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A short summary of the history of Abstract Art

Painting is good, but it is also interesting to remember where Abstract Art came from, where and when it started, and that is what we are going to cover in this article.

The origins of abstract art

Abstract art is an art movement that emerged in the early 20th century as a reaction against academic conventions of realistic representation. Early abstract artists, like Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich, began to explore non-figurative shapes and colors, creating works that represented nothing in reality. They sought to express deeper ideas and emotions through the use of pure form and color.

At first, abstract art was considered provocative and little understood by the general public. However, over time it gained recognition and influence, becoming one of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century. Abstract artists continued to explore new forms of creation, expanding the boundaries of art and setting new standards for generations to come.

Wassily Kandinsky Composition VIII
Wassily Kandinsky - Composition VIII - 1923

The key movements of abstract art

There are several significant movements in the history of abstract art that have helped define and expand the boundaries of this style. The first of these movements is Abstract Expressionism, which emerged in the United States in the 1940s. Artists of this school, such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, created works that expressed intense emotions through shapes and dynamic colors.

Another important movement is tachisme, which emerged in France in the 1950s. Tachiste artists, such as Georges Mathieu, created works using paint-jet techniques, creating random shapes and colors that emphasized the spontaneity and energy of artistic creation.

Finally, minimalism is also a key movement in abstract art, which emerged in the United States in the 1960s. Minimalist artists, such as Donald Judd, created works that focused on simplicity and the repetition of forms. elementary geometric shapes, emphasizing the experience of space and light. These movements influenced many artists and helped define modern abstract art.

Influential artists of abstract art

There are several artists who have been particularly influential in the history of abstract art. One of the most important is Wassily Kandinsky of whom we have already spoken, who is considered one of the founders of abstract art. He began to explore non-figurative forms and colors in the 1910s, and his works influenced many artists who followed.

Kazimir Malevich is also considered one of the most important artists in abstract art. He is known for his Suprematist movement, which sought to express spirituality through simple geometric shapes. His works had a significant impact on abstract art in Europe and North America.

Kazimir Malevich - Composition Supremacist - 1916
Kazimir Malevich - Composition Supremacist - 1916

Another prominent abstract artist is Jackson Pollock, who was a leader of the Abstract Expressionism movement in the United States. He is known for his "dance" paintings which use brush strokes and sprays of paint, creating intricate shapes and textures. His works influenced many artists in the years that followed and he is considered one of the most important artists in American abstract art.

Jackson Pollock - Convergence - 1952
Jackson Pollock - Convergence - 1952

The evolution of abstract art over time

Since its origins in the early 20th century, abstract art has evolved and diversified through several movements and trends. Years

The 1950s and 1960s saw an explosion of geometric abstraction, with artists focusing on simple, repetitive shapes, such as circles, squares and triangles. This trend emerged in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, with artists such as Kazimir Malevich and Josef Albers.

In the 1970s abstract art moved towards more organic and textured forms, with artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Jules Olitski. This trend came to be known as "lyrical abstraction" or "color field painting" where artists used extended colors and more fluid forms to create works that expressed intense emotions.

Helen Frankenthaler Riverhead 1963
Helen Frankenthaler - Riverhead - 1963

Finally, in the 1980s and 1990s, abstract art continued to evolve with artists such as Peter Halley and David Reed using more complex geometric shapes and bold colors to create works that played with perspective and optical illusions. Contemporary artists continue to explore the possibilities of abstract art, using innovative techniques and materials to create works that challenge traditional norms.

Peter Halley - Activation - 2020
Peter Halley - Activation - 2020


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