The art of visualizing the invisible. The art of visualizing feelings, emotions, the essence of what makes us human. That’s what abstract art is all about.
The most accurate definition of abstract art would be this one:
Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.
Source: Tate Modern
In other words, you define abstract art as art where elements from the physical world have no place. That’s why it’s also known as nonobjective art or nonrepresentational art.
The movement of abstract art started in the 19th century. Artists of that era used to be bound to movements like classism and romanticism. In other words, they created art that expressed elements from the physical world. With the new found movement of abstract art artists got a lot more freedom. They were no longer bound by the strains of the physical or visual world and got the opportunity to venture into the spiritual one.
At first this movement was a large pill to swallow. The new style of abstract art was rather out of place in a world dominated by realistic art that was mostly influenced by religion and status. But thanks to great abstract masters such as Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondriaan, two of the founding fathers of this style, we can now enjoy abstract art in all its glory.
However, it was only after the second world war that abstract art started to flourish. It’s rise in the artworld came to a grinding hold between the first and second world war. Thanks to the macabre aftermath of the first world war, emphasis was moved back to surrealism and social-critical realism. It was only in the 1950's that abstract art became an accepted art style.
These days abstract art is one of the most popular styles of art. Some people hate it and ridicule it for being “easy to make”, but most see it for what it is; one the most complex styles found within contemporary art. One artist summed it up quite nicely: “Everybody can create abstract art, but only a few can make it mean something”
If you want to experience the full impact of abstract art, just visit the MoMa in London and pay close attention to the works of Rothko. When you see them in a picture you might think it’s just a coloured canvas. When you see them up close, you will change your mind. Standing in front of Rothko’s immense and powerful works will make you humble.
Currently there are many artists who are creating impactful works in this style. For example, Alberto Reguera, a Spanish abstract artist, creates mesmerizing abstract paintings. Paintings that you can watch for hours on end.
What separates the many from the few is, as mentioned before, the meaning or the message that an artist manages to portrait through his or her work. In other words, only a handful of artists are talented enough to master the delicacies of abstract art and create works that visualize emotions and pure feelings. They can make the invisible visible.
Abstract art cannot be watched; it can only be experienced. There is an abstract painting or print for every art lover. But the question is not what you like, but the question is what do you want to feel? Is it love or joy? Or do you want a more serious or even darker work? Or maybe both? Depending on your mood. The essential step to take when choosing an abstract work of art is to let go of the rational and let your feelings guide you towards that particular work that expresses your inner self best.
From an aesthetic perspective it really depends on the style of your home or room you will expose it in. Do you want to bring some tranquillity into rather busy décor? You might want to go for a lighter, more positive work. Are you going to hang your abstract painting in a rather clean room, you might want to spice things up a little and choose a more expressive one. Again, there is no wrong choice as long as you let your emotions guide you.
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