#

What is the perfect abstract art definition? When someone asks “What is abstract art?” what is your response? Are you too baffled and amazed by the ecstasy of abstraction? Is abstraction anywhere related to creativity or is it just another vague attempt to define art? Unfolding some of the stunning and never talked before elements related to this mysterious form of art known as abstract.

Abstraction, as per Google means ‘the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events’. Another definition is ‘freedom from representational qualities in art’.

Both of the above-stated definitions are good enough, but the first one is more related to art even though the latter one directly talks about art. So, what is abstract art painting?

Origin of abstract art: A Brief Intro

It was the starting of Industrial revolution that actually changed art and its perception as we know. Pre-20th century was the era of representational art. It means artists used to create paintings that reflected the objects directly associated with real life. The themes were either based on the historical events, great wars, religious epics, portrays of illustrious personalities, the depiction of the landscapes, etc.

Art was limited to the elite section of society and the artists were only called upon when an eminent personality wanted some work. Industrial revolution turned the wheel of fortune for the artists and the art world both.

A new segment of people emerged in the Industrial revolution; the middle class. People in this particular section were the free-thinkers who didn’t like to be trapped by the conventional thinking and traditional ideas. Artists in this era slowly realized that their imagination is being chained and there is an urgent requirement to come out of the academic style of art. 

The transition took a century almost, but by the 19th century (mid), a new form of art started to appear. This style focused more on the artistry and the elements of the work rather than what it visually offers.

Modernism paved the path for a beautiful, progressive, innovative, and mystical form of art, we all know as abstract.

The art movements like cubism, fauvism, impressionism, and post-impressionism were just the trailer of what was about to come. Initially, artists started slowly, bit by bit. The first attempt was to move an inch away from the realism by making paintings with translucent visuals. It was logical too. I mean if the artists would have suddenly from traditional style to abstract, it would have been too sophisticated for the world to digest and accept.

Artists first took nature as the beginning point and then steadily moved towards the radicalization of abstraction by drawing unrecognizable objects. Therefore, two types of abstract art came into existence:

  • Abstract paintings that have natural styles as a foundation
  • Artworks that are all-in-all abstract

What is abstract art?

Some say abstract art is a bit doozy, while other define this art form as vague and too clumsy. These are the people (without any offense) who are still hammered by the thoughts of the traditional standards. Just look at this world famous painting, named as ‘The Black Square’ from a prominent artist, Kazimir Malevich. 

What is abstract art?

“The Black Square.”

Courtesy: Wikipedia

This an epitome of abstract paintings. With extreme precision and deep genius, Malevich produced this piece that reflects subjective interpretations.

Speaking layman, abstract art is all about the speech of form, colours, shapes, lines, dots, etc, that carry a subtle and coded meaning of life. An abstract artist makes sure to bring down the simplest expression of emotion and the real world through unstructured compositions, vague strokes of the brush, and innovative utilization of colours.

There are many disagreements regarding abstract art. People who do not comprehend with abstraction label it as a lazy attempt to create something that can be anything. In reality, abstract art is something that is different from something else. Confusing huh? 

I understand, abstraction speaks a lot about artists’ vision and still say nothing. Generally, a newbie or a traditionalist think either of two things “This is way beyond my apprehension/I am not intellectually empowered to understand this artwork” or “Even a 5 year old can throw brush on canvas making non-structured shapes and patterns”. Both of the thoughts are quite justified, however, none are close to what abstract art is.

New needs need new techniques. And the modern artists have found new ways and new means of making their statements ... the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture.”

Jackson Pollock

Abstract art means to evoke emotions out of the observer through the courageous, vivacious, and ferocious shades of geometric lines, disoriented patterns, intentional gaps, and complex representations of the colours.

Rejecting the academic style of paintings, artists of the modern era slowly progressed and eventually came out with the majestic form of abstraction. If you want to understand abstract art, simply forget everything you know about conventional art or representational style. 

You need to be extremely patient and liberal in your thoughts, you require to free your mind from all sorts of arguments that tell you that art should be beautiful and easily interpretive. No, art shouldn’t be.

What the abstraction movement did to perspective of people was it completely weed off the concept that art should be aesthetic and relatable. Art cannot be enslaved by guidelines and traditions. Of all human history, art is the only element that has successfully crossed thousands of years and is still loved by everyone. You know why? Because art never had boundaries and limits. Art is an expression and abstract paintings are the ‘real art’ if that’s the correct and the more precise way of saying so.

Abstract art tells us that human mind is full of creativity and our heart is filled with emotions and when we fuse these two without any rules, we can create something vague and unclear that could beautifully screen our feelings on the canvas. Abstraction is confusing, but it is not meaningless. You require special tips to unfold the characteristics of abstract art by peeling off one layer at a time.

Let us see how abstract art can be comprehended.

The art of getting Abstraction

Life is full of mysterious things; the way we think, the way we react, the way we see and perceive things, everything is just so amazing and yet not fully comprehensible at the same time.

Being an art lover, I know what I am saying. You may have experienced it too.

You are standing in front of a painting gazing at the enhancing appeal and still not able to understand what it means. Yes, it does happen a lot.

That small details in the artwork, be it the little space left in the crowd of colours or the spooky representation of dim light that is peeking outside the corner of a blurry mountain, or a geometric precision that nullifies the effect of reality, may captivate your interest in an abstract painting. 

The abstract art definition is again and again revamped and yet it is the simplest form of art that doesn’t need a translation. You heard that right, abstract art is so simple.

Then what is it that stops us to really get a grip on what this art form really is? It is the years of perception that is filled in our head through books, verbal discussions, and a typical assumption that art needs to relate with people. Of course, art should connect with people but what’s not mention is that there is only one way to reach people’s heart.

Looking at the way people are crazy over abstract art gives you only a hint about what is so thrilling and mesmerising about this amusing form of art. If you have a tickle in your heart, if you become curious in your mind, if you start feeling a flow of sensation in your stomach just like when any famous scientist made a discovery, all this, while observing a painting, you are observing an abstract art.

Here are some insights using which you can use to observe and interpret abstract art paintings in the correct manner:

Nothing to unveil

A lot of people assume and believe that understanding an abstract art painting is quite similar to solving a complex puzzle. Let me tell readers one thing, there is literally no code to crack, no curtains to raise, no box to open, There is no secret all.

Artworks of this style don’t have a meaning nor does it represent any exclusive implication. Abstract artwork is not in any way associated with the conventional art, which circled around storytelling. The origination of abstract was inspired by the idea of boosting creativity, imagination, and engagement level of artists.

Observing an abstract painting offers you an obscured & emotional intimacy and this experience is totally different for people. The artwork that may excite you and fill your heart with blissful feeling may be a representation of dark experience for someone else. It all depends on how an individual has lived his/her life.

So, abstract art is all related to the viewers’ perception and how one looks at it. You will decide whether an abstract art painting is pouring out some meaning or whether it is all about evoking a particular emotion.  

Your visual perspective

Everyone’s view is different in observing and interpreting a perfectly finished piece of abstract painting. Some stay and observe a mesmerizing abstract artwork, while others just pass by it hardly offering any attention.

Abstraction opens up your mind to varied point-of-views that exist about art and how people appreciate or criticize a painting. If you really want to comprehend the real interpretation of abstract art your attention should be on the artwork that generates some emotion out of you. The way you perceive the visual of an artwork depicts a million things about you.

If you would keep looking at the realistic elements of a painting and how well it relates with our lives or mundane routine or nature in terms of aesthetics, you are not even close to understanding abstract painting.

The fact that abstract artists do emphasise on a singular characteristic such as line, texture, colour, shape, value, etc makes this style a visual treat to observers who are seeking emotional outburst and true feelings from an artwork.

No need to stretch it

Take a good look at this majestic creation named as ‘No. 5’ from famous American artist Jackson Pollock.

Abstract art meaning Source: Jackson Pollock

Now, how many seconds did you invested in observing this painting? See, the essence of deciphering the true meaning of an abstract art doesn’t lie in intense observation or a casual effort. It is all about the connection. If a specific piece is able to entice your heart, encapsulating your feelings, it signifies that the artwork is able to evoke emotions out of you.

Hence I would recommend every art aficionado to not necessarily give time to an artwork if the connection is not developed. Like it’s said “If it’s meant to happen, it will”, so goes for your connection. Patience is the key.   

Respect artists’ skills

A lot of people when fails to get the real trait of abstraction, begun to criticise artists. Many go further and tell that even children can create such artworks. If you are one of such people, try to change you see things. 

Instead of hating a painting and its creator because you cannot comprehend with it, you should see what reasons stopped your inclination for that piece of art. You would find that an abstract painting always finds its appreciators and critics, doesn’t matter how popular the artwork is.

Subtle titles

The fashion of naming abstract paintings in nebulous terms is quite prominent. Artists keep such vague names of their artworks because of in-depth embedded meaning in the paintings. The objective of not giving a relatable name is to compel the observers to generate meaning out of the artworks as per their experiences and state-of-mind. So, next time you witness an abstract artwork with a name so indifferent, do not panic.

Wall texts are important

When you are visiting an abstract art gallery, you should definitely go through the information given for art aficionados. Wall texts often indicate the valuable details about artists, going through which can help you prepare well to understand an abstract artwork.

Get touched

You simply cannot expect to understand the real meaning of an abstract painting with millions of other thoughts in your head. Before you explore an exquisite abstract painting, make sure to remove all sort of thoughts from your head, in short, empty your mind.

This way, when you witness an impeccable abstract painting with disoriented brush strokes and unstructured colour compositions, your observation will be filtered and your emotions will be directed stimulated by the artwork’s elements.

The long burning question “What is abstract art” is not right to ask. In fact, let the exquisite abstract art painting raise questions to you. The best abstract art examples tell us that this form of expression is not about the depiction of objects but about the representation of moods of an artist.  

Since we have discussed the in-depth interpretation of this unique style, it’s time we take a walk through several types of abstract art forms:

Types of abstract art

Abstract art is a fantastic portrayal of ambiguity and non-uniformness all mashed up together to excite emotions in the observers’ mind. This said, let’s take a quick look at top styles of abstraction that are trending today:

  • Dimensional
  • Monochrome
  • Gestural
  • Colour blocking
  • Soft focus
  • Graffiti

Best Abstract Art Examples

Revolving around the abstract art definition would offer you the priceless information and insight on abstraction, but to get the real gest, you need to witness some of the majestic pieces that are beautifying and re-defining the art world. These artworks are ideal examples of abstract art and what it is all about. Let’s take a look:

1. Edvard Scott is one of the prominent abstract artists alive today. He has worked with reputed names like Mini Cooper, Graniph, Nokia, Royal festival hall, L’Oreal, etc.

Abstract art examples

Source: edvardscott

2. George Smith is another illustrious abstract art maker of our time who is known to utilize the obvolute lines, text, images and abstract patterns that shapes a rare and fresh perspective. 

Abstract art examples

Source: endeffect

3. Third in the list is the well-known artist Constantine Majrowski who is known to bring the ecstasy of colour, light, designs, and brush strokes on the canvas using oil paints. Obsessed with oil paints, Majrowski spent a good amount of his life analysing the artworks of 17th and 18th century artists. 

Abstract art examples

Source: the ART GALLERY

4. Marta Marce’ is a Spanish artist who is known to exquisitely manage colours, designs, and shades. She is an inspirational figure for all the abstract artists across the world, as she superbly the balance of an artwork by infusing both, the power of thoughts & feelings in the observers’ mind. 

Abstract art examples

Source: martamarce

Final Words

Abstract art is more than just solving the puzzles. It is one of the most unique representations of most subtle human emotions on the canvas. There are no boundaries, no rules. The only thing that exists and rules in abstraction is human’s ability to imagine and create. Next time if you get confused on the meaning of abstraction of if one of your friends ask what abstract art is, refer this blog. For further discussion, reach the comment section. Thanks!