history of abstract paintings

History of Abstract Paintings – I Just Don’t Understand!

But, it’s just a bunch of squiggly lines!

Yep, that’s what I used to think too!

That is, until I got involved with fine art photography and graphic design.

Now, I see abstract paintings and photos in a completely different light.

I hope, after reading this quick post, you’ll begin to see the beauty of abstracts and how they can affect emotions and draw the eye.


history of abstract paintings


So, What is Abstract Painting all About? Experience the History of Abstract Painting

Perhaps you’ve seen a lot of paintings already and out of the paintings you’ve seen, you appreciate only a few of them.

You see, different painting styles and techniques become essential tools of the trade used by painters of all types.

One of these styles is abstract painting.

When you say  the word abstract, not many appreciate it. This is mostly because of its different style and not so ordinary appearance. But despite the oddness of the popular painting style, you should not judge it at first sight.

Instead, try and understand why it was painted.

When Did Abstract Painting Begin?

Believe it or not, painting in abstract style began hundreds of years ago. With a bit of research, you’ll discover famous abstract paintings housed in museums all over the world.

Private collectors own many of them.

And, these strange works of art make good investments as well as collector’s items.

Truth is, artwork can substantially decrease or increase in the future so it’s nearly impossible to judge a paintings value.

The Famous Abstract Artists

As I stated above, many artists dabble in these pieces because of the challenge they present. But, many are amateurs and do it purely for enjoyment.

And then, there are the real giants; you’ll recognize most of them.

To start, some of the most famous abstract painters were…

  • Picasso,
  • Vincent Van Gogh,
  • and Modigliani.

Because of these artist’s beautiful works, abstract painting became even more desirable to art collectors.

Exactly What Is an Abstract Piece of Art?

abstract artwork and photographyQuestion: Do you really know what abstract painting is?

This is a loaded question because we all know that art is subjective.

Remember, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

With that said, this type of painting can be defined in various ways.

Unlike traditional paintings, abstract painting does not usually portray reality.

Abstract vs. Reality

Before, painting was all about depicting a realistic or photographic expression of something or someone. However, abstract paintings are a lot different.

The painting itself does not illustrate real objects. The shapes and colors shown in abstract paintings are non-objective and non-representing.

But, the canvas print may refer to a person — or to:

  • any other individual,
  • anything,
  • or even nothing.

How to Understand Abstracts

If you are a novice and find yourself not understanding the meaning of a particular painting, you can ask the experts or even the painter about its meaning.

Natural art lovers on the other hand, don’t need explanations because if they love abstract paintings, they will understand clearly the significance of the painting.

Try to look at an abstract painting objectively. You will normally see bright, vivid, and bold colors.

Aside from the colors, you will also note that the painting has bio-metric shapes. For fine art lovers, these shapes and colors, arranged in certain patterns, represent a beautiful and strange piece of art.

The Abstract Expressionism Art Movement

Way back in 1940, Abstract Expressionism moved into the public realm by the artists.

The artists and painters supported abstract painting and they wanted the freedom of expression through the paintings they created. This movement caused abstract paintings to become more popular than ever.

The movement began in a particular school in New York and the movement was also called Action Painting. Some of the American schools joined the movement and declared their independence from the artworks of European style.

After this, abstract painting was pushed into the mainstream.

Odd but True

In order to really understand and appreciate abstract paint styles, you should learn its humble beginnings.

Even though it is odd, you should still strive to love it because its part of our art history. And, it still expresses the thoughts and feelings of serious artists.


Where to Find Abstract Art

You can get paintings, and even mixed media & photographic abstracts in art galleries online and local art shops. Some are quite expensive but there are alternatives like the mixed media I mentioned.

Or, you might consider buying a replica of an original classic by famous painters in the above-mentioned art shops. Okay, owning an original Van Gogh would be awesome — But who of us are independently wealthy? 🙂

To learn more about this art style, do some research about abstract painting. Many resources online help you find curious pieces so you’ll quickly understand more about this artwork style.

Just remember, abstract art does not always a represent a specific object or person and that is exactly what abstract painting is all about.