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Neha  Gupta Contribution Of Various Art Movements To The Development Of Abstract Art
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Abstract art displays what naked eyes can’t see or one can say that it depict naïve observations. As Wassily Kandinsky, one of the most famous abstractionists once said, “Objects damage pictures; the artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.” These representations place greater emphasis on visual sensations rather than depiction of detailed objects that surround us. Visualizing and cherishing the beauty of abstract paintings is similar to enjoying the beauty and complexity of Chinese and Islamic calligraphy without being able to read or understand it.

Abstract art made its presence in the 19th century, bringing artistic independence for artists to create anything they would like to.  Romanticism, Impressionism and expressionism were the art movements that contributed to the development of Abstractionism. This style of painting was different from the conventional form of art that was practiced by other artists of that time. It is non-objective and non-representational that uses elements such as shape, form, color and texture to depict the subject or theme. There are two main types of non-objective art: expressionist, which fundamentally evokes emotions and moods; and geometrical, which works from the premise that geometry is the only discipline, precise and universal enough to express our intellectual and emotional longings.

Abstract art can be primarily divided into three categories on the basis of its type and form. Let’s have a closer look on it:
  • Avant-garde or Cubism
  • De Stijl or Neo-plasticism
  • Abstract expressionism
Cubism is one of the most influential avant-garde art movements of 20th century that was pioneered by Gorges Braque and Pablo Picasso. It expanded later after the advent of other prominent artists like Andre Lhote, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris. This art movement led to the creation of paintings that were influenced by 3-dimentional representations perceived in the late works of Paul Cezanne. The main intent behind the establishment of this movement was to project things or objects from multiple views rather than depicting only a single face of them to epitomize the subject in a greater context.

De Stijl is a Dutch pronunciation of “The Style” also known as “neo-plasticism”. This art movement was initiated in 1917. Visual compositions that belong to this era depict only the essentials of a subject like its form and color. This art form generally allows use of only primary colors and non-colors, geometrical shapes and horizontal or vertical lines. This unique artistic idea that formed a basis for this art movement is known as neo-plasticism—the new plastic art. Theo van Doesburg, an artist cum art critic has also written a journal on De Stijl. Other prominent artist and architects who supported this revolutionary art style were Piet Mondrian, Vilmos Huszár, and Bart van der Leck, and the architects Gerrit Rietveld, Robert van 't Hoff, and J. J. P. Oud.

Abstract expressionism, an art movement initiated post World War II which revolutionized American style of painting. This art movement was heartily accepted by a group of artists who held much in common. This artist group was later known as the “abstract expressionist” and included some great bold artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, Richard Pousette-Dart, Clyfford Still and others. The most common characteristic of all these artists was that they were committed to art of profound emotion that evokes modes and ideas, and generally experimented with universal themes. After few years, these like-minded artist started working in a new technique, breaking away from deep-rooted conventions in both technique and subject matter. The techniques which they introduced were based on visual realities but they depicted them in more stylistic and primarily abstract ways. Novel Abstract art is a result of all these art movements, which provided artists the liberty to express.

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