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Abstract Painting

Abstract painting is a form of expression which contrasts with representational art, where capturing the likeness of the subject is presented as the artist's ultimate objective. Abstract painting is in fact the very opposite of figurative art. Even if we are not able to understand the meaning behind an abstract work without additional information, it can nonetheless succeed in conveying a sense of emotion and feeling.

We tend to associate the birth of abstraction with the artist Wassily Kandinsky and the artistic revolution he initiated during the 20th century. As one of the movement's pioneers, he was at the forefront of the breakaway from representational art along with Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian and Kupka. Kandinsky not only shared his views on abstraction through his art but also in his written work. In 1910 he published his book “Concerning the Spiritual in Art" in which he defended the symbolic importance of each of the elements present in painting and which gave each artwork a spiritual dimension. In the same year, he unveiled his first abstract piece, entitled “Abstract watercolour". Abstract art was born. Figurativism had been left to one side in favour of a new movement where artists dealt directly with the intangible and immaterial, without explicitly identifying a subject matter. Several sub-genres started to emerge. Kazimir Malevich became known for his legendary 1915 painting “Black Square", followed by “White on White" in 1918, with which he laid the foundations for Suprematism. Malevich believed that a painting was composed of an ensemble of independent forces which could evolve together in the order to find a sense of harmony and equilibrium within the work. Abstraction can also take on a more lyrical form, especially when accompanied by music. Kandinsky's the “Picture with the Black Arch" is an excellent example of this. The large-scale painting was painted in 1912 and is seen as a marking the turning point for a new era in the history of art.

As well as his work on the composition of shapes and colours, Kandinsky had synesthesia. His condition can be seen as a decisive factor in triggering the artist's desire to create a new artistic language. His senses intertwined and became one, transforming sounds into shapes and colours. Kandinsky's use of colour is much more than a question of aesthetics; it was inherent to the way he perceived the world. In this abstract painting, each colour has been carefully chosen and is filled with symbolic meaning. In his abstract two-dimensional painting, Kandinsky succeeds in ensuring that the spectator can feel and hear an entire orchestra playing a Wagner opera.

Geometric abstraction both stems from and contrasts with lyrical abstraction, which geometric abstract artists summarised as “abstract landscaping". As its name suggests, this new form of abstraction is centred around the use of geometric shapes to create a sense of purity in the painting. Lines, squares, triangles and circles all collide with the use of bold, block colours on a two-dimensional surface. Kupka was one of the movement's leading figures but nonetheless did not want to be associated with it, believing that art should be the very opposite of abstract; it should be concrete and real. Alongside him, Mondrian laid the foundations for geometric abstraction with his characteristic use of neat shapes and rectangles. The artist developed his unique style by structuring his paintings around an underlying orthogonal grid and using sharp right angles.

And last but not least, it is important to remember the influence that both Robert and Sonia Delaunay had on the development of abstraction. The couple seduced the French critic and poet Guillaume Apollinaire with their circular shapes and use of colour. Apollinaire christened their art Orphism, a reference to the mythological Greek figure Orpheus as well as to the title of one of his own poems, which he felt was reminiscent of the 'luminous language' conveyed in their paintings. In this regard, Orphism seems to have more in common with lyrical rather than geometric abstraction.

Although abstract art marked a decisive break from prior artistic traditions, the movement can also be seen as the inevitable and logical result of the work and thinking of previous artists. At the start of the century the Fauvist movement explored the importance of colour, whilst the Cubists started to deconstruct shapes and play with geometry. In a similar way, German Expressionism, which was born in 1905, encouraged the idea that independent emotions, detached from reality, should be the focus of an artist's work. Thanks to abstraction, modern art has been able to excel and reach its very peak. By no longer focusing on physical subjects, artists are no longer limited to representing recognisable reality. Abstract art has a universal language to share and convey. Since its beginnings, abstraction has been significantly shared across the world and has contributed a great deal to contemporary thinking today.



Collector’s Guide: Collecting Paintings

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price,500 facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Oeuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Werke von Bestseller-Künstlern|icon-bestsellers*werke-von-kunstlern-bestseller facet,10503*Obras de los artistas más vendidos|icon-bestsellers*obras-de-los-artistas-mas-vendidos price,1001:5000 price,501:1000 facet,10500*Young Talents|icon-youngtalents*youngtalents facet,10500*Obras de artistas emergentes|icon-youngtalents*obras-de-artistas-emergentes facet,10500*Werke aufstrebender Künstler|icon-youngtalents*werke-von-jungen-kunstlern facet,10500*Oeuvres d'artistes émergents|icon-youngtalents*jeunes-talents category,6*Peinture*peinture category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Gemälde*gemalde category,6*Pintura*pintura facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*unsere Empfehlungen|icon-recommendations*unsere-empfehlungen facet,8259*Nuestras recomendaciones|icon-recommendations*nuestras-recomendaciones facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*moyen facet,1629*Abstraite*abstraite facet,1629*abstrakt*abstrakt facet,1629*Abstract*abstract facet,1629*abstracto*abstracto facet,10497*Werke berühmter Künstler|icon-masterpieces*werke-beruhmter-kunstler facet,10497*Obras de artistas famosos|icon-masterpieces*obras-de-artistas-famosos facet,10497*Oeuvres d'artistes célèbres|icon-masterpieces*artistes-celebres facet,10497*Artworks by famous artists|icon-masterpieces*masterpieces facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*grand facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulptur*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografie*fotografie category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos price,1000:501 facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Print*print category,15*Druck*editionen category,15*Edición*edicion category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Zeichnung*zeichnung category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Etchleben*etchleben facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Tier*tier facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro price,50001 facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura price,5001:10000 facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,1692*Géométrique*geometrique facet,1692*Geometric*geometric facet,1692*Geometrisch*geometrisch facet,1692*Geometría*geometria facet,1650*Paysage urbain*paysage-urbain facet,1650*Paisaje urbano*paisaje-urbano facet,1650*Urban Landscape*urban-landscape facet,1650*Städtische Landschaft*stadtische-landschaft facet,1656*Graphic*graphic facet,1656*Graphique*graphique facet,1656*Gráfico*grafico facet,1656*Grafik*grafik price,5000:1001 facet,12*noir|050002*noir facet,12*Black|050002*black facet,12*schwarz|050002*schwarz facet,12*negro|050002*negro price,10001:25000 facet,30*Dark blue|0707BD*dark-blue facet,30*bleu foncé|0707BD*bleu-fonce facet,30*Dunkelblau|0707BD*dunkelblau facet,1833*Carré|square*orientation-carre facet,1833*Square|square*orientation-square facet,1833*Quadrat|square*orientation-platz facet,1833*Cuadrado|square*orientation-cuadrado
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