Who are some contemporary abstract artists

Abstract art

Abstract art - non-representational oil & acrylic painting - an art movement of the 20th century

At all times, artists were looking for "their" style, for new ways of expression that emerged from old styles and should correspond to the new times. In the interplay of science, architecture and garden art, philosophy, fashion and politics, new art styles have emerged over the centuries, which shaped the character of their epoch, for example through special attributes and painting styles. The abstract art is a direction or flowwhich developed mainly in the fields of painting, sculpture and graphics after the turn of the early 20th century.


A Subdivision of abstract art is as hypothetical as the term itself.

For example, the "Geometric Abstraction" and the "Color-related abstract art" contrast, whereas the "gestural art" is compared with the "emotionally intuitive art".

While painters like Picasso never internalized abstract art, some seasoned art critics consider it to be comprehensive today.

We will explain the basic idea to you in more detail and show defining trends. In the following you will find the most important background information on acrylic painting & abstract art. We hope that our explanations will inspire you to take a closer look at abstract art and, if necessary, in ours Gallery in Dresden to acquire. The navigation at the top of the menu will make it easier for you to find the right picture for you.

Detachment from the objective - representation and definition

A characteristic of abstract art is that the artist deals with the non-figurative representation of the world. The Non-representational art is detached from the representational. It is no longer a real reflection of reality. Both living beings and objects - everything is not represented or only hinted at. In addition, there was constant further development of photo technology early on, which gave the importance of abstract art a strong boost. It enabled a completely new representation of the real world and at times threatened to make representational painting superfluous. The visualization of a free world of thought by means of colors and shapes also plays a role.



Make what you think visible

While animals, people and landscapes were depicted in the early beginnings of painting, nowadays buying abstract art is much more diverse and it is noticeably more possible. With this stylistic device, the artist can make what is thought and felt visible, with his creativity being the focus of the creative process. The viewer is thus prompted to use the Understand the background of creation or to get your own picture of it.

It is up to the artist or the painter whether he offers help with the title of the work or whether he deliberately leaves the interpretation open. If you want to buy paintings in oil or acrylic, you should inform yourself well about the background in advance. The interpretation of the abstract representation is often difficult and leads to very different results even with art experts. You can buy abstract art online or combine your art purchase with a tour of the exhibition in our gallery in Dresden. We offer you an interesting selection Selected abstract painting that invites you to freely interpret.

Above: Timeless abstract contemporary art, here: multi-layered acrylic painting in dripping technique by painter Dieu "Cosmic visit", 155 x 55 cm, acrylic framed, 2019, can be ordered online, shipping included, other works by >> Dieu

The beginning and its protagonists

Like every style, abstract art has its forerunners who perceived the world differently and therefore represented it differently. Wassily Kandinsky and the painter František Kupka are among the avant-garde and are the pioneers of the non-representational painting style. Kandinsky in particular is considered a prime example of the searching (and expressing) artist. On his artistic path he went through many phases and "invented" styles or adopted them and developed them further. Kandinsky also dealt theoretically with the new art direction.

His writing "About the spiritual in art" from 1911 represents a pioneering theoretical basis for the new trend in art, especially painting. The first abstract painting by the now almost unknown painter František Kupka is dated 1911. Some other well-known "representatives" of abstract art from the turn of the century are Robert Delaunay, Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malewitsch and Francis Picabia.


"Iceland trip" unique painting acrylic on canvas"Fishing for your free space", acrylic, 100x120cm (2017) Painting abstract art


According to Wikipedia, two main currents emerged from the beginnings of abstract representations: the movement originating from Expressionism and the movement represented by Wilhelm Nay and Hans Hartung, which sought to completely detach itself from the representational. The focus was on colors, structures, compositions and shapes.

The second trend that emerged at the same time led to geometric abstract art and was significantly influenced by Cubism. Here they served geometric style elements to represent the invisible. The Dutch Piet Mondrian and the Russian Kazimir Malevich are famous representatives of this direction.

What was common to both developments was the distancing from the realistic representation. Rather, it was now about an image of the inner world of the artist or his imagination, which offered the artist a completely new freedom of representation.

Unfortunately, this "Europe-dominated" view disregards the development of art in the Arab world or among indigenous peoples. For a comprehensive look at the development of each art genre, efforts should always be made to give the development of art on a global scale the attention it deserves.



Above: The visible reality is reduced: "Expectant" abstract figurative painting in acrylic on canvas by Michaela Steinacher, other works and murals by the artist Michaela Steinacher


What characterizes this art form?

While in figurative painting the visually perceptible world is depicted as it is, the representatives of abstract art have more freedom of design. The artist is enabled To make the ideal as well as his thoughts and feelings visible and to live out one's creative abilities in the abstract. Many authors refuse to compare their work with the real world and point to their creativity, which only contributed to the creation of the work.

Color in the center - acrylic painting by DieuAbstract subject by Dieu Modern art hand painted


By depicting his inner world, the artist asks the viewer to deal with the message of his work and the artist and to interpret the work. In this way, the individual forms his own subjective picture of the work, which is assigned an infinite number of different statements by its recipients.

The directions of abstraction and some of their representatives

To this day, abstract art is a broad and constantly evolving style. The artist and the viewer alike are offered a wide variety of styles simply by using new stylistic devices using color and materials.

The abstract sculpture, whose beginnings also go back to the beginning of the 20th century, should not be ignored. In particular from the Art Nouveau, with its many amorphous forms, a new non-figurative movement could develop. Well-known and honored representatives to this day are Rudolf Belling and Hans Arp. Artist of the Russian constructivism like Tatlin, have strongly promoted abstract sculpture. Her topics were, among other things, the interplay between the elements of the room: How do geometric parts such as lines and surfaces relate to the room? How is this constellation developing? And where?


Abstract of abstract sculpture: other sculptures & sculptures



The development of abstract sculpture was also global. Henry Moore has advanced abstract art both in relation to painting and in relation to sculpture, and has repeatedly pushed it to the limit. Contemporary artists such as Tony Cragg expanded the diversity of abstract plastic with their new formal language, which is often implemented with modern plastics.

Let us remember the beginnings - abstract art since the turn of the century: The diversity came from the direction of Expressionism (Wassili Kandinsky), which later e.g. from Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) has been completely renewed. Ernst Wilhelm Nay (1902 - 1968) sees himself as a representative of so-called German "post-war art" after 1945. Here the development, which often ended in a completely unbound form, proceeded in the direction of Informel.

The second direction consisted of Cubism and Constructivism and was represented by Malevich and Mondrian. The trend was towards concrete art. The German Willi Baumeister (1889 - 1955) is a valued representative to this day. But surrealists such as Yves Tanguy and Paul Klee (1879 - 1949) in his own typical and unmistakable way, as well as Lyonel Feininger, developed their own visual language.

Strong colors - Original wall painting in acrylic - Expressionism - Dissolution of the representational, which asserts itself in the composition: "Colloquium", other works by the artist Dieu

The techniques in abstract art

Painting and sculpture continue to be the main areas of the abstract art trend. In the choice of individual stylistic devices, there have been enormous changes over the years, mostly made possible by the technical advancement of the materials. Oil painting, as a main field of activity, experienced violent breaks in style, e.g. through the Action Painting, that Jackson Pollock made famous in the 1950s and later made him world famous thanks to the collector and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim. Further techniques in oil painting are spatula, mixed technique (oil and other materials as tools), casting technique, dripping (see Pollock), glazing & collaging. Nonetheless, abstraction has also found its home in techniques such as watercolor. The various areas of graphics also offer the artist an infinite number of possibilities for expression. Mixed media combines different materials, colors and techniques to create a work of art.

All real materials are used in sculpture today. In addition to traditional bronze, wood and steel, the artists also use various types of stone, plastic, textiles, colors and natural substances such as plants.

The video and photo technology was also continuously developed and independent, recognized divisions were set up. Here the name June Paik (1932-2006) should be mentioned as a world-renowned artist of abstract art.

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Approval and criticism

It is not an exaggeration to say that the art form polarizes abstract art: Both audiences and art critics have met and continue to meet these works of art with both enthusiasm and strict rejection. Often the artist was and is denied any artistic ability in this - not always factual - discussion.

Object-free painting and its most important representatives

This question will always be answered differently subjectively. More than a hundred years of the existence of this art form on different continents with so many different possibilities of expression make it difficult to create a safe, manageable and lasting value scale in art history. No list is nearly complete. It's just about providing guidance. However, there is probably consensus that the following artists are considered worldwide recognized representatives of abstract art to mention, namely the Russian Wassily Kandinsky, the French Francis Picabia and Yves Klein, the US-Americans Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock and the German Gerhard Richter.

Wall picture: Meticulous analysis of light: "Waxing", acrylic, 155 x 50 cm, 2017, more works and murals by the artist Dieu can be found here: abstract art by Dieu

Where can you see abstract art?

Abstract art is more than ever Part of our daily life and no longer only to be found in museums. Everywhere in the cityscape today abstract sculptures can be discovered in a form worth seeing, but the art of building is also often abstract. And the great variety of possibilities of reproduction through posters, for example, nowadays allows the design and decoration with abstract art in almost all (private and institutional) interiors. However, you will not find posters for decoration with us, we have dedicated ourselves exclusively to original art.

Many large collections around the world feature original works of respectful art. Facilities for exclusively contemporary exhibits also show, of course abstract art. Such exhibitions can be visited anywhere in the world. Follow us on an inspiring journey: The New York Museum of Modern Art has a comprehensive collection of abstract art. Other museums were not built until after the Second World War, but collection began much earlier. The Guggenheim Museum in New York, which is located in the extraordinary building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but also the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice are to be named here. Berlin considers itself lucky to be able to house the extensive collection of the Neue Nationalgalerie in an important museum building by Mies van der Rohe, an icon of modern architecture.


Image (above): Abstract art and expressionism in the art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia in the K20 in Düsseldorf, shows the special exhibition of the Prodagonists

The China Art Museum in Shanghai also sees itself as an example of extensive contemporary art collections.

An interpretation and a detailed consideration

Abstraction as a display-free or display-free style of expression

As mentioned at the beginning, abstract art has been a style that has existed since the 20th century and has developed in both painting and sculpture. An essential feature of non-representational creation is the fact that on the one hand it contains few references to the visible reality, but on the other hand it does not produce any memory. The artist thus opens up the Visualization of his thoughts and considerations, i.e. the spiritual becomes visible. With the help of creativity there is also the possibility of conveying messages, but also expressing criticism.

Relatively late, abstract art was said to be completely detached from the representational and more and more to give up the image of reality. Today we know that the original idea of ​​abstract art remained undefined for a long time. In addition, it can be added that a Detachment from real objects and takes place from the shapes and colors that exist in nature.

Is any abstraction freely interpretable?

The viewer of non-representational works is practically asked to deal intensively with creation and to question the reasons for its creation. In order to understand or internalize the message of an abstract work, the viewer usually has to deal very extensively with the artist's work. If there is no interpretation aid to establish the reference to reality, abstract art opens up the possibility of interpreting it freely and yourself.

Colors as a means of expression: abstract expressionism in acrylic by Petra Klos, objects are dematerialized on the canvas: "Field of Gold", see more murals by the artist

The abstract painter can work creatively in a completely informal manner by means of painting. Artistic freedom creates a certain attraction for the viewer. The fact that abstract works often do not evoke any direct memories in the recipient makes it possible to make new and previously unimaginable variations of shape and color visible or to be able to experience them. Abstract art often triggers emotions and moods when viewed. According to studies, the question of why this art style is so fascinating can be answered by stating that the sensations can continue to change even after prolonged viewing.


Modern nude art in oilBuy abstract nude art Reduced nude painting

Make the invisible visible

The forms of reality used are rarely documented. As a rule, there is no direct reference to nature and reality. In addition, abstraction offers significantly more possibilities in terms of its design than the illustration of representational art forms. Artists today are concerned with the representation of inner worlds that are more multispectral and varied than the visible outer world.

When creating, the artist almost completely abandons the structures of reality.Thus, the abstract painter sometimes only provides a few clues as to the visual presence. At this very moment, your own inner imagination is essential. Commonly abstract art is also referred to as "non-representational" or "non-representational". However, this interpretation is a very strict, downright academic interpretation of this art style. It remains to be seen where a partial abstraction of this trend can be classified. A classification in abstraction and figuration is only partially available or completely absent.



From the large number of libraries dealing with abstract art, only four books are selected here without claiming to be in any order of judgment:

- Dietmar Elger: Abstract Art. Taschen, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-8228-5617-8

- Barbara Hess / Uta Grosenick (eds.): Abstract Expressionism. Taschen, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8228-2967-6

- Bettina Ruhrberg, Karl Ruhrberg: Under the sign of abstraction. On West German art 1945–1960. In: Ferdinand Ullrich (Ed.): Art of the West. German art years 1945–1960. (Catalog of the art exhibition of the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen in 1996). Wienand Verlag, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-87909-489-6

- Susanne Anna (ed.): The informal - from Pollock to Schumacher. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 1999, ISBN 3-89322-689-3