A trend in painting and sculpture in the twentieth century. Abstract art seeks to break away from traditional representation of physical objects. It explores the relationships of forms and colors, whereas more traditional art represents the world in recognizable images.
Words nearby abstract art
MORE ABOUT ABSTRACT ART
What is abstract art?
Abstract art is art that doesn’t use recognizable depictions of physical objects. Instead, it uses colors, lines, and shapes to express its message.
When you think of art, you might think of a painting of a person like the Mona Lisa, a painting of a landscape, or a sculpture of a person. Abstract art doesn’t depict actual objects or physical locations. It more closely resembles a collection of colors, lines, and shapes used to represent objects or emotions.
As a formal style of art, abstract art is usually considered to have emerged in the early 1900s in the work of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Herni Matisse. These artists used colors, forms, and shapes to represent complicated things like emotions and human spirituality. In the 1950s, artists, particularly painters, would use colors and brushstrokes to represent intense emotions, like anger and love. Abstract artists from this period include Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
Today, you are likely to see examples of abstract art in many museums and art galleries. It can be difficult to describe, but if you see a painting or sculpture that seems to be “random colors” or “a bunch of shapes,” it is most likely abstract art.
Why is abstract art important?
The phrase “abstract art” was used as early as the 1860s to describe different works of art. It combines the word abstract, which describes something that is not part of physical reality, and the word art, a complex word that refers to creative expression and aesthetic beauty. Abstract art expresses itself through colors and forms rather than actual depictions of reality.
Abstract art often faces passionate criticism unique to it. Many people who don’t have an artistic background or have only a passing interest in art consider abstract art not to be art at all or to be an artform that requires no skill or talent. While actual artists and art critics wouldn’t agree with these beliefs, abstract artists have had a wide range of opinions and thoughts on what abstract art even is.
Did you know … ?
In 2011, two psychologists performed an experiment to see if art students and people with no art experience could tell the difference between abstract art created by respected artists and finger paintings created by children and animals. Participants were right 60–70% of the time and often preferred the actual abstract art even when both choices were said to be made by respected artists.
What are real-life examples of abstract art?
Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock is an example of abstract art.
Abstract art is often memorable and sometimes baffling to many people.
I love abstract art…it makes me think
— Mack. (@_tevindevon_) May 5, 2012
Abstract art is so confusing. #scratchingmyhead
— Garrett Watson (@ArgyleLongJohns) June 21, 2012
True or False?
Abstract art doesn’t use recognizable depictions of physical objects.
How to use abstract art in a sentence
The pulps brought new readers to serious fiction, making it less intimidating with alluring art and low prices.
Cold War fears could be manipulated through misleading art to attract readers to daunting material.
These matters are not mere threats to abstract constitutional principles.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Do you think that as we get older our thoughts shift to the more abstract, the music, than the definite, the lyrics?
In “Steal This Episode,” the filmmaker denounces Homer Simpson as an “enemy of art.”Here’s the Lost Judd Apatow ‘Simpsons’ Episode, Penned by Judd Apatow|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Woman is mistress of the art of completely embittering the life of the person on whom she depends.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
Many of these have been seen in the Corcoran Art Gallery and in other public exhibitions.
Adequate conception of the extent, the variety, the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
So it commands the other sciences in all the wonderful and hidden things of nature and art (pp. 510-511).The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II)|Henry Osborn Taylor
While residing in Brussels these two artists began to collect works of art for what is now known as the Mesdag Museum.