What is Abstract Art?

Abstract art is a modern style that opposes realism and photography, in this way, it is necessary to use imagination and understanding beyond what logic gives us to admire an abstract painting or work.

Within visual arts, abstract art is best known for its expressions in the field of plastic (painting, sculpture), but there are other aspects of art that have also developed abstractionist tendencies such as, for example, in architecture, in performing arts (dance, music) and in literature.

Abstract art history

Abstract art, as such, already existed since prehistory if we take the art forms of lost civilizations such as rock art.

As an artistic trend it originates at the beginning of the 20th century, taking force in 1910 with the works Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) in Munich.

Following and taking as inspiration the avant-garde or avant-garde movements such as expressionism, cubism and fauvism, also opposes figurative art by enhancing emotions, concepts and unconscious.

Characteristics of abstract art

Abstract art is characterized by using the essential forms of plastic language, such as figures, lines and colors, as a means of artistic expression.

In this sense, abstract art is distinguished by transcending the representation of the external appearance of things, and by posing plastic searches that point rather to formal, chromatic and structural aspects.

Hence, abstraction uses the most essential resources of plastic language to try to create an autonomous language that evokes its own senses.

However, the degree of abstraction of his works can vary and go from a level of partial abstraction, where the figurative features are still evident, to a total and absolute abstraction.

Types of abstract art

Abstract art fed on the avant-garde experiences of the moment and according to its formal characteristics other types of abstract art emerge, being the best known: organic, lyrical, geometric abstract art and abstract expressionism.

Organic abstract art

Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1930

Also known as organic abstractionism, this type of art seeks to represent organic forms, such as rocks, plants and single-celled organisms that suggest other types of figures or objects. One of its greatest exponents is the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986).

Lyric abstract art

Yellow, Red and Blue, WassilyKandinsky, 1925

Lyrical abstraction, also called expressive abstraction, is an aspect that was influenced by Fauvism and Expressionism.

Its main features are color treatments, sentimentality, intuition and greater artistic freedom. The greatest representative of this aspect was the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).

Geometric Abstract Art

Tableau I, PietMondrian, 1921

Geometric abstraction or neoplasticism as the father of this trend, the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) called him, has influences from Cubism and then from Futurism.

As the name implies, its form of expression is related to the geometry of forms and rationalism.

Abstract expressionism

There were seven in eight, Jackson Pollock, 1950

Abstract expressionism is characterized by using, as its name suggests, the externalization of emotions and feelings (expressionism) without forms or figurative objects of reality (abstract).

The most famous exponent of this abstract art side is the American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).