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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*Oeuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|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,501:1000 price,1001:5000 facet,10500*Oeuvres d'artistes émergents|icon-youngtalents*jeunes-talents 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 category,6*Peinture*peinture category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Pintura*pintura category,6*Gemälde*gemalde facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*unsere Empfehlungen|icon-recommendations*unsere-empfehlungen facet,8259*Nuestras recomendaciones|icon-recommendations*nuestras-recomendaciones facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,1629*Abstraite*abstraite facet,1629*abstrakt*abstrakt facet,1629*abstracto*abstracto facet,1629*Abstract*abstract facet,10497*Oeuvres d'artistes célèbres|icon-masterpieces*artistes-celebres facet,10497*Artworks by famous artists|icon-masterpieces*masterpieces facet,10497*Werke berühmter Künstler|icon-masterpieces*werke-beruhmter-kunstler facet,10497*Obras de artistas famosos|icon-masterpieces*obras-de-artistas-famosos 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*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Nature*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulptur*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura category,9*Fotografie*fotografie category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Retrato*retrato facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos price,1000:501 facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Zeichnung*zeichnung category,23*Dibujo*dibujo category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing 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 category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Druck*editionen category,15*Print*print category,15*Edición*edicion facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,1680*Tier*tier facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1674*Etchleben*etchleben facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura price,50001 facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large price,5001:10000 facet,1650*Paysage urbain*paysage-urbain facet,1650*Urban Landscape*urban-landscape facet,1650*Paisaje urbano*paisaje-urbano facet,1650*Städtische Landschaft*stadtische-landschaft price,5000:1001 facet,12*noir|050002*noir facet,12*schwarz|050002*schwarz facet,12*Black|050002*black facet,12*negro|050002*negro facet,1692*Géométrique*geometrique facet,1692*Geometric*geometric facet,1692*Geometrisch*geometrisch facet,1692*Geometría*geometria price,10001:25000 facet,1656*Grafik*grafik facet,1656*Graphique*graphique facet,1656*Graphic*graphic facet,1656*Gráfico*grafico price,25001:50000 facet,30*Dark blue|0707BD*dark-blue facet,30*bleu foncé|0707BD*bleu-fonce facet,30*Dunkelblau|0707BD*dunkelblau facet,108*oil*oil facet,108*huile*huile facet,108*Öl*ol facet,108*al oleo*al-oleo
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