painting - Abstract art

painting - Abstract art
Photograph by JoelZimmeron Flickr.

Certain of these artists became distinctly abstract in their mature work. Eventually American artists who were working in a great diversity painting Abstract art of styles began to coalesce into cohesive stylistic groups. Art into life! was Vladimir Tatlin s slogan, and that of painting all the future Constructivists.

Analytic cubism was jointly developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, from about 1908 through 1912. Consequently magnificent and important works of art continue to be made albeit in a wide variety of styles painting Wash painting and aesthetic temperaments, the marketplace being left to judge merit. Digital art, Computer art, Internet art, Hard-edge painting, Geometric abstraction, Appropriation, Hyperrealism, Photorealism, Expressionism, Minimalism, Lyrical Abstraction, Pop art, Op art, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Monochrome painting, Neo-expressionism, Collage, Intermedia painting, Assemblage painting, Digital painting, Postmodern painting, Neo-Dada painting, Shaped canvas painting, environmental mural painting, Graffiti, traditional figure painting, Landscape painting, Portrait painting, are a few continuing and current directions at the beginning of the 21st century. Into the 21st century abstraction remains very much in view, its main themes: the transcendental, the contemplative and the timeless are exempified by Barnett Newman and Agnes Martin as well as younger living artists.

This departure from accurate representation can be only slight, or it can be partial, or it can be complete. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost mutually exclusive.

It was in this context that Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, Hilma af Klint and other artists working towards an objectless state became interested in the occult as a way of creating an inner object. Varvara Stepanova and Alexandre Exter and others abandoned easel painting and diverted their energies to theatre design and graphic works.

An exhibition by forty-six members of the Cercle et Carré group organised by Michel Seuphor During the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s many artists fled Europe to the United States. Mark Rothko, born in Russia, began with strongly surrealist imagery which later dissolved into his powerful color compositions of the early 1950s.

There is no consensus, nor need there be, as to a representative style of the age. The artist must become a technician, learning to use the tools and materials of modern production.

Although artists like Edvard Munch and James Ensor drew influences principally from the work of the Post-Impressionists they were instrumental to the advent of abstraction in the 20th century. Post Impressionism as practiced by Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh and Paul CĂ©zanne had an enormous impact on 20th century art and led to the advent of 20th century abstraction. During the Spring David Burliuk gave two lectures on cubism and planned a polemical publication, which the Knave of Diamonds was to finance.

The best known group of American artists became known as the Abstract expressionists and the New York School. The climate of freedom in New York allowed all of these influences to flourish.

But figurative and representational (or realistic) art often contains partial abstraction. Both Geometric abstraction and Lyrical Abstraction are often totally abstract. One can enjoy the beauty of Chinese calligraphy or Islamic calligraphy without being able to read it. Three art movements which contributed to the development of abstract art were Romanticism, Impressionism and Expressionism.

Expressionists produced emotionally charged paintings that were reactions to and perceptions of contemporary experience; and reactions to Impressionism and other more conservative directions of late 19th century painting. František Kupka had painted the Orphist work, Discs of Newton .The Rayist (Luchizm) drawings of Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, used lines like rays of light to make a construction.

The Bauhaus at Weimar, Germany was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable.

The raw language of color as developed by the Fauves directly influenced another pioneer of abstraction Wassily Kandinsky (see illustration). Although Cubism ultimately depends upon subject matter, it became, along with Fauvism, the art movement that directly opened the door to abstraction in the 20th century. The collage artists like Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray and others taking the clue from Cubism were instrumental to the development of the movement called Dada. In 1913 the poet Guillaume Appollinaire named the work of Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Orphism.

The Polish Katarzyna Kobro applied mathematically based ideas to sculpture. Piet Mondrian was evolving his abstract language, of horizontal and vertical lines with rectangles of colour, between 1915 and 1919, Neo-Plasticism was the aesthetic which Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg and other in the group De Stijl intended to reshape the environment of the future.

There is an anything goes attitude that prevails; an everything going on , and consequently nothing going on syndrome; this creates an aesthetic traffic jam with no firm and clear direction and with every lane on the artistic superhighway filled to capacity. With the painting Les Demoiselles d Avignon 1907, Picasso dramatically created a new and radical picture depicting a raw and primitive brothel scene with five prostitutes, violently painted women, reminiscent of African tribal masks and his own new Cubist inventions.

Music provides an example of an art form which uses the abstract elements of sound and divisions of time. Graham and Hans Hofmann became important bridge figures between the newly arrived European Modernists and the younger American artists coming of age.

He defined it as, the art of painting new structures out of elements that have not been borrowed from the visual sphere, but had been created entirely by the is a pure art. Wassily Kandinsky, himself a musician, was inspired by the possibility of marks and associative color resounding in the soul.

He went abroad in May and came back determined to rival the almanac Der Blaue Reiter which had emerged from the printers while he was in Germany . By 1911 many experimental works in the search for this pure art had been created. Even art that aims for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representation is likely to be exceedingly elusive.

Paul CĂ©zanne had begun as an Impressionist but his aim - to make a logical construction of reality based on a view from a single point , with modulated colour in flat areas - became the basis of a new visual art, later to be developed into Cubism by George Braque, Pablo Picasso. Expressionist painters explored the bold use of paint surface, drawing distortions and exaggerations, and intense color. Patronage from the church diminished and private patronage from the public became more capable of providing a livelihood for artists. Early intimations of a new art had been made by James McNeill Whistler who, in his painting Nocturne in Black and Gold: The falling Rocket, (1872), placed greater emphasis on visual sensation than the depiction of objects.

The art galleries that primarily had focused on European art began to notice the local art community and the work of younger American artists who had begun to mature. The many types of abstraction now in close proximity led to attempts by artists to analyse the various conceptual and aesthetic groupings.

In 1937 an exhibition of degenerate art, Entartete Kunst contained all types of avant-garde art disapproved of by the Nazi party. The idea had been put forward by Charles Baudelaire, that all our senses respond to various stimuli but the senses are connected at a deeper aesthetic level. Closely related to this, is the idea that art has The spiritual dimension and can transcend every-day experience, reaching a spiritual plane.

Another of the Suprematist group Liubov Popova, created the Architectonic Constructions and Spatial Force Constructions between 1916 and 1921. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract.

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Abstract art, nonfigurative art, nonobjective art, and nonrepresentational art are loosely related terms. The poetic, Lyrical Abstraction and the sensuous use of color seen in the work of painters as diverse as Robert Motherwell, Patrick Heron, Kenneth Noland, Sam Francis, Cy Twombly, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, among others. There was a resurgence after the war and into the 1950s of the figurative, as Neo-Dada, Fluxus, Conceptual Art, Neo-expressionism, Installation art, Performance Art, Video Art and Pop art have come to signify the age of consumerism.

It is at this level of visual meaning that abstract art communicates. The universal and timeless shapes found in Geometry: the circle, square and triangle become the spacial elements in abstract art; they are, like color, fundamental systems underlying visible reality. Many of the abstract artists in Russia became Constructivists believing that art was no longer something remote, but life itself.

Some artists of the period defied categorization, such as Georgia O Keeffe who, while a modernist abstractionist, was a pure maverick in that she painted highly abstract forms while not joining any specific group of the period. Since the turn of the century cultural connections between artists of the major European and American cities had become extremely active as they strove to create an art form equal to the high aspirations of Modernism. Many of those who were hostile to the materialist production idea of art left Russia.

Among the teachers were Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Johannes Itten, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Theo van Doesburg and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. 10 Theo van Doesburg Counter-Composition V .

With his expressive use of color and his free and imaginative drawing Henri Matisse comes very close to pure abstraction in French Window at Collioure, (1914), View of Notre-Dame, (1914), and The Yellow Curtain from 1915. The following extract from, The World Backwards , gives some impression of the inter-connectedness of culture at the time: David Burliuk s knowledge of modern art movements must have been extremely up-to-date, for the second Knave of Diamonds exhibition, held in January 1912 (in Moscow) included not only paintings sent from Munich, but some members of the German Die BrĂĽcke group, while from Paris came work by Robert Delaunay, Henri Matisse and Fernand LĂ©ger, as well as Picasso.

The philosophy underlying the teaching program was unity of all the visual and plastic arts from architecture and painting to weaving and stained glass. New York City became the center, and artists worldwide gravitated towards it; from other places in America as well. At the beginning of the 21st century abstraction, abstract art, contemporary painting and contemporary art in general continues in several contiguous modes, characterized by the idea of pluralism.

The distinction between abstract and figurative art has, over the last twenty years, become less defined leaving a wider range of ideas for all artists . Barnett Newman, Onement1 Fernand Leger 1919, Railway Crossing Piet Mondrian, Composition No. Paul Klee went to Switzerland but many of the artists at the Bauhaus went to America. During the 1930s Paris became the host to artists from Russia, Germany, Holland and other European countries affected by the rise of totalitarianism.

At the beginning of the 20th century Henri Matisse and several other young artists including the pre-cubist Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck revolutionized the Paris art world with wild , multi-colored, expressive, landscapes and figure paintings that the critics called Fauvism. By the mid-1920s the revolutionary period (1917 to 1921) when artists had been free to experiment was over; and by the 1930s only social realist art was allowed.

While during the 1940s Arshile Gorky s and Willem de Kooning s figurative work evolved into abstraction by the end of the decade. Anton Pevsner went to France, Gabo went first to Berlin, then to England and finally to America.

Abstraction exists along a continuum. Kasimir Malevich completed his first entirely abstract work, the Suprematist, Black Square , in 1915.

The heritage of painters like Van Gogh, CĂ©zanne, Gauguin, and Seurat was essential for the development of modern art. On the other side stood Kazimir Malevich, Anton Pevsner and Naum Gabo.

They argued that art was essentially a spiritual activity; to create the individual s place in the world, not to organise life in a practical, materialistic sense. The Expressionists also drastically changed the emphasis on subject matter in favor of the portrayal of psychological states of being.

In 1925 the school was moved to Dessau and, as the Nazi party gained control in 1932, The Bauhaus was closed. An objective interest in what is seen, can be discerned from the paintings of John Constable, J M W Turner, Camille Corot and from them to the Impressionists who continued the plein air painting of the Barbizon school.

This philosophy had grown from the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement in England and the Deutsche Werkbund. Synthetic cubism is characterized by the introduction of different textures, surfaces, collage elements, papier collé and a large variety of merged subject matter.

Kandinsky studied in Moscow then left for the Bauhaus. Analytic cubism, the first clear manifestation of cubism, was followed by Synthetic cubism, practised by Braque, Picasso, Fernand LĂ©ger, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp and countless other artists into the 1920s.

They are similar, although perhaps not of identical meaning. Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. Sophie Tauber and Jean Arp collaborated on paintings and sculpture using organic/geometric forms.

Ideas were able to cross-fertilize by means of artists books, exhibitions and manifestos so that many sources were open to experimentation and discussion, and formed a basis for a diversity of modes of abstraction. By the early 1940s the main movements in modern art, expressionism, cubism, abstraction, surrealism, and dada were represented in New York: Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Jacques Lipchitz, Max Ernst, André Breton, were just a few of the exiled Europeans who arrived in New York.

The Theosophical Society popularised the ancient wisdom of the sacred books of India, China in the early years of the century. In geometric abstraction, for instance, one is unlikely to find references to naturalistic entities.

In New York City there was an atmosphere which encouraged discussion and there was new opportunity for learning and growing. Artists and teachers John D.

Pablo Picasso made his first cubist paintings based on CĂ©zanne s idea that all depiction of nature can be reduced to three solids: cube, sphere and cone. Art as Object as seen in the Minimalist sculpture of Donald Judd and the paintings of Frank Stella are still seen today in newer permutations.

The rich cultural influences brought by the European artists were distilled and built upon by local New York painters. Artistic independence for artists was advanced during the 19th century.

In Italy the futurism, mixed with Bauhaus influence, led the way to an abstract art with a distinct warm colour palette such as in the works of Manlio Rho and Mario Radice. Some approaches towards abstract art drew connections to music. The crisis in painting and current art and current art criticism today is brought about by pluralism.

Among the very numerous art movements that embody partial abstraction would be for instance fauvism in which color is conspicuously and deliberately altered vis-a-vis reality, and cubism, which blatantly alters the forms of the real life entities depicted. Much of the art of earliest peoples – signs and marks on pottery, textiles, and inscriptions and paintings on rock – were simple, geometric and linear forms which might reveal a symbolic or decorative purpose. Then the exodus began: not just from the Bauhaus but from Europe in general; to Paris, London and America.

The expressionistic gesture and the act of painting itself, became of primary importance to Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline.