Abstract art is the type of visual art which employs a language of color, form and line in order to create a work that is related to the existing world but has no visual reference because it comes from a unique point of view. Beginning with Renaissance and up until the 19th century, art and painting especially was defined by the logic of perspective, and by a rendition of life as accurate and realistic as possible. Since the 20th century however, artists started challenging this “rule” and wanted new means of expressing themselves, and especially of expressing the feelings or the thoughts that they were interested in. Abstract art departed from reality and was a means of conveying a changing reality and society, with all its technological innovations.
Yet what interests us are the most famous abstract artists, those who led this movement and who shaped it; some of the first abstract artists were Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay, and they experimented with color, symbols and shapes. They were a major influence on the artists to come after them, and created a basis of development for this new movement. Abstract art is perhaps the most difficult art, because it challenges and surprises the spectator, who is faced with a burst of colors, lines, and shapes which on a first sight don’t mean anything.
Other famous abstract artists were also Joan Miro, the Catalan painter who created the basis for most abstract art of the 20th century, as well as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Whereas both these painters were influenced by Miro, Rothko managed to develop a style which made him unique in his own rights. His bold use of big patterns of color with definite shapes and his methods of work envelop the viewer. As for Pollock, he too invented new techniques and was actually the object of study for many other artists who wanted to be able to recreate the jungle of expressionism in his paintings.
Abstract art manifested itself at a time when people were beginning to question their reality and the concepts on which it is based; the numerous discriminating attitudes and preconceptions, the inequalities and the socio-political turmoil made people turn to a dream-scape, to a land where you are permitted to reinvent yourself and to forget objective but meaningless rules. Thus, among the famous abstract artists who changed the world you could find women too, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, who trusted her own instincts when it came to paintings. In order to free herself from conventions of living and painting, she began using only black and white and experimented with these non-colors.
And when there was room for color in her paintings, she challenged herself by painting the same flower over and over again, from different perspectives and in different colors, exposing the object to the viewer in all its splendor. Other famous abstract artists had their influence as well, and some actively contributed to the creation of this artistic concept. Finally, it is worth mentioning painters like Paul Klee, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline, Piet Mondrian, or Hans Hofmann.