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A Guide To Abstraction.

Updated: May 7

"Abstraction started with cave paintings thousands of years ago."

"Abstract art is also well-known for non-figurative, non-objective, and non-representational art."

"Abstract art is where colors, shapes, and different tones combine to create a masterpiece."

In the late 19 century, the Avant-garde artists of this period called to create a new art direction that could have a rational analysis and meanings. The main purpose and the major reason for abstraction are not to tell stories, but to encourage involvement and imagination. The way you can see the random lines with the perfect color harmony. This art speaks to the soul, it speaks to you and only you, because the message that you may receive from it can be completely different from another one. Abstract art is a type of art that depends on your perspective and your vision of things. Abstract art offers a very nice artistic journey as it gives the artwork magical wings that make you fly high with imagination. During World War I and II, many leading European artists had to leave their countries. A wave of independence was given to these artists, where they were given more freedom to express their feelings without any red lines.

Abstraction is categorized into 4 main categories:

  • Tachisme

  • Geometric Abstraction

  • Sensitive or informal Abstractionism

  • Action Painting

1- Tachisme

"Abstract art is famous for the absence of recognizable objects."

In Europe, Tachisme appeared after the World War 2 period, to break the previous models of art. The main characteristics that can be noticed are the spontaneous brushwork, drips, and blobs of color right straight from the tube giving the painting a different texture. It is that abstraction type where a spontaneous gesture was valued the most.

Famous Tachisme's Artists:

Roger Bissière, A French artist who was famous for abstract designs for stained glasses and was a contributor to Cubism.

Jean Dubuffet, A French artist whose artworks were mainly inspired by children’s art. He mastered using shapes and simple designs to create a painting that makes your mind wonder.

2- Geometric Abstraction

It is a whole new world where Geometric shapes can lead the scene and tell a story. Geometric Abstraction was the closest to Cubism which hugely influenced it. Shapes were placed in non-illusionistic space and combined into non-objective compositions and that made it easy to reach your inner thoughts.

Famous Geometric Abstraction Artists:

Piet Mondrian, A Dutch painter and art theoretician who took Abstract art to a whole new level. He was famous for using pure, solid colors and straight lines. Unlike the majority of Abstract Artists, Mondrian was seeking to clarify his artworks. His famous Victory Boogie Woogie painting says it all, it is where he conceived in expectation of victory in World War II.

Later on, He developed his style by using more colors and random lines.

3- Sensitive or Informal Abstractionism

A type where emotions and feelings have poems to say, it is where colors and shapes are in the finest element. The Artists found out that with the perfect color pallet, shapes, and lines, they can conquer the world of feelings with just one brush stroke.

Every single painting was like a musical symphony.

Famous Informal Abstractionism Artists:

Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter and art theorist, and he was the founder of Informal Abstractionism. And for a revolutionary character, Kandinsky always used bold colors and strong tones, not only this, be he used to encourage young artists to break the rules and think outside the box. Wassily Kandinsky also examined the theory of abstract art and exposed this idea in his book ‘’Concerning the Spiritual in Art’’.

Jackson Pollock (American, Cody, Wyoming 1912–1956 East Hampton, New York) 1948–49
Jackson Pollock (American, Cody, Wyoming 1912–1956 East Hampton, New York) 1948–49

4- Action Painting

"Each Art movement has its taste and principles."

Gestural Abstraction is known as Action Painting. it is very spontaneous and requires an act of huge courage that allows you to pour and splash paints all over the canvas. The Canvas was "An arena in which to act", this is according to Rosenberg.

Famous Action Painting’ Artists:

Paul Jackson Pollock, An American Artist who was famous for his Abstract paintings. Pollock was widely recognized for his "drip technique" of splashing liquid paint all over the canvas in a horizontal way, giving you a golden chance to look at his paintings from all sides. Jackson Pollock’s greatness lies in developing one of the most radical abstract styles in the history of modern art, not only this but he was the master of detaching lines from colors and re-defined the meaning of painting and drawing.

Last but not least, Each art direction seeks something to be noticed and introduced to the public. Abstractions were seeking to break all the restrictions that Realism had enforced, to get out of the traditional zone where the audience has to admire the painting just because it is very realistic. Abstract art came to revive the power of imagination, and the freedom of expressing feelings.

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