Artist or not, you may have heard the word “abstractionism” or “abstract art” at least once. Abstract art has been around for decades now, and it’s one of the most popular and rewarded techniques in the world of Art. Every art piece must have a purpose, a message to the world. However, most of the time, you see abstract art pieces and wonder, “What does the artist try to say?” Well, let’s dive a little deeper and discover how powerful abstractionism is.
The term “abstract art” refers to non-objective artworks which use a visual language that only eyes can understand. It does not have an accurate representation of the real world and it connects forms and shapes. Abstractionism is a departure from reality, thus, most abstract pieces represent the inner world of the artist.
Abstractionism goes 100+ years back. It made its appearance in the early years of the 20th century, and it was something innovative for that time with names like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian , two of the popular artists in the abstract world.
The magical beauty of abstract art is that it emits powerful emotions while it is non-objective and non-representational. Such paintings represent non-visual things, like sounds and spirits, and that’s why it sends off powerful emotions that trigger the viewer, either positively or negatively.
Its main purpose is to tell a story, and also encourage movement and imagination. It’s different from other forms of painting, which makes it one of the most admired pieces of art. To use this technique, it’s good to know the movements and the artists who made abstractionism what it is today.
De Stijl Movement (1917), founded by Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg, a dutch artist, believed that artists should create something with the help of depersonalized feelings. Thus, he invented the De Stijl movement. The main idea of this movement was to create something unique, using geometric abstractionism but reduce the use of colors. Piet Mondrian was also one of the people who took part in this movement. Also, the Bauhaus movement was inspired by the De Stijl Movement.
Suprematism Movement (1915), founded by Kazimir Malevich (1879- 1935)
Kazimir Malevich, a Russian artist and a graduate of the Moscow School of Painting, was a pioneer of geometric abstractionism. He was the person who laid down the foundations of Suprematism, a movement focused on fundamental geometric forms. Malevich wanted to challenge normal reason, and with some tweaks in the sizes, the shapes, and the angles, he made the objects seem like they were floating in space.
Blue Rider Period (1911-14), founded by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
If you want to know who the father of abstract art is, then meet Wassily Kandinsky. A Russian artist credited as the man who painted the first pure-abstract works. He is referred to as the man who eliminated the object. During these 4 years (1911-1914), Kandinsky created paintings that expressed colored masses evaluated by forms and lines. Also, he managed to prove that every kind of painting can have a sense of spirituality, if done correctly.
The Bauhaus Movement (1922-1933)
The Bauhaus movement meant the increased importance of geometrical elements in both teaching and painting, for Kandinsky. Geometric abstraction has no reference or association with the natural world and Kandinsky was an expert in achieving such a thing. With the mix of triangles, circles, rectangles, circles, and with the help of patterns, you could achieve pure abstract works.
Cubism to Abstractionism
Dutch artist named Piet Mondrian was one of the main creators of geometric abstraction and a member of the De Stijl movement. His works were designed to convey “absolute reality” using pure geometric forms and vertical-horizontal straight lines. If you dig a little deeper into who Piet Mondrian was, you’ll discover that his art pieces were inspired by different movements, such as Impressionism and Cubism . Mondrian’s life and work left a legacy. Ideas and patterns that we see today came from Pier Mondrian. That’s why he is considered to be the “Father of Geometric Abstractionism”
As you’ve read previously, abstract art is used by artists as a way to express and explain their inner world. When it comes to abstract art, there’s no right or wrong, as long as it represents something that can’t be explained with words. But, expressing your inner world, with shapes and lines, is no easy task. That’s why sometimes we feel things that can’t be explained.
Studying famous artists like the ones mentioned above will help you find a way to express your feelings using a pencil and a piece of paper. That’s the beauty of abstractionism. Theo van Doesburg with the De Stijl movement taught us that you don’t need colors to achieve a beautiful abstract work.
Go ahead now, and try to draw your inner world on just a piece of paper.