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Home >> Painting Trivia >> Abstract Paintings

Abstract Paintings

Abstract Paintings are those paintings, which do not represent figures in their natural form. It's a non-representational or subjective way of painting. Abstract Painting is a reaction against the concept of art being a true depiction or replication of reality. Regardless of is success as an art form, Abstract Paintings remains one of the most misunderstood of art forms of all times.

Abstract Art- The History

Abstract Paintings have existed in different forms since times immemorial. Any subjective representation of a thing or an idea can be called an Abstract Art. However it is still perceived to be a recent phenomenon. In the turn of the 20th century it was believed that photography would replace paintings as paintings were hardly as accurate as in its depiction as its more technologically advanced cousin.

However Abstract Paintings changed the way reality was perceived and also the function of art was given a new meaning. The French Impressionist Painters along with painters like Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh, were considered to be the first proponents of Abstract paintings. Van Gogh and his innovative modes of expression were seen as the inspiration for Piet Mondrian, the father of Modern Abstract Paintings.

Abstract Paintings- a reaction against realism?

It is believed that the abstract school of art was supposed to be a break from the constricting world of reality; perhaps the grim reality of the post WW II Europe was a trigger for such an art form. Perhaps the Abstract Artists wanted to reach out to their viewers through a world of spirituality. However one thing is for sure, that these artists wanted to create a more “secular” art form, which did not advocate “art for arts sake” but made an earnest appeal for it being more socially motivated.

Abstract Styles

There are primarily three styles of abstract paintings that really stand out, namely

  • Cubism
  • Neoplasticism
  • Abstract Expressionism


this genre follows Cezzane's belief that "Everything in nature takes its form from the sphere, the cone, and the cylinder." An analytical approach is taken to the object and it is represented in geometrical forms. It is supposed to be a backlash to the impressionist emphasis on light and color. The most important painters of this genre are Pablo Picasso, George Braque, Fernand Leger, Francis Picabia, and Roger De La Fresnaye.


this art form is based on the firm belief that art should be representation of absolutes in life, and not depiction of reality. Neoplaticists represented everything in vertical and horizontal lines and in primary colors. So their paintings were a complex web of lines and the only colors used were red, yellow and blue. This movement started in 1910 and two main painters of this genre is Peit Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg.

Abstract Expressionism

a spontaneous expression of ones personality is what we know as Abstract Expressionism. They are a study on brushstrokes and colors rather than object and theme. The strokes and choice of colors are supposed to give us insight into the artist's minds and help us get a drift of his experiences. These paintings show paint, texture and movement of artist. Some important painters of this genre are Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Adophn Gottieb, and Jean Debuffet.

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