What Are The Characteristics of Abstract Art?

Abstract art is characterized by its absence of conspicuous subject matter. The use of specific colors and shapes in abstract art can nevertheless convey emotions through the use of specific subjects. 

Regardless, most abstract artists use dark shading, light, and visual sensations to showcase true emotion, which is the primary characteristic of abstract art. The emotional methodology of abstract art is similar to that of sociology. Abstract art is a form of art without a subject at its best. It consists of lines, shapes, and colors.

What is an Abstract Art?

Abstract art consists of non-objective, non-representative, or abstract art, including non-representational painting, sculpture, or graphic work. Abstract art comprises forms, colors, lines, textures, and tones that can be categorized as abstract elements. Abstract artists began using these elements as descriptions, illustrations, and reproductions of human civilization in the preceding century, emphasizing expressive functions as the dominant theme.


The concept of abstract art dates back to the early twentieth century, in the year 1910 in Munich. A large body of figurative art designed to illustrate anecdotes was created by an artist of Russian origin named Wasily Kandinsky during this period. Romantic ideas about art rejected the classical emphasis on imitation and idealization. The unconscious and imagination were emphasized as crucial components of creativity. The freedom of color and form gradually became accepted by most painters of this period. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, several movements influenced abstract art, including Futurism, Cubism, and Expressionism.

Abstract Art Types
  • Curvilinear Abstract Art

Curvilinear abstraction includes knots, ties, interweave patterns, and spirals, which were a part of Celtic Art. Celts weren’t the only people who had these themes. Numerous early societies have used Celtic designs for quite some time.

In early enlightened paintings, these Celtic patterns appeared as decorative elements (c.600-1000 CE). In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they returned during the Celtic Revival Movement and the Art Nouveau movement, particularly on book covers, materials, and structures, in the style of William Morris (1834-96) and Arthur Mackmurdo (1851-1942).  

  • Geometrical Abstraction Art

Around 1908, geometric abstract art became popular. As in expository Cubism, by dismissing a straight point of view and adding spatial profundity, the focus is on the 2-D perspective.

Geometric abstraction is also referred to as Non-Objective Art or Concrete Art. Generally, it is represented with non-naturalistic shapes and normal geometrical shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles. Pure abstraction, geometric abstract art has no relation to the real world. 

  • Color-Related or Light-Related Abstract Art

Color-related abstract art separates the art from the composition by using various lines of color. It is possible to observe works that relate to color and light in the works of Oscar Claude Monet and Joseph Mallord William Turner.

Emotional or Intuitional Abstract Art

A naturalistic tendency is a common theme of intuitional art. The shapes and colors are used to reflect a naturalistic approach. Abstraction evokes nature less in a representational way than geometric abstraction, which is almost anti-nature. Two key sources of abstract art of this type are Organic Abstraction and Surrealism. Mark Rothko was one of the most famous painters who specialized in this type of art. 

  • Gestural Abstract Art

Abstract expressionism is characterized by the emphasis placed on the creative process rather than the finished work. The brushwork is usually very loose and rapid, with unusual ways of applying paint. Among the most famous Americans for gestural painting are Jackson Pollock (1912-56), who invented Action-Painting, and Lee Krasner (1908-84), whose drip-painting inspired him. Willem de Kooning (1904-97), noted for his Woman series and Robert Motherwell (1912-56), perhaps best known for his Elegy to the Spanish Republic series. Tachisme is one example of this form in Europe, as is Cobra Group art, with Karel Appel as a notable example (1921-2006).

Minimalist Abstract Art

A back-to-basics type of avant-garde art, stripped of all references and associations, this type of abstraction was considered avant-garde. You see what you see – that’s all there is to it. Sculptors are largely responsible for this form, although some great painters also contribute. 

Abstraction Expressionism’s Features

  • Large Scaled Works

Abstract Expressionism’s paintings are typically large, except for heroic figures, typically painted on large canvases or consisting of multiple canvases merged into one.

  • Artistic Perspective

In terms of style, the movement does not have a distinct style, but its representation conveys strong messages and emotions. The artist’s or the viewer’s feelings are the focus of all Abstract Expressionist works – not the images themselves.

  • Inspires Surrealism /originally
Taking inspiration from Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism aims to make art subconsciously and spontaneously. The artist does not plan, sketch, or render a piece, keeping his mind open and following feelings.
  • Motivation
A strain had been placed on society during the era of the movement, especially in the case of free thinkers, causing them to feel stifled and restricted. Nevertheless, artists could express their pent-up emotions and thoughts through Abstract Expressionism.
  • Colour diversity
The aim of Abstract Expressionism was not to depict anything tangible. Experimenting with colour was the purpose. As the artists studied colour, they wondered how it affected mood and thought.

Abstract Art Characteristics

  • Subjective Reality

Art that depicts abstract ideas, emotions, or imaginations can reveal the artist’s subjective reality. Abstraction is often viewed as portraying subjective reality, but this is not always the case. The reality is that art can be abstract when it utilizes a particular style or technique. It is possible to portray a subject, event, or scene abstractly using intangible elements instead of the visual reality of the scene. 

  • Light and Color

Stylistic or subjective use of colours and lighting. From 1901-1904, Picasso’s blue period, during which he produced monochrome works primarily in blue, produced monochromatic works. His paintings reflected a somber mood, contrasting with the reality of his painted scenes. 

  • Symbolism

In abstract works, metaphors, allegories, and symbols are used to express ideas. 

  • Minimalism

A minimalist art style reduces form and colour to their simplest forms. Modern design often uses basic geometric shapes in western minimalism. It is often used in commercial interior decoration because of its similarity to design and sterile properties. Abstract art and minimalism are often confused. Abstraction is the hallmark of minimalism in art. Minimalism is not always associated with abstract art. The scope and diversity of abstract art are far greater than those of minimalism.

  • Free Expression

Artists often express their unconstrained freedom with abstract art by breaking the rules of their time and place. Majority of the artist played with perspective to create a dreamlike quality to Bedroom.
Wrap up

Art that does not represent the physical world visually is abstract art. There is a contrast here between realism and how the senses perceive the world. There are many grey areas between these two extremes with art that is somewhat abstract.

error: Content is protected !!