Tagged: abstract

Famous Abstract Paintings

Abstract paintings are in its purest form and have no identifiable object. It is a visual language that awakens emotions, imagination that feeds the soul. Many famous abstract artists expressed themselves through abstract paintings which paved their way to fame. Through the years, they have different painting techniques and styles that created a whole new world for fine arts. Here are some of the most famous paintings that changed the whole perception of abstract art.

“Composition VIII” (1923) –Composition VIII by Wassily Kandinsky is small oil on canvas painting dating from 1923. This geometric composition communicates to the world through the use of shapes, colors, and lines. It is currently in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

“Black Square” (1915) – “Black Square” is the first “suprematist” work of Malevich. Black Square against white background became the symbol, the basic element in the system of the art of suprematism, the step into the new art. The painting is the ultimate picture of pure abstraction. The artist himself created several variants of the Black Square. All four are different not only the sequence and year of creation, but also the color, design and texture.

black square
Black Square
Kazimir Malevich
Image source: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org


“Number 1” (1948) – Jackson shows how much paint can be “unrestricted, unexpected, uncontrolled” as we see it poured onto a canvas making lines that are assertive, and we also see a complexity of shapes, globs, pools of paint layered one on top of another. Paintings like this are unique because the artist’s actions, strengths, and energy could be reflected in the art.

“Dantrolene” (1994)– This painting is one of the most famous contemporary abstract paintings that could surpass a lot of present art available for sale. Painted by Damien Hirst, the viewers are amazed by the pigments portrayed in the painting. They will search for deeper images that their minds are forced to create. In the end, endless emotions and assumptions will be extrapolated from this painting.

by Damien Hirst
Image source: http://www.mutualart.com

“Les Demoiselles D’Avignon” (1907) – The painting made by Pablo Picasso depicts four women in a brothel that are not fully abstracted. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. This lack of abstraction does not reason the paintings’ exclusion from the list of the most famous abstract paintings.

“Woman I” (1950) – De Kooning described the figurative motif of this painting not as a representation but as a thing slapped on the canvas, liberating him from formal anxieties. The main attraction of the work is the painful and angry image of an abstracted woman, hence the title of the painting. This “woman” is exaggeratedly, absurdly physical and at the same time not there at all, a spewed monster of fantasy, a crude graffito that took two anguished years to paint.

Tips on How to Understand Abstract Art

Interpreting an abstract art doesn’t have to be so complicated. Just like interpreting more realistic paintings, there is no fixed right or wrong way to look at it or understand it. . Here are some tips that you can take into account when viewing abstract art.

Abstract art by Claudie Bastide www.claudiebastide.wordpress.com

Create a connection with the art. The artist has probably carefully considered your role as the viewer of the painting and wants it to speak to you on some level. The connections you make with a piece of abstract art may discover a whole new meaning. Artists are open to hear what different viewers uncover in dialogue with their artwork, even if it’s nowhere near the artist’s original idea. Just the thought of allowing yourself to be taken in by their painting will make them feel satisfied with their art.
Do not try to interpret abstract art by looking at the title given to the work. This will more often than not confuse you even more because you will try to look for the title in the painting instead of looking for the concepts and other more important things that the art can offer. Try not to be influenced by the title then you will see that it is so much easier to understand it, irrespective of what its name suggests.

Abstract art by Brian Potter www.brianjpotter.com
Abstract art by Brian Potter www.brianjpotter.com

Do not let other viewers to influence your interpretation when trying to figure out a piece of abstract art. This may lead you to believe that you do not ‘understand’ abstract art and you’ll try to modify your own interpretation. When seeing a work of abstract art, you have to see what the scene means to you and what emotions it evokes in your mind. It may not be the same as anyone else’s opinion, but this will be your unique interpretation of the work.
See it as more than a single, isolated creation: there must be a context to truly appreciate a work of art. Every painting is created within a particular environment, and if you do not understand that environment, you will never be able to appreciate what the artist has to offer you. This is why, when you study the work of a particular artist, it makes sense to learn something about his life and the culture in which he lived.
Do not focus on physical aspects of the art but instead try to see the energy, the darkness and brightness, and the shower of emotions that these things reflect and you will find that you finally ‘understand’ abstract art. Let your eyes play with the colors of the painting, slipping around the geometry, following the twirls, twists and turns, dipping in and out of the surface.

Image source: www.abstractartistgallery.org

Abstract Art: A Visual Expression of Emotions

Abstract art started in the year 1911 by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). It became a trend in the twentieth century and became famous because it breaks away from traditional representation of physical objects. Either it’s in the form of a canvas painting or a sculpture of different medium, abstract art is a visual language of forms, lines, colors and different shapes to interpret a concept, without necessarily providing a recognizable visual reference point for the viewers. Abstraction later manifested more formal terms, such as color, simple geometric designs and freedom from objective context.

Robert Delaunay - Premier Disque
Robert Delaunay – Premier Disque

The important connection is that abstract art engages and challenges the intellect but it also engages and challenges the emotions. To fully appreciate it, the viewer has to let go of a need to understand what the artist is trying to say and instead tune into their own interpretation and response to the piece.

As an abstract artist, you express yourself in a way that allows your audience to find his own personal response to the work. Many artists, who call their work abstract, actually do have a subject in mind when they paint. You can take a figure or landscape and simplify it, exaggerate it, or stylize it in some way. You can also use nature as a starting point but express it in different forms and shapes. Color, line, and form are more important than the details of the actual subject matter. The idea is you want to give a sense or feel for the subject rather than an exact replication.

Sonia Delaunay - Prisms Electriques (This painting is made extra special by the reference to great swiss/french poet Blaise Cendrars!)
Sonia Delaunay – Prisms Electriques
(This painting is made extra special by the reference to great swiss/french poet Blaise Cendrars!)

Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. May it be partial or complete, abstraction is departure of the image to its representation. Artwork which takes liberties altering for instance, the color and form in ways, are conspicuous and with a sense of continuum, can be said to be partially abstract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable.

In summary, the simplified meaning of abstract art is an art that relies on the emotions and mood of the artist and the elements of design rather than exact representation of a subject. This broad definition allows you as an artist to almost unlimited freedom of ideas and expressions. You can create compositions that have no pattern in nature or any subject. You can also work from nature and then interpret your subjects in a non-objective manner.

Image source: http://www.holidayclubrecordings.co.uk