Updated: Nov 25
Guide to Abstraction
Each Art movement has its taste, principles, and style that makes it unique and one of a kind.
But when it comes to Abstract Art, we are talking about a type that has multi-languages that can create a composition that can express non-spoken feelings and thoughts.
So let us shed some light on this direction and dive into its beautiful details.
What is Abstract Art?
It 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.
It is famous for the absence of recognizable objects.
Wassily Kandinsky a Russian painter and art theorist.
The History of Abstract Art
In Europe, in the late 19 century, when artists and people were no longer interested in Realism, so the Avant-garde artists of this period called to create a new art direction that could have a rational analysis and meanings.
Like any other art direction, Abstract art had an effective voice when it came to policy and cultural cases the majority used to care about them.
Two main events have changed abstract art,
The first one was world war I and II and as result, many leading European artists had to leave their countries such as Arshile Gorky, who used abstract art to express his feeling and reactions towards the situation and the translation that happened to him.
The Second event was the famous 19th-century wave of independence given to artists, where they were given more freedom to express whatever they want without abiding by restrictions and red lines, and that gave them the power to create more artworks which had a huge impact on developing their interest towards the industrial world.
The 19-century was the documented period, meanwhile, some abstractions were started with cave paintings from thousands of years ago.
The Purpose of Abstract Art
The main purpose and the major reason for abstraction are not to tell stories, but to encourage involvement and imagination, to make your mind works in such a magical way that makes you describe and understand the artwork.
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 a message that you may receive from it can be completely different from another one because it is a type of art that depends on your perspective and your vision towards things.
Abstract Art offers you a very nice artistic journey as it gives the artwork magical wings that make you fly high with imagination.
What are the types of Abstract Art?
Abstraction is categorized into 4 main types,
Sensitive or informal Abstractionism
Each type has characteristics that make it unique and valuable.
Jean Messagier, Louis IV l'apres midi oil on canvas, 130x88cm
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 (1886- 1964 France)
A French artist who was famous for abstract designs for stained glasses and was a contributor to Cubism.
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
How can we not mention the famous Piet Mondrian when talking about Geometric Abstraction?
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.
Victory Boogie Woogie the Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian1942–1944
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
Kandinsky was 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
4- Action Painting
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 encouraged.
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 obvious, Abstract Art came to revive the power of imagination, and the freedom of expressing feelings.