Abstract Art is an idea on a canvas is only a concept and has no real representation. It is an art style that embraces form, lines, shapes, and color to bring a result that is separate from reality. Abstract art is a composition that is totally independent from the visual reference. It does not depict any place or person but rather, it is nonobjective. What you see is a process with brushstrokes, scale, color and size to create an inspiring painting.
The consensus is that Abstract art was initiated in 1910 by Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian artist who used no formal composition in his paintings. Kandinsky authored Point and Line tp Plane about his theory stating that the abstract style had form and direction through shapes, lines and vibrant color. These shapes produced an order and rhythm. This, in itself, communicated effects and emotions. Kandinsky’s art is notable with extremely specific circles, shapes and floating lines that created his patterns of rhythm unique to his style.
Some may say that Abstract art does not have the technical skills of representational art Kandinsky said,
“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.”
Other abstract artists created their artwork with their individual styles using the same concept of painting without representation or reality. Pier Mondrian, from the Netherlands, painted geometric squares in primary colors, separated by black lines. He was not only an artist but theoretician. “Everything is expresed through relationships. Color can exist though other colors and dimensions though other dimensions.”
Victor Vasarely, a Hungarian artist created paintings with geometric shapes and optical effects resulting in visual illusions. He is believed to have started the Op Art movement. Mark Rothko, a Latvian American, became known for his seemingly simple yet thought provoking canvases with large color fields in contrasting colors. His large rectangular regions of color have a specific style and dominate much of art history. The famous and notable Jackson Pollock, an American, was one of the first painters to do large, dramatic paintings by throwing and dribbling household paint, referred to as the “drip technique” onto canvas on the floor to create patterns that are thought provoking yet have no representational design. His paintings created a variety of patterns with a dynamic presence to create his unique story.
The peak of abstract art was in the early 20th Century and again in the 1950s to 1970s. with the post-war era. Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Willem di Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Keine were among the most highly regarded.
The idea of communicating an idea without being a reality may have started with the stress and complexity of the wars of the 20th Century. History shows that the artists, by removing themselves from the complex and difficult real world with their abstract art, allowed them a freedom that was expressed through their art. Sometimes they changed their style. This is another interesting topic to explore.