Abstract art arose from artists’ ambition to produce works that were unrelated to and unrestricted by real-world visual references. Artists who explored and discovered new techniques of producing art that would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science, and philosophy in the West created the majority of the twentieth century’s most iconic and famous abstract paintings.
The name of the genre alludes to being detached or abstracted from something, and it was selected to represent the ambition of the earliest abstract painters to break free from the constraints of reality and reflect the imaginary in art.Wassily Kandinsky’s famous abstract work relied heavily on color, which he saw as an expression of emotion rather than a technique for accurately describing reality.
Tableau I, Piet Mondrian, 1921
Eleven years later, abstract artist Piet Mondrian used thin black lines to divide panels of paint and created one of the most famous abstract paintings, establishing his signature style. His work, which is marked by geometric shapes aligned with mathematical accuracy, differs significantly from his abstract predecessors’ emotive, uncontrolled art. Tableau I, a famous abstract art piece that addressed only form, color, and line, served as an influence not just for painters and sculptors who came after, but also for a variety of other artists such as architects and fashion designers.
Joan Miro’s La Mancha Roja (The Red Spot), 1925
Painting by Joan Miro The Red Spot (La Mancha Roja) is a playful, almost infantile, but disturbing art creation that sits somewhere between Abstraction and Surrealism. The artist, who never considered himself an abstract painter, claimed he only created the image that was inside his thoughts on an otherwise exhausting day. Our images and fantasies were able to infiltrate the canvas thanks to La mancha roja (The Red Spot), a 1925 painting based on our subconscious thoughts.
1936 (white relief), 1936 (Ben Nicholson)
Ben Nicholson, one of the most significant painters of English Abstraction, began his artistic experiments during the chaotic period between two world wars. Abstraction was a key influence in art during the period when the globe was still recuperating from WW1 while concurrently going towards WW2, as an increasing number of painters resorted to it as a method to find the innocence and purity in the human race. Ben Nicholson’s monochromatic, multilayered 1936 (white relief) oil on carved board artwork blended abstract art, constructivism, and concrete art at the time.
Jackson Pollock, Full Fathom Five, 1947
While on the other side of the Atlantic and on the other side of the Abstract art spectrum, abstract painter Ben Nicholson was creating pure white cardboard paintings, the paintings created by the New York school gave the world a far more lively concept. Abstract expressionists, led by one of the most well-known abstract painters, Jackson Pollock, used brilliant colors, a variety of media, and a distinct method to explore their subconsciousness. Full Fathom Five, a painting created using oil paint particles falling over the canvas and various objects from the artist’s workshop, introduced a new level of texture to Abstract art and powerfully portrayed post-war anxiety.
Mountains and Sea by Helen Frankenthaler, 1952
Eastern philosophy had a big influence on Abstract painting in the 1950s, right in the midst of the twentieth century. Painters’ growing interest in Taoism and Zenbudizm resulted in the birth of Color Field Painting, a new abstract movement. Color Field Painters traveled south to explore colors without the confines of lines, forms, and other painting elements. Helen Frankenthaler, a well-known color field artist, pioneered a novel soak-stain technique that involved pouring oil paint diluted with turpentine straight onto the canvas. Her oil paintings would seep through the canvas, giving them a whole new, almost organic quality.
No. 61 (Rust and Blue), by Mark Rothko, 1953
Mark Rothko was a prolific painter who worked almost solely with color throughout his career, constantly attempting to create a spiritual field on which viewers may experience a range of human emotions. He employed layered colors to intensify the hues in this painting, giving it a distinct brilliance. This remarkable appearance was achieved by combining oil and egg-based media in a painting technique.
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