• $ (USD)
  • Need some help

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

Read more
Refine your search

Saved search

Your search is accessible from the favorites tab > My favorite searches

Unsaved search

A problem occurred

Ronald Hunter, Original Yellow Panels XL, Painting

Ronald Hunter

Original Yellow Panels XL, 2021
90 x 180 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,238

Fred Boutet, Midtown, Painting

Fred Boutet

Midtown, 2021
81 x 130 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$1,197

Nathanael Koffi, It feel like acid rain, Painting

Nathanael Koffi

It feel like acid rain, 2021
73 x 100 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$2,154

Jonathan Pradillon, Grand Fondu Bleu Iridescent, Painting

Jonathan Pradillon

Grand Fondu Bleu Iridescent, 2021
80 x 60 x 1.6 cm
Painting

$287

Our recommendations Pierre Alechinsky, 5 février 1999, Painting

Pierre Alechinsky

5 février 1999, 1999
93 x 71 x 0.1 cm
Painting

$41,879

Hersk, Missing 1, Painting

Hersk

Missing 1, 2021
80 x 80 x 5 cm
Painting

< $ 2,500

Aykaz Arzumanyan, Rose 487, Painting

Aykaz Arzumanyan

Rose 487, 2020
55 x 46 x 3 cm
Painting

$957

Brian Bartlett, Blue Yonder, Painting

Brian Bartlett

Blue Yonder, 2021
90 x 120 x 4 cm
Painting

$2,090

Sergiusz Powalka, Black pond under Rysy Mountain. A sunset, Painting

Sergiusz Powalka

Black pond under Rysy Mountain. A sunset, 2021
50 x 50 cm
Painting

$718

Rita Vandenherrewegen, Un souffle leger, Painting

Rita Vandenherrewegen

Un souffle leger, 2021
32 x 32 x 2 cm
Painting

$420 $467

Pierre Fillastre, N646, Painting

Pierre Fillastre

N646, 2021
30 x 30 cm
Painting

$287

Françoise Dugourd-Caput, Equatorial, Painting

Françoise Dugourd-Caput

Equatorial, 2009
40 x 40 cm
Painting

$479

Céline Weber, Amazonite, Painting

Céline Weber

Amazonite, 2021
120 x 120 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,197

Âme Sauvage, Mélange des genres, Painting

Âme Sauvage

Mélange des genres, 2021
60 x 73 x 2 cm
Painting

$778

Ian Lawrence, Eruption, Painting

Ian Lawrence

Eruption, 2021
30 x 30 x 4 cm
Painting

$690

Monika Rossa, Abstraction 1, Painting

Monika Rossa

Abstraction 1, 2021
150 x 114 cm
Painting

$2,393

Maryse Chatron Kriloff, Bleuitude, Painting

Maryse Chatron Kriloff

Bleuitude, 2021
80 x 100 cm
Painting

$2,094

Michel Castanet (Mica), N803, Painting

Michel Castanet (Mica)

N803, 2021
80 x 80 cm
Painting

$2,393

Richard Gower, So! Passing ships, the graffiti wall, Painting

Richard Gower

So! Passing ships, the graffiti wall, 2021
120 x 90 x 2 cm
Painting

$3,616

Bze Bzeland, Utopie, Painting

Bze Bzeland

Utopie, 2021
42 x 29.7 cm
Painting

$299

Nikolaos Schizas, Fluor Love, Painting

Nikolaos Schizas

Fluor Love, 2021
87 x 63 cm
Painting

$1,951

Marta Zawadzka, White rhythm, Painting

Marta Zawadzka

White rhythm, 2021
90 x 90 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,273

Poonam Choudhary, Conquer the bad with the good, Painting

Poonam Choudhary

Conquer the bad with the good, 2021
61 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm
Painting

$680

Sophie Jourdain de Thieulloy, Souffle - série Abstraction lyrique, Painting

Sophie Jourdain de Thieulloy

Souffle - série Abstraction lyrique, 2021
65 x 81 x 2 cm
Painting

$897

Christine Barth Mroz, Urban graffitis, Painting

Christine Barth Mroz

Urban graffitis, 2021
120 x 80 cm
Painting

$2,273

Florian Lou, Amerzona, Painting

Florian Lou

Amerzona, 2021
38 x 55 cm
Painting

$1,675

Macha Poynder, Labors of Love, Painting

Macha Poynder

Labors of Love, 2020
112 x 111 cm
Painting

$7,244

Alec Franco, Opra, Painting

Alec Franco

Opra, 2021
150 x 100 x 0.3 cm
Painting

$1,700

Michael Grine, Have we met before?, Painting

Michael Grine

Have we met before?, 2021
30.5 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Painting

$100

Thierry Zdzieblo, ZDZ1131, Painting

Thierry Zdzieblo

ZDZ1131, 2021
70 x 160 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,872

Dominique Bour, Orée lol - série Paysage abstrait, Painting

Dominique Bour

Orée lol - série Paysage abstrait, 2020
100 x 100 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,795

Sara Jaskiewicz, Rings 27, Painting

Sara Jaskiewicz

Rings 27, 2010
100 x 100 cm
Painting

$1,795

Yichao Sun, Under the rainbow, Painting

Yichao Sun

Under the rainbow, 2021
100 x 100 x 2 cm
Painting

$6,581

Dominique Heitz, Acidulés, Painting

Dominique Heitz

Acidulés, 2021
50 x 100 cm
Painting

$1,173

Irene Nelson, Untitled Red, Painting

Irene Nelson

Untitled Red, 2019
61 x 51 cm
Painting

$1,324

Mireille Hottinger, N3-09-21, Painting

Mireille Hottinger

N3-09-21, 2021
20 x 20 cm
Painting

$335

JP Vergnaud, Sans titre 5, Painting

JP Vergnaud

Sans titre 5, 2021
130 x 97 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,424

Klaudia Lata, Untitled, Painting

Klaudia Lata

Untitled, 2021
150 x 200 cm
Painting

$3,470

Francine Cordier, Entre elles - série Silhouette de femmes, Painting

Francine Cordier

Entre elles - série Silhouette de femmes, 2021
80 x 80 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,567

Annie Becco, Terres du sud, Painting

Annie Becco

Terres du sud, 2021
80 x 80 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,154

Ralph Resch, Grand prix, Painting

Ralph Resch

Grand prix, 2021
116 x 89 x 3 cm
Painting

$1,256

Louis Gagez, Sans titre - série Paysage abstrait, Painting

Louis Gagez

Sans titre - série Paysage abstrait, 2020
50 x 70 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,197

Russell Frampton, Almach Andromadae Disc, Painting

Russell Frampton

Almach Andromadae Disc, 2021
86 x 86 x 2 cm
Painting

$5,016

Marianne Lefevre, A long long way to roam, Painting

Marianne Lefevre

A long long way to roam, 2021
30 x 90 x 2 cm
Painting

$706

Angelo Donadoni, Postumi, Painting

Angelo Donadoni

Postumi, 1990
68 x 77 x 1 cm
Painting

$1,078

Meteo Meteo, Sans titre, Painting

Meteo Meteo

Sans titre, 2021
14.5 x 10.5 x 0.1 cm
Painting

$54

Grégory Gérard, Les profondeurs, Painting

Grégory Gérard

Les profondeurs, 2021
61 x 50 x 2 cm
Painting

$485 $538

Marie-Dominique Willemot, Bouquet Final, Painting

Marie-Dominique Willemot

Bouquet Final, 2021
30 x 30 cm
Painting

$455

Antoine De Tyssandier, Ukiyo, Painting

Antoine De Tyssandier

Ukiyo, 2020
130 x 97 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,711

Cédric Villedieu, Damier - Série abstraction géométrique, Painting

Cédric Villedieu

Damier - Série abstraction géométrique, 2020
65 x 50 x 1 cm
Painting

$598

Miguel Cadiergues, Où suis-je ? 2, Painting

Miguel Cadiergues

Où suis-je ? 2, 2021
61 x 50 cm
Painting

$550

Gil Lepage, N133, Painting

Gil Lepage

N133, 2008
60 x 73 cm
Painting

$2,106

Kyong Lee, Emotional color chart 147, Painting

Kyong Lee

Emotional color chart 147, 2021
70 x 30 cm
Painting

$1,045

Rodica Anesia, Mer déchainée, Painting

Rodica Anesia

Mer déchainée, 2021
20 x 20 cm
Painting

$335

Daniela Pasqualini, Bright Love, Painting

Daniela Pasqualini

Bright Love, 2021
30.5 x 30.5 x 3.8 cm
Painting

$500

Joëlle Michenet, Ailleurs, Painting

Joëlle Michenet

Ailleurs, 2021
100 x 100 cm
Painting

$2,704

Nat Stresser, Préciosa, Painting

Nat Stresser

Préciosa, 2021
116 x 178 cm
Painting

$5,025

Alessandra Bisi, September, Painting

Alessandra Bisi

September, 2021
40 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Painting

$299

Philippe Venin-Bernard, 30E4, Painting

Philippe Venin-Bernard

30E4, 1991
30 x 30 x 4 cm
Painting

$646 $718

Lounys, Cerveaux non disponibles, Painting

Lounys

Cerveaux non disponibles, 2021
100 x 100 x 3 cm
Painting

$3,291

Patrick Déziel, Lune miel à Rio, Painting

Patrick Déziel

Lune miel à Rio, 2021
91 x 91 x 4 cm
Painting

$1,675

Stephanie Rivet, Que la fête commence!, Painting

Stephanie Rivet

Que la fête commence!, 2021
91 x 91 x 4 cm
Painting

$1,795

Gor Avetisyan, Enjoy the glamorous evening spirit, Painting

Gor Avetisyan

Enjoy the glamorous evening spirit, 2003
45 x 95 x 2 cm
Painting

$945

Safia Wosth, Pop 3, Painting

Safia Wosth

Pop 3, 2021
50 x 60 x 2 cm
Painting

$144

Not feeling very inspired? Get your personalised selection today