in one artwork .Some of the best examples of such artworks can be noticed in paintings in the following link- click here.

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Geometric Abstarction Painting By Wassily Kandisky , 1923

6. Monochromes -  Monochromes refers to any artwork like paintings, sketches , drawings , photographs , videos , films and other visual arts which is represented in a single color or in the values of a single color , generally either grey (a combination of black and white).However, scientifically speaking, monochromatic light refers to visible light of a narrow band of wavelengths.In film photography, monochrome is typically the use of black-and-white film. Originally, all photography was done in monochrome. Although color photography was possible even in the late 19th century, easily used color films, such as Kodachrome, were not available until the mid-1930s.

The use of monochromes is specially witnessed in after 1950s with the birth of Expressionism as an art form. Any painting covered with  a single plain color  (say green ) is referred to as being a monochromes , because of the absence of any other color, hence it is not important for a monochrome abstract art  to be of Gray scale.

Some of the important living Monochrome artists in the world are:

  • Oscar Tuazon
  • Christopher Wool
  • Robert Holyhead
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock
  • Christian Holstad
  • Evan Gruzis
  • Robert Ryman
  • Alan Ebnother and
  • Marcia Hafif

Beautiful Landscape , life , nature , portraits and animal paintings have proved to be the specialty of this art form since the beginning.

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Monochromatic Landscape Painting
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Monochromatic Yellow Portrait

7. Digital Art - Digital Abstract art is a form of Abstract art , formed with the creative use of technology , which started after 1970s with the adept use of computers in professional world and birth of robotics after 2001.The techniques of digital art were used by the media in advertisements, and by film-makers to produce visual effects to make the films much more catchy and interesting for its viewers but as evolution digital art then started painting , drawing , sketching , forming 3D sculptures , Digital installations and Virtual reality as a more specific and innovative art forms.

Generally , digital artists prefer digital photography by taking elements from multiple existing photographs and mix those elements to form a new pictorial art that is appreciated by the people for its rationality or concept.Sometimes, the new art may not hold rational idea behind but is known for its new terms and imagination of the maker.

Some of the best forms of Digital Abstract art , loved by everyone are the creation of 'Anime' , 'Digital Printers' , 'Digital Photography' (example portraying aliens) and 'Virtual Reality'.

Here's the list of some best Digital art films:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • Godzilla
  • About Last Night
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Gone Girl
  • Term Life
  • Miles Ahead and many other 

"I BELIEVE THE WORK OF ART SHOULD CHANGE THE  EXISTING VISUAL,INTELLECTUAL AND AESTHETICAL SENSE AND EXPERIMENT WITH FINDING NEW VISUAL PHENOMENA. - SAID GOPAKUMAR R.P.

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Digital Abstract Art - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies , 2014

7. Optical Art - Optical art uses black and white colors to create  optical illusions of magical and unbelievable movements , flashes and vibrations.Also commonly known as Opt Art , colors also became a prominent part of this art form , after 1965. Though the term, 'Optical Art' was given by Times Magazine in respect to Julian Stanczak's show Optical Paintings at the Martha Jackson Gallery , Optical art paved its way in the industry much earlier than that, in very early 20th century.

Optical abstract art is known to make Psychological illusions due to the effect on the eyes or brain of excessive stimulation or interaction with contextual or competing stimuli of a specific type—brightness, color, position, tile, size, movement, etc

 

Abstract art
Sky and The Water II , Creative Optical Art by M. C. Escher
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Vega - Nor ,Colored Optical Art by Victor Vasarely

8. Shaped Canvas Paintings- Please click here to get insights to Shaped Canvas Abstract Art -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_canvas

Abstract art - Shaped Canvas Paintings

Thank You!! 

Get insights to Indian art  and Paintings and Contemporary arts , please click on the respective links.

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