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Abstract art and figurative art are commonly used terms within the creative sector to describe works of art. Do you like being able to talk to other enthusiasts, but you have no idea how to recognize abstract art? The following features will help you on your way.

Abstract art, the definition

If you look up abstract art in the dictionary, read the following definition:

Abstract art is art that avoids the similarity between the artwork and visible reality.

An abstract artist does not represent reality, but works in shapes, lines and colors. Or he tries to express his emotions with special materials. This is in contrast to the figurative artist, who tries to create a realistic image. For example, a painter can show the original form of an object with an abstract painting. Abstract art is part of the Modern art category.



The emergence of abstract art

Scientists disagree about the emergence of abstract art. Some claim that abstract art comes from prehistoric times, because art finds from that time indicate that. Others say that this is not possible because there were no objects to paint at the time. It is a fact that figurative art was far more important than the abstract until the end of the 19th century. From the 1980s onwards, painters began to work more and more with paint keys. The effect is then the same as with the painting “Bright Light” from the collection of Affordable Art.

At the beginning of 1900, Paul Cézanne painted the first truly recognized abstract works. Numerous painters have followed Cézanne in the abstract style. Think of Mondrian, Gauguin and Kandinsky. Each of them had their own message that they wanted to express through their paintings. Mondrian searched for the original form of things and Gauguin called his art “abstraction of nature” and linked his emotions to it. Kandinsky always searched the divine and supernatural in objects.


The former abstract artists were purebred idealists. With their work they hoped to set an example for society. This would create a more beautiful and harmonious world. Within abstract art there are roughly two major movements:

Abstract expressionism

Painters increasingly express their emotions. The painting process is more important than the final result. Direct intuitive action is central. This is partly in line with the Cobra group, which also focused on action painting. They always tried to find signals in their paintings, with which the subject could be demonstrated. An example of this is “Ten Poppies”, a timeless abstract painting from our collection, in which the roses can still be recognized.


Geometric abstract art

This trend focuses on lines and basic shapes. Geometric figures, such as squares and triangles, appear in many paintings. The best known geometric painter is Mondrian. A painting is seen as a frozen image, without top, bottom or sides. A good example of geometric abstract art from the collection of Affordable Art is “Crazy Circles”.


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