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In 1910, Wassily Kandinsky became a pioneer of abstract art, a style where formal elements take precedence over any representation of reality. He was one of the first artists to place colour at the centre of his work. He carefully considered the symbolic meaning of different hues, for Kandinsky blue inspired peace, green was synonymous with stillness, red was representative of warmth and black signified the eternal silence. Kandinsky inspired the discovery of a new expression through uncharted territories and, along with Malevich and Mondrian, invented abstract art.

Inspired by the legacy of constructivism, and opposed to realism, these artists established a new approach to abstraction. Through the use of geometrical shapes, they explored artistic purity and simplification. Their canvases were characterised by squares, circles, rectangles and triangles.

Sonia Delaunay sought after simultaneous contrasts through the juxtaposition of geometric shapes and colours. Kazimir Malevich launched suprematism and played with geometric monochrome shapes on canvases. Victor Vasarely cleverly used shapes and colour, especially gradients, to create impressive optical illusions.

In contemporary art, the repetition of patterns is one of Yayoi Kusama's signature styles and Claude Viallat reproduces patterns obsessively. Julio Le Parc and Carlos Cruz Diez are among the pioneers of kinetic art and op-art, and more recently, Georges Rousse drew inspiration from Malevich for his work in photography with geometric anamorphs.

The gallerist's role was decisive in introducing this art and new artists to the general public, especially in France. For instance, the renowned gallerist Denise René supported Op-Art artists such as Vasarely after the Second World War. Today, galleries continue to play an essential role: The Perrotin gallery represents the great Venezuelan artist Jesus-Rafael Soto and the Gimpel & Müller gallery pays tribute to both famous and emerging contemporary artists such as Cruz-Diez while also giving continuing visibility to modern artist like Léon Zack or Guy de Lussigny.

In Artsper's selection of geometric art, discover the artists who developed this style, working in a number of different movements including cubism, kinetic art and optical art. You'll also be able to explore the work of many contemporary artists who continue to be fascinated by the possibilities offered by manipulating colours and shapes.

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