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Everything You Should Know About Abstract Art with Artchi

January 09 2023 – Dervis Akdemir

Many art-lovers state that they don't like or understand abstract art drawings and even think they are meaningless doodles. But needless to say, abstract art has been an inseparable part of art for over a century. And it is a significant part of contemporary art movements and works in general.

Some say abstractions are the oldest example of art dating back to prehistoric cave paintings. Since then, abstract ideas have dominated various art movements and artists who build their works around this idea. Today, we can see many abstract art forms in exhibitions, fairs, and art auctions. So, what exactly does abstract art mean?

 

 

Abstract Art Definition

Abstraction literally means detracting an idea from a referent. In visual arts, this means shaping an artwork distant from the composition. Artists can divert artwork from reality wholly or partially. As a matter of fact, reflecting reality entirely is impossible. Thus, we can argue that all paintings are abstract in some way.

Total abstraction artworks don't bear any reference to a familiar referential concept. In partial abstraction artworks, artists don't entirely deviate from the concept but only make some prominent colour or shape alterations.

 

 

Abstract art artists

Abstract art dates to the 19th century, and since then, many artists worldwide have embraced and performed under this art movement. The most talented and outstanding abstract art artists and their most famous artworks are:

 

 

  • Wassily Kandinsky - Composition X
  • Piet Mondrian - Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow
  • Joan Miro - Peinture (Etoile Bleue)
  • Ben Nicholson OM
  • Jackson Pollock - Convergence
  • Helen Frankenthaler - Mountains, and Sea
  • Mark Rothko - White Center 
  • Gerhard Richter - Abstract Painting 599,
  • Robert Motherwell - Elegy to the Spanish Republic
  • Cy Twombly - Leda, and the Swan
  • Zao Wou-Ki - Juin-Octobre 1985
  • Chu Teh-Chun - Autumn
  • Christine Ay Tjoe - Small Flies and Other Wings
  • Tomoo Gokita - Scorn

 

 

Basic Abstract Art Principles

 

We can say that abstract art is the aesthetic harmony of contrasts to a certain extent, and perhaps this is the most crucial factor that distinguishes abstract art from random doodles. Although the basis of abstract art is freedom and relatively irregularity, some basic abstract art principles exist. No guide includes them, and whether the artists comply with these rules is unclear. 

 

  • Contrast
  • Balance
  • Pattern
  • Repetition 
  • Emphasis
  • Unity
  • Variety

 

Abstract Art Painting Techniques

Artists can be inspired by existing abstract art prints and paintings, but those who want to master abstract art should learn some abstract art painting techniques.

 

Action Painting

The Abstract Expressionists created action paintings, including drip, splatter, and gestural mark-making. Action painting aims to add physicality and spontaneity to the painting process. Although some might suggest that action painters make art chaotic, the founder of action painting, Jackson Pollock, has said that their work is not chaotic, and instead guided by intuition. Prominent action painters are:

  • Jackson Pollock
  • Willem de Kooning 
  • Franz Kline

 

 

Collage

Any two-dimensional artwork that combines materials onto its surface can be called a collage. Collage combines visual elements to create a new image conveying ideas. Cubists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were the first artists who applied collage in their works. Other abstract art movements like Dadaism and Abstract Expressionism also include collage. Artists can use pictures from newspapers, print advertisements, or fabric and put them on another surface, such as a canvas. Sub genres of collage are:

  • Photomontage
  • Fabric collage
  • Decoupage
  • E-Collage

 

 

Staining

Staining is basically pouring painting tools onto canvas. The main goal is to spread the colour without brush marks or other fragments. Staining dates back to the 1950s when Helen Frankenthaler devised the "soak stain" technique, which involves pouring directly. Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland also adopted staining, which inspired the colour field painting technique.

Fabrication

Fabrication means producing large artworks, usually involving resources absent in an artist's studio. Minimalist artists fabricate large paintings with an art fabrication company with access to special machinery, technologies, and labour. The Minimalists adopted using fabrication as an art technique. Minimalism's main objective is to remove the artist's ego from the artwork.  

Assemblage

Assemblage can be considered the opposite of sculpture, as artists don’t create a form from a carving material. Instead, they combine different elements and materials to create three-dimensional shapes. Robert Rauschenberg used the Assemblage technique and created his famous artworks called "combines."

Printmaking

Printmaking allows artists to make multiple copies of their artworks. A print is a two-dimensional image transferred onto a surface from an organized background in different ways, such as woodcuts, lithography, etching, screen-printing and digital printing. However, some prints are not identical, as some printmaking techniques create inconsistencies due to minor changes in the original plate. 

Relief

The relief technique means sculpting an image from a two-dimensional surface to ensure that the carved image overhangs the surface. Artists may use other materials to create a composite relief, which looks like a relief and collage combination. Frank Stella is the most famous relief artist whose composite relief works are exhibited at the Venet Foundation in France, called the Frank Stella Chapel.

 

All kinds of art are spectacular, delightful, and beautiful. Artwork can be interpreted in many different ways as artists give messages through their paintings, but eventually, every viewer can interpret the scope differently. These different views make art prosperous and pleasurable. Artchi brings together local artists to make them seen with colours and lines. All Artchi abstract art acrylic paintings have their unique story waiting for art lovers to break the seal and enrich.

 

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