What do you feel when you look at this painting? What is the first thing that comes to mind?
History and Styles of Abstract ArtAbstract art was created at the cusp of the 20th century. It is an art style that breaks away from drawing art as it is represented in real life. Abstract art is about exploring form and color. One could even venture to say that it is artists drawing how they feel. Abstract art isn’t about making perfect copies of real life. Sometimes, it isn’t even about giving the impression of real life without all the little details. In fact, depending on the artists, abstract art became about the process itself. Representational would mean that you draw what you see. Abstract art is far from that concept.
Stylistically, abstract art included the movements of Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism, and Fauvism. Other abstract art forms include Suprematism, Art Informel, Neo-Plasticism, and De Stijl. Included in the collection of famous artists favoring the abstract are Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, and many more.
The roots of abstract painting, though, can be found with Post-Impressionism. Post-Impressionism was an art movement developed in France just before the turn of the 20th century. In these early days, you might be able to make out a picture of a person, but up close it might have been constructed of planes and angles. For example, Georges Seurat created abstract art with a technique called pointillism. Pointillism is using dots to create people and places.
Wassily Kandinsky, of Russian descent, lived in Germany during the Bauhaus movement. He was one of the pioneers of abstract art using form and color in his paintings.
Vincent van Gogh, another French artist, is an example of Post-Impressionism. He focused more on color and light in his works, giving the impression of light dancing on the fields and meadows he drew.
Pablo Picasso, a famous Spanish artist from the 20th Century, started his career painting representational pieces. In around 1910 he developed Cubism, which is the drawing of planes and angles that vaguely looked like the people he was drawing, but looked more like geometry.
Man Ray was one of the famous Surrealist artists. Surrealism was a movement that included visual arts and writing that developed in the 1920s.
Abstract Expressionism developed in the United States after World War II. Abstract art came over from Europe as people fled from war-torn areas and came to America. In the mid-1940s, the American art movement started and included the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Kooning.