What points of criticism does abstract art face?

10. Juni 2019 at 13:00
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Since 1910, abstract art has appeared in ever new stylistic variations. Its stylistic diversity can be traced back to both lines of its origin: On the one hand, it stems from the free pictorial development of Expressionism, founded by Wassily Kandinsky and continued by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Hans Hartung, Jackson Pollock and other artists, which had already been prepared by Art Nouveau artists such as August Endell, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis and Hermann Obrist. On the other hand, it is based on the geometricizing direction of Cubism, which was taken almost at the same time and to which the artists Michail Fjodorowitsch Larionow, Kasimir Sewerinowitsch Malewitsch, Frantiek Kupka and Piet Mondrian belong.

While the first of these original forms reached its most unbounded form of expression in informal art, especially since 1945, the other experienced its strictest bond in the field of technoid constructivism, which underwent further development into concrete art. From the 1940s, Paul Klee’s abstract painting with its own pictorial language of decorative, magical pictorial signs and rhythms of form was added. Willi Baumeister and various artists of the École de Paris are among the best known representatives of this art movement.

Abstract sculpture, like Hermann Obrist’s spirals of growth, has existed since about 1912/13 (Alexander Archipenko, shortly after Rudolf Belling). Shortly afterwards, Russian Constructivism, which included Vladimir Jewgrafowicz Tatlin, Antoine Pevsner, and Naum Gabo, for example, developed the reciprocal interpenetration of lines and surfaces with space as one of the most important themes in the field of abstract sculpture during the 20th century. In 1916, alongside this constructive line, Hans Arp initiated a direction in life that was based on forms of growth with a vegetative effect. In the 1950s, abstract sculptures were created primarily in the USA (D. Smith). From 1960 horizontally oriented metal sculptures, open on all sides, followed (school-forming: E. Caro, England).

Which art movements are there in abstract art?

After its emergence, abstract painting quickly disintegrated into a number of different styles. The cross-style subdivision into a geometric abstraction (Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Sewerinowitsch Malewitsch) and an expressive abstraction (Wassily Kandinsky) or into a constructively-geometric and a lyrical direction refers primarily to external features, less to methodological differences. Surrealism also used abstract principles (cf. Automatism). The American Jackson Pollock is regarded as the most renowned representative of what was later called abstract expressionism or action painting. Other modern artists, however, such as André Masson, a French surrealist, were pioneers.

In the portfolio of our gallery you can buy not only abstract expressionism, informel or tachism based abstract art, but also more representational forms of abstract painting, which have their roots in expressionism, impressionism or even surrealism and realism.

Which art forms/species are used in abstract art?

The most important art forms in abstract art are painting and sculpture, which are considered synonymous. Both developed from the beginning of the 20th century. For both types a development of different characteristics and design possibilities is to be registered. Today abstract art encompasses numerous different art styles and currents of the 20th century.

Examples of abstract sculpture. All abstract sculptures of our gallery can be found here.

Which art techniques are used in abstract art?

Jackson Pollock’s Action Painting (also known as Action Painting or Action Painting), which has become internationally known, is a direction of modern painting in the field of abstract expressionism. It appeared at the beginning of the 1950s in the USA and resembles European Tachism or Informel.

Oil painting is also used for abstract art. This classical supreme discipline of art is used particularly in portrait, landscape and genre painting and in still lifes. The durability of the oil paint is just as unsurpassed as its brilliance. The term oil painting is derived from the fact that oil as a binding agent is the most essential element of oil paint.

Abstract Art

In the field of abstract painting with oil and acrylic, the spatula technique, casting technique, dripping (spraying the paint onto the canvas), glaze technique and mixed technique are among the most important methods. Sculpture includes sculptures made of steel, wood and sandstone, bronze casting and plastic sculptures. In addition, there is the collage and the use of different materials known as mixed media.

Learn more about the differences between the techniques of acrylic painting and oil painting in our article „Oil or Acrylic? to give your decision to buy abstract art in our gallery a stable foundation. Because just as diverse as the styles of abstract painting are the advantages and disadvantages as well as the peculiarities inherent to both painting techniques.

Which artists are important for abstract art?

The painters Francis Picabia, France, and Wassily Kandinsky, Russia, created abstract works of art from around 1911 and are thus regarded as important pioneers of abstract art. But this is by no means an invention of the 20th century. In the Jewish and Islamic world, painting has been following this path for many centuries. This is mainly due to religious convictions, which in many respects do not permit representational representation. Among the most famous representatives of abstract art are

– Gerhard Richter, Germany, (* 1932)
– Wassily Kandinsky, Russia, Germany, France, (1866 – 1944)
– Jackson Pollock, USA, (1912 – 1956)
– Yves Klein, France, (1928 – 1962)
– Willem de Kooning, USA (1904 – 1997)

Inspired by Pollock’s Dripping Technique: Gia Hung, „Restructuring II“, click here for all the artist’s works

Abstract art polarized strongly from the very beginning. Enthusiastic reception and defense were found among those who came into contact with it, as well as serious and polemical criticism. Even renowned art historians and artists were skeptical or even hostile.

Both the public and art critics found abstract art difficult to accept. Due to its deviation from the established concept of art and its renunciation of representational depiction, it met with displeasure among the majority of the audience. It was stated that this was not art and that neither craftsmanship nor artistic talent were required to create it. In a polemical manner, critics cited examples of painted chimpanzees to belittle abstract art.

Another direction is criticism that abstract painting, especially abstract expressionism, was functionalized during the Cold War. Thus the accusation emerges that the CIA had subsidized Jackson Pollock and other abstract expressionists in connection with the Congress for Cultural Freedom and in consensus with the funding policies of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. In return for Stalin’s expansion of socialist realism in its sphere of influence, post-war abstract art offered the destroyed Europe an opportunity to demonstrate political and artistic freedom and progressiveness without revealing a too open a social-critical message.

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