What is Abstract Art?

Abstract art, as opposed to visually accurate depictions of objects or scenes, is based on non-realistic portrayals. Abstract art, which was popularized in the twentieth century and includes works such well-known artists as Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian, has become iconic. Much of abstract artists’ and painters’ work is based on the idea that shape, color, and texture have inherent value in and of themselves, and that they can elicit a response even when used to create unidentifiable or non-realistic work.

The impressionism and post-impressionism periods of the nineteenth century spawned a movement toward abstract art, in which color and style took precedence over accurate depiction. Painters such as Monet, Seurat, and Cezanne are frequently cited as influences on the movement because they chose to emphasize the inherent artistic point of view that is involved in both creating and viewing a work of art.

Intriguingly, abstract art as a valid form appeared to emerge simultaneously throughout the Western world in the first decades of the twentieth century, sparking much debate about who was the first truly abstract artist. Because the medium and technique of semi-abstract and fully abstract works are so varied, classification as to semi-abstract and fully abstract works is frequently confusing and misleading. Cubism, neo-impressionism, and orphism are some of the styles that fall under this umbrella.

Any fan of twentieth-century art is familiar with iconic abstract art images. Simple geometric shapes in bright and brilliant colors mark the work of Piet Mondrian and Dutch master Theo Van Doesburg, while vibrant splashes and splatters of color dance across the canvases of famed painter Jackson Pollock. Mixed-media elements, such as metals, photographs, random manufactured objects, and paper mache, may be used in the work.

Abstract art is divisive, especially among those who believe that art should be a faithful depiction of scenes or objects. Abstract art, unlike Hans Holbein’s portraits or the intricately detailed still life scenes of the 17th and 18th centuries, frequently depicts no fixed or identifiable object. Some people are irritated the idea that they should be able to find beauty or an emotional response in something unrecognizable, and this can lead to harsh criticism. According to some experts, however, abstract work can be strangely liberating. Because there are no fixed objects to associate with reality, the viewer becomes more aware of other factors such as color, shape, and form.

Contact your local modern art museum to see if they have any abstract artworks for you to view if you enjoy art and want to broaden your experience with modern work. Many experts believe that abstract paintings and sculptures must be seen in person to fully appreciate their impact, as size, scale, and lighting can all play a role. Even if the form is not something you understand or have ever truly examined, seeing great art can be an emotional and enlightening experience. You may discover a passion and appreciation for abstract art opening yourself up to the experience of this unusual and highly individualized sector of the art world, which will forever broaden your artistic horizons.