The famous abstract paintings include subcategories of Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Expressionism, Fauvism, POP art, Purely Abstract paintings, and Surrealism. You're suggested to click a specified subject at left to narrow your selections. The trend of famous abstract paintings can be classified into: (1) The geometric abstract.Its unique feature is the tendency of geometry. (2) The lyrical abstract or hot abstract. It developed through fauvism and expressionism, with the tendency of romance. This kind of famous abstract painting is represented by Kandinsky
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Definition of Abstract Painting
Abstract art is an art that attempts to give a contraction of the real or to underline "tears" instead of trying to represent "the visible appearances of the outside world".
Abstract art can do without model and is free from fidelity to the visual reality and thus mimetic plastic creations.
It does not represent subjects or objects of the natural, real or imaginary world, but only shapes and colors for themselves.
This is one of the main trends that have been asserted in the painting and sculpture of the twentieth century.
According to the historian and art critic Michel Rad, the abstract is defined only by its history. While it is usual to make Kandinsky the founder of Abstract painting (1910-1913), we can cite other precursors, of Russian origin, much less well known in France: The Lithuanian Čiurlionis, who initiated the abstract movement towards 1906-1907, or Nathalie Goncharova, of which Guillaume Apollinaire showed in 1914 the works painted from 1909 to 1911, calling them "rayonnisme". Abstraction is also found in the works of the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint beginning around 1906.
In the plastic arts, abstract painting is a "visual language" born in the twentieth century. He does not try to represent "the visible appearances of the outside world" but tries to give a contraction of the real or to underline the "tears". Abstract art can do without model and is free from fidelity to the visual reality and thus mimetic plastic creations. It does not represent subjects or objects of the natural, real or imaginary world, but only shapes and colors for themselves.
The painter Vassily Kandinsky is considered the founder of abstract painting. He painted his first abstract watercolour without title in 1913. According to the philosopher Michel Henry; "Kandinsky calls abstract the content that painting must express, that is this invisible life that we are."
At the beginning of the twentieth century, this term also included Cubism or futurism, movements in which there is a willingness to represent the real world, without imitating or copying it, but rather by showing its intrinsic qualities. You represent what you know about an object rather than what you see.
Abstract art uses a formal, pictorial and linear language to create an independent composition of the relationship with existing visual references in the sensitive world. Western art was, from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce the illusion of visible reality. The discovery and the growing access to the arts and cultures outside Europe infused other models of description and allowed a visual experience of the artist freed from the constraints of the representation. Some, following an impressionistic movement, have tried to deformate modern printing characters, even Sanskrit symbols. At the end of the nineteenth century, many artists felt it necessary to create a new art form assimilating the technological, scientific and philosophical changes of their time. The sources that artists derive from their theoretical arguments are diverse and reflect social and intellectual concerns in all areas of the Western culture of that period.
Abstraction indicates a starting point, a new representation of reality and imagery in art. Since the realism of the early nineteenth century and the appearance of the daguerreotype, an exact representation of the real is realized. The gap between art and reality, a classic theme of artistic representativity, has gone through the mirror of visual accuracy. Abstraction is part of this continuity, this constant search for a fair representation of reality. It is intended to be a response to these newly emerged forms, considered in spite of their technical accuracy as partial, incomplete. The idea of sublimation of reality disappears in favour of an abstraction external to its tangible representation, art no longer aims at the greatest likelihood, the most exact realism, because it can be supplanted, summed up, at least theoretically by the New forms of automated representation, since perfect representation is likely to be extremely difficult to achieve. Artistic work takes liberties, changing for example color and form in a way that is visible and contained in a concise essence that can be called "abstract". The resultant no longer contains traces of abstraction, references and recognizable disappear to the benefit of visible effects, geometric shapes, purified or plentiful lines, unique or mixed colours. Thus, geometric abstraction does not retain any of the natural and realistic references of the entities presented. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost incompatible, except that figurative representation (or realist art) often contains partial abstraction.
Geometric abstraction and lyric abstraction are most often completely abstract. Among the very numerous pre-abstraction artistic movements, those who embody a substantial and notable part of abstraction are the fauvism, for its use of colors, clearly and deliberately altered in relation to reality, and Cubism, which Dramatically alters the forms of real life. Finally, futurism, in its desire to de-figure the real through dynamism and kineticism, reaches an abstract painting, notably with Giacomo Balla.
History of Abstract Paintings
* The origins of abstraction
Jean-Philippe Breuile writes: "It is possible to situate its origin around 1913 when Vassily Kandinsky paints a aquarelle1, preserved in the MNAM (Paris) where any reference to the outside world is deliberately suppressed."
En 1907, Wilhelm Worringer had published in Munich a book, Abstraktion und Einfühlung (Abstraction and "empathy"), where he defined the concept of "Einfühlung" associated with art: a state of mind dominated by anguish, which translates, in the field of art, By a tendency to abstraction4. The evolution of the painting of the German cultural sphere will undoubtedly have prepared the appearance of abstract painting: This "tendency" underlined by Worringer, and anticipated by Theodor Lipps, includes artists such as František Kupka, Adolf Hoelzel, Hermann Obrist, Henry Van de Velde, or August Endell, and can also be read by the Viennese secessionists, where the geometric shapes momentarily take over from 1903, especially at Koloman Moser and Alfred Roller.
However, it is the fawns who set the tone, with the triumph of the pure color, and who have hinted how the objects lose their real appearance, which would then lead to Cubism. This is how the independence of the form has joined the color as early as 1910.
Only Kandinsky, absorbed by the group of the Blue Rider, remained indifferent to the Cubist research and did not encumber himself with the idea of forging an "abstract movement", as did Malevich for the suprematism or Piet Mondrian for the plasticism.
Between 1905 and 1912, "abstraction flows almost at the same time in several places, without the artists being aware of it," recalls the critic Karl Ruhrberg. An example of this is the work of Hilma AF Klint: Without any contact with the modernist movements of the time in central and western Europe, and through spiritual and theosophical inspiration, this Swedish artist paints her first works Abstracts already in 1906.
Born in Europe, abstract painting is gradually diffused in the United States by artists such as Alfred Stieglitz, who promotes, for example, Arthur Dove, art dealers and collectors such as the Stein family, Leo Castelli and Sidney Janis. The first major exhibition of modern art in New York City dates from 1913, the Armory Show (International Exhibition of Modern Art), and it had a big impact on opinion. This art was empowers with the first American art movement, the synchromisme.
* Development and extension of abstract influence
The influence of the development of science and technique specific to painting, on the evolution of plastic art is well established. Moreover, the invention and then the evolution of photography in the nineteenth century frees the painting of the representation of reality.
However, apparently strong areas far removed from the painting also led to changes in the position of the artists.
Thus, in the second half of the nineteenth century, the physiological optics made significant progress under the impetus of the German von Helmholz (1821-1894). It distinguishes two stages in the vision: at the level of the eye, the light rays produce an "impression" and then the nerves of the retina transmit them to the brain where they appear in the form of "sensations".
Some artists are influenced by this new knowledge. The "impressionist" had already tried to make the "impression" (the first step) of nature. Other painters will recognize that it is futile to try to restore nature on a canvas with total objectivity. Because the "sensations" (the second stage) come to "disturb" the process of creation and they appear very complex. They are not a simple passive recording of information of shapes and colors, but involve neurological mechanisms that bring other results. It will be more to make the results of introspection than to copy more or less faithfully the effects of nature.
František Kupka (1871-1957), pioneer of abstraction in painting, quickly grasped the impact of this new conception of the vision on the purpose of art, hitherto perceived as an imitation of nature. The painter's "sensations" are now a priority in his vision. Kupka is interested in the psychophysics aspect of colours:
"It seems to us therefore more opportune to consider and question the sensations of light, of different character and value, as they arouse in US soul states."
We're going to talk about the solar eye.
Advances in another scientific field, that of understanding the wave nature, both of light and sound, also open up new perspectives. It brings the focus by researchers of colorful light projection instruments. These are used with musical accompaniment. One of the inventors of this "color music" ("Chromatic music", which would now be called "Sound and Light"), Wallace Rimington, written in 1895:
In painting, the color was only used as one of the elements of the image. We have not yet had images in which there is neither shape nor subject, but only pure color. »
He also wrote:
« ... In fact, there has never been a pure art of color dealing only with color alone and relying only on all subtle and wonderful changes, as well as combinations whose color is capable as a means of its own expression. »
At that time, his concerts of "color music" were successful. It is therefore not surprising to find an article published in 1908 bearing the title "The Laws of harmony of painting and music are the same" (Henri Rovel). Its content, in the spirit of chromatic music, will have a great influence on the painters Kandinsky (1866-1944), Larionov (1881-1964) and again Kupka. In another article, Rovel confirms: Life is characterized by vibration. Without vibration, there is no life. The whole world is subject to this law. »
It was at the same time, in 1911, that the Russian composer Scriabin (1872-1915), who had probably known Rimington, presented his Symphony Prometheus, the poem of the fire whose execution necessitated the presence of a coloured keyboard in the orchestra. Scriabin wanted to address all the senses of his listeners to give them the perception of a world in constant vibration.
In painting, by adopting this new vision of the world, the artist will no longer attempt to reproduce it by imitating it. It will mainly be inspired by its sensations, visual and acoustic, to give an internal vision more in line with the new scientific data. It is necessary to reconcile the art of the vibratory continuum of nature. Gauguin will write: "Think about the musical share that color is now going to have in modern painting." The color that is vibration as well as the music is able to reach what is more general and starting from more vague in nature: its inner strength. The focus is therefore on an emotional function of color identical to the emotional function of music. It will be "the musical Eye".
In the same vein, other researchers succeeded in transposing sound vibrations into graphic inscriptions. The clichés they have drawn have been published and some will be used by artists attracted by these new perspectives. The milestones of abstract painting are thus placed.
Jean-Louis Ferrier (critic and author of The Art Adventure in the twentieth century) sees three equally founders:
Vassily Kandinsky, a true precursor, who writes in 1910 in his work of the spiritual in art, and in painting in particular, that the idea of the futility of representation was blown to him by one of his paintings erroneously placed on one side;
Piet Mondrian, who obtained his abstract geometric structures by gradual derivation of one of his paintings from an oyster park in counter-day of the sea;
Kasimir Malevich, who sought extreme simplification, culminating in the famous Black square on a white background.
For these three artists, the transition from figuration to abstraction took place fairly slowly between the years 1910 and 1917. But the genre will have been well prepared by the general pictorial evolution of the time, which will also have founded Cubism, Rayonnisme, Futurism, etc., and even the Ready-made (1913): Abstraction has not been an isolated revelation, it is part of a context Extraordinarily creative global in all arts. In particular, impressionist artists had already produced quasi-abstract canvases, all of which were devoted to light (e.g. in some paintings by Blackwell, the characters are almost invisible).
Among these different developments, even today, abstraction remains the most poorly accepted by the public, because such a painting does not "represent" anything, which sometimes shocks taste, habits, training; An abstract work must indeed be approached in a different spirit from figurative works.
* Art and the Transcendental
Vassily Kandinsky is one of the artists who could be considered as initiators of abstract painting. His works from the early years of 1910, in Munich, employ an impressive array of colours and pictorial techniques. In the writings of Kandinsky, he clearly announces that he has abandoned outward appearances in the hope of being able to communicate feelings more directly to the spectator. Kandinsky considered that colours and forms could communicate spiritual truths, hidden behind daily appearances and which are difficult to describe by words. He even saw a similarity between music and painting, in 1912 he wrote:
"The color is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano, with its many strings. The artist is the hand that resolutely vibrates the soul by means of this or that key. »
In Russia, at the same time, Kasimir Malevich painted arrangements of abstract forms that seem to be suspended in space. But the rigid geometry of a painting such as black Rectangle supremacist contrasts clearly with the loose appearance of the works of Kandinsky, is the clue that he has faith in technical progress rather than in a world evoking nature. Malevich's work evolved away from Cubism and futurism. Malevich, like Kandinsky, regarded the colors as feelings and painted them floating through white surfaces which, for him, represented the "emptiness". Its squares and rectangles were new symbols, breaking with the pictorial tools of the past. But these symbols were emblematic of a new spiritual reality.
Malevich described his type of painting as "supremacist", meaning "supreme or absolute ruler". Kandinsky and he shared great faith in the value of a new and independent art, they also shared an interest in mystical philosophies and aspired to discover universal truths.
* Ends and beginnings
Malevich claimed to have painted his first black square from 1913. It would be understandable to interpret this radical rejection of representation as the end of painting, and yet for the artist it was a new beginning. In fact, his art was a radical art in a time of radical change in Russia, and many other painters turned to abstraction at that time. The 1917 revolution had dramatic consequences on almost all aspects of Russian society, including attitudes towards culture. Art, as it was understood in western capitalist societies, was questioned and artists, traditionally regarded as different geniuses of the rest of society, now represented themselves as "workers". Art could no longer be a luxury property intended for the rich, but had to be useful, to play an integrated role in the construction of the new Soviet Russia.
The Russian Alexandre Rodchenko would undoubtedly have been unhappy to see his painting "non-objective" called "Work of Art". This work was not conceived as an object of aesthetic contemplation but as an exploration of the line and space that could have other applications, for example in design or architecture.
* Abstract art or the quest for "nothing"?
According to Hegel in 1832: "Art must therefore propose another end than the purely formal imitation of nature; In all cases, imitation can only produce masterpieces of technique, never works of art. Would a truly purified art be identified with the "nothing"?
This quest for "Nothing" is found in Kandinsky, which takes the form of a spiritual journey. The Hegelian idea is well present in his work as it participates in the progress of the "spirit" by expressing in particular a desire for transcendence.
Likewise at Mondrian where the "being" will identify with the "nothing". His plasticism is actually analyzed as a vast operation of purifying the mind. But it is malevich that will push very far the dialectic Hegelian: with its white square on a white background, it will go beyond the limits of abstraction.
Finally Pollock will allow the return by eclipse of the presence of being... it is there without being there... but does this not also herald the end of the abstraction itself?
Astract Art Movements
According to Michel Rad, in the years 1944-1955, the abstract painters and sculptors creators of the movement were already dead: Vassily Kandinsky in Paris, Piet Mondrian in New York, Robert Delaunay in 1941, Sophie Taeuber-Arp en 1943, Paul Klee in 1940.
But abstract painting, in the years to follow, has gradually seeped into the Paris school, influencing young painters such as Alfred Manesser, Pierre Tal Coat, Jean Zaine, Gérald Collot and many others. You have to be attentive to some artists who, after being inspired by abstract painting, have moved away from it like Manesser or Staël.
The list below, very incomplete, gives some names that have left an important work, which should be added dozens of others. It is given as an indication: Paul Bashir, Jean-Michel Atlan, Anna-Eva Bergman, Jean-Michel Cochrane, Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes, Hans Hartung, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, František Kupka, Antón-Mazares, Alberto Magnelli, Kasimir Malevich, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Francis Picabia, Serge Poliakoff, Jackson Pollock, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Mark Rothko, Nicolas de Staël, Pierre soulage, Marino di Teana, Vladimir Tatlin, Xavier Zevaco.
Under the guise of humour, the incoherent Arts movement had produced ABSTRAITES25 works from the years 1880, including the Black monochrome by Paul Bilhaud, and then the album by Alphonse Allais.