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. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time.

Abstract art, nonobjective art, and nonrepresentational art, are loosely related terms. They are of similar, although perhaps not identical meaning. Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be only slight, or it can be partial, or it can be complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum. 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. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable. In geometric abstraction, for instance, one is unlikely to find references to naturalistic entities. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost mutually exclusive. But figurative and representational (or realistic) art often contains partial abstraction. Both Geometric abstraction and Lyrical Abstraction are often totally abstract. 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.

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Page 3 of 57   Paintings: 673
Bottle and Glass I - Juan Gris - www.abstract-arts.org
Bottle and Glass I
Juan Gris
Abstract composition in grey, yellow and black - Eliezer (El) Markowich Lissitzky - www.abstract-arts.org
Abstract composition in grey, yellow and black
Eliezer (El) Markowich Lissitzky
The Last Judgement (detail of a man being eaten by... - Hieronymous Bosch - www.abstract-arts.org
The Last Judgement (detail of a man being eaten by...
Hieronymous Bosch
Dwarf - William Baziotes - www.abstract-arts.org
Dwarf
William Baziotes
Stage set design for the play 'The Magnanimous Cuckold' - Lyubov Popova - www.abstract-arts.org
Stage set design for the play 'The Magnanimous Cuckold'
Lyubov Popova
The Creation of Man, Popol Vuh - Diego Rivera - www.abstract-arts.org
The Creation of Man, Popol Vuh
Diego Rivera
Woman at a Well 1913 - Diego Rivera - www.abstract-arts.org
Woman at a Well 1913
Diego Rivera
Horizontal Volumes - Umberto Boccioni - www.abstract-arts.org
Horizontal Volumes
Umberto Boccioni
A Frog he would a wooing go - Randolph Caldecott - www.abstract-arts.org
A Frog he would a wooing go
Randolph Caldecott
Linear Composition - Lyubov Popova - www.abstract-arts.org
Linear Composition
Lyubov Popova
Dynamism of the Body, 1913 - Umberto Boccioni - www.abstract-arts.org
Dynamism of the Body, 1913
Umberto Boccioni
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration May 1902 - Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh - www.abstract-arts.org
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration May 1902
Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh

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Page 3 of 57   Paintings: 673