Gallery Rebels 7: Abstract Art

In the 1900's a new style of art was created abstract art.

Remember we went from, "I want my art to look as much like the real thing as possible" In the Renaissance and Baroque styles to "I want to create an impression of the image" from the French Impressionists, well, here we hit the other extreme.

Abstract art was / is created by artists who choose to use shapes and colours to express their emotions. In these abstract paintings, the people, places or objects are unrecognisable and the artists believed that the colours and shapes could speak for themselves.

After the second world war, artists used abstract art to show the deep feelings they had caught up inside of them.

Why do you think people who had experienced war might prefer abstract images rather than life like images?

Here are 4 abstract artists to look into.

1) Kandinsky

In Blue (1925)

Wassily Kandinsky has been described as the founder of abstract art in the 1920's. He was inspired after a seeing a painting the wrong way up and he liked the shapes and colours.

Follow this link to play around with a Kandinsky painting.

2) Piet Mondrian

Composition 3 (1929)

Look here to find out more about Piet Mondrian.

3) Mark Rothko

Light Red Over Black (1957)

If you look up Mark Rothko, you will see that lots of his paintings look very similar to this. He liked to convey quiet, thoughtful emotion by painting large spaces of single colours. It looks small here but some of his paintings are huge and cover large walls. In the Tate Modern there is a room with Rothko paintings on all the walls; you have to be silent and you are encouraged to sit and feel peaceful amongst the piece of art.

You can find out more about him here.

4) Jackson Pollock

Convergence (1952)

Jackson Pollock is a very famous abstract artist because he created a whole new way of painting.

In 1942 he suddenly stopped standing at easels to paint and started dripping household paint over huge canvases on the floor. Nobody had painted in this way before: the artist's WAY of working was made more important than WHAT it was s/he was painting. These 'action paintings' became very popular.

Find out a bit more about Jackson Pollock here:

What do you think so far on your journey through abstract art?

Have you formed any sort of opinion yet?

How about the people around you? What do they think?

Make some notes in art journal.

(If you have not made a journal yet, find a notebook or a piece of paper and start making on some notes on different artists, different styles of art and what you think of them.)

Also try looking up these abstract artists:

Helen Frankenthaler

Fahrelnissa Zeid

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Omar Rayo

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