Abstract art has been with us for almost a century now and it has proven to be a long standing mark of cultural debate as well as a self-renewing tradition of creativity and expressive freedom. Somehow we know that it works, but how, we are not fully sure yet. Even if we are not enthusiastic about it, fail to understand it, or love it without understanding why. However, we can at least agree that we were always curious about its effects to our perception of aesthetics and composition.
Abstraction in art can be traced back to Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism. Abstraction introduced the idea that art can be non-representative. Later on, early in the 20th century, it became radical and contemporary artists started to adopt it. They started to create paintings and ‘objects’ with little, or no reference to the real world.
The roots of abstraction in art still remain a mystery. However, historians often credit Vasily Kandinsky as the ‘Father of Abstract Art’. He created nonrepresentational forms and shapes as early as 1912. His work was first introduced to America during the Armory Show in 1913. Kandinsky inspired thousands of artists and it is right to say that he transformed the art scene. Since then, abstract art never stopped evolving in various forms. It can use with different materials, in different surfaces and has many forms. It usually focuses on visual qualities rather than ‘meaning’ and it can be incredibly vast or very small.
The main obstacle to creating abstract art is the belief that an artist has to master ‘Realism’, before jumping in to abstraction. Though this is the case with many artists, it is not always true. Abstract art is the expression of artistic freedom. It does not require a path to reach it, as it does not care of approval. Abstract art just is! Historically, the debate for the recognition of abstract art as art was settled in its’ early beginnings, over a century ago. However, what makes it attractive is its indifference to recognition and praise.
“Abstraction, like Poetry, does not dictate a clear narrative but rather, quietly offers a fragment, a piece of a mysteriously familiar narrative. … The prominent use of abstraction has allowed me to distill and better communicate my emotions and ideas about life” – Nicholas Wilton
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