Abstract art remains one of the most popular styles in the art world, and pieces by some of the leading lights of abstract art are highly coveted by collectors. In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at the origins of the artistic movement and explore a few of the key names you should know about...
What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art has its origins firmly rooted in the 19th century, when art became less concerned with direct representation of objects, places and people, and increasingly interested in expression. The art form can be found in everything from painting to sculpture, and has developed over the years as new generations of artists adopted the style and incorporated it into their own work.
The major art movements of the early 20th century incorporated abstract sympathies, helping to widen the gap between reality and art. Following the end of World War II, a fresh new wave of interest in abstract art emerged as part of the American school of painting known as abstract expressionism.
Ever since the 1950s, abstract art has remained one of the dominant art forms amongst both collectors and artists themselves.
Early Masters of Abstract Art
There are a few masters of the abstract art movement who you should be aware of if you’re hoping to add prints of their pieces to your home. Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky is often regarded as the true pioneer of European abstraction, having already created completely abstract pieces as early as 1910.
Spanish artist Jean Miro is similarly revered for his abstract art pieces, and began declaring his contempt for conventional art during the 1930s, deciding instead to play with shape and texture for a more unconventional aesthetic.
Likewise, Pablo Picasso cannot be overlooked for his influence on the abstract art movement, with unusual depictions of everyday scenes and distorted figures making his work instantly recognisable.
Later Abstract Luminaries
The US-led wave of abstract art included the likes of Jackson Pollock, noted for his large canvas art which currently hang in some of the world’s finest art galleries. Mark Rothko, whilst refusing to state he belonged to any art movement at all, has nonetheless been largely associated with the world of abstract painting. He was famous for his bold use of colour and creating large abstract wall art.
Last but not least, the ‘pop art’ master himself was Andy Warhol, who played with new ways to experience the world through art, examining mass production and commercialism in some of his most famous pieces – turning himself into a celebrity in the process.