Abstract Art Vs Representational Art

Abstract Art Vs Representational Art, What's The Difference?

Abstract art and representational art are two distinct forms of artwork. Abstract art is made with no reference to the physical world, while representational art is a more literal representation of an object or scene.

Each approach has its own merits and creative possibilities, making them both valuable and rewarding forms of artistic expression.

The difference between non-representational art and abstract art

To put it simply, abstract art is a kind of visual art that eschews the realistic depiction of real-world objects and scenes. As an alternative, it constructs compositions that may or may not be based on external sources through the use of color, line, shape, and form.

Abstract art can be completely non-representational in that it depicts no identifiable subject matter, or it can be partially representational in that it alludes to the real world by using recognizable parts and arranging them in unfamiliar ways.

Art that does not represent or depict anything is called "non-representational." It's art that focuses on the formal qualities of art, such as color, line, shape, and form, rather than on conveying any particular idea or feeling through them.

While many non-representational work is wholly abstract, it is not uncommon for it to make use of identifiable shapes or patterns as a formal or decorative device.

What Is Abstract Art?

Abstract art is an art that does not resemble anything found in the actual world. Color, line, and form are all components that can be explored in abstract painting. It is devoid of images or shapes of objects that you are familiar with.

Abstract art emerged in the early twentieth century when artists began to move away from rigid representations of real-world materials to portray interior thoughts, theories, and feelings. Abstract artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian are well-known abstract artists.


What is the main focus of abstract art?

Abstract artists reject familiar forms in favor of color, lines, composition, and shapes to create and evoke meaning and emotion.


Examples of Abstract Art

Abstract art can have a wide range of appearances. We can observe a canvas full of colorful shifting forms and lines in Wassily Kandinsky's painting Landscape with Red Spots.

Kandinsky was fascinated by the idea of conveying inner emotional and spiritual thoughts via art. He utilized paint to create merging curves and blended edges, but he didn't make anything recognizable.

Compare the Kandinsky artwork to Piet Mondrian's 1921 picture Composition in Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black. With powerful geometric outlines and hard-edged color regions, it's formal and precise.

Mondrian began his career by painting landscapes but later moved on to abstraction. He believed it enabled him to communicate thoughts about balance and harmony more effectively.

Famous Abstract Paintings

Wassily Kandinsky, Landscape with Red Spots

Wassily Kandinsky, Landscape with Red Spots

This work exemplifies Kandinsky's abstract style, in which the artist uses a combination of shape and color to create a composition that does not instantly convey any information about its subject matter.

Kandinsky conveyed motion and energy in this painting by combining geometric and organic patterns and a bold, brilliant color palette. Red circles in the painting may be what the title alludes to when it says "red spots." In sum, Kandinsky's "Landscape with Red Spots" is a powerful and dynamic representation of his signature abstract style.


Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue

Mondrian painted "Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue" in 1921. The use of geometric shapes and primary colors to produce a sense of order and harmony is characteristic of Mondrian's mature style, of which this painting is an excellent example.

A massive red plane serves as the focal point of this work by Mondrian, which is flanked by a variety of smaller shapes in yellow, black, gray, and blue. This produces an abstract composition in Mondrian's signature style, which is energetic and stunning to the eye.

The diverse blocks of color and lines of varying widths produce rhythms that ebb and flow over the canvas' surface, mimicking modern life's many rhythms.

As with all of his mature paintings, the composition is asymmetrical, with one huge dominant block of color, here red, balanced by the distribution of smaller blocks of yellow, blue-gray, and white surrounding it.

Joan Miro, Peinture (Etoile Bleue)

Joan Miro, Peinture (Etoile Bleue), 1927

'Peinture (Etoile Bleue)' was Miro's move from figurative to abstract art, despite his fame as a surrealist artist. In 2012, 'Peinture (Etoile Bleue)' was the top seller at Sotheby's Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in London, fetching £23.5 million, a new high for the artist and more than three times its previous high.

This artwork is considered to be one of Miro's most significant works. The blazing blue utilized in this painting can be found in several of his subsequent works, and it even influenced painters like Mark Rothko and Yves Klein.

What is Representational Art?

Art that shows recognized objects, people, or settings is called representational art. Representational art is an attempt to render an object or scene as accurately as possible, rather than to create a more stylized or abstract version.

Several types of representational art can be found in different mediums, such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs. Art that doesn't try to realistically portray a subject or setting is often pitted against representational art because of this difference.

Is abstract art representational or non representational?

The majority of abstract art, but not all, is inspired by real-world imagery. Nonrepresentational abstract art is the most "extreme" kind of abstract art since it is not related to the observable world.

Representational art, often known as figurative art, depicts real-world things or occurrences in a way that is clearly recognized.

What is the definition of representational art?

Representational art refers to works of art, especially paintings that are clearly derived from real-world sources and hence portray something with strong visual parallels to the actual world.

The majority of abstract art, but not all, is inspired by real-world imagery. Representational artworks depict something that physically exists in reality, such as a landscape, a still life, or a portrait, and are instantly recognized once created. Representational art has proven popular with the general public since it is one of the most easily identifiable forms of art.

Non-representational works of art

Nonrepresentational art is an art that does not show anything from the real world (people, landscapes, animals, etc.). Nonrepresentational art can merely depict shapes, colors, lines, and so on, but it can also express intangible things like emotions and sentiments.


What are the types of representational art? 

Realism, Impressionism, Idealism, and Stylization are the four kinds of representational art. Realism is a term used to describe artwork that is painted in a realistic, almost photographic style.

Examples of Representational Art

Jacob van Ruisdael, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Fields 

Jacob van Ruisdael, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Fields (1675)

Van Ruisdael caught the essence of the Dutch landscape in this painting. Depicting the flat land in the direction of Haarlem, the city in the distance, from a high dune.

A vast sky stretches above the city, with clouds drifting along. Van Ruisdael depicts the sun streaming through the clouds, with light and shade alternating.

From the fields where linen is stretched out to bleach to Saint Bavo's Church in the distance, he draws our eyes deep into the painting following the patches of sunlight.

Van Gogh self-portrait (1889)

Van Gogh self-portrait (1889)

This was one of roughly 32 self-portraits he painted over a ten-year period, and they were an important part of his work as a painter; he painted himself since he couldn't afford to hire models.

He brought the artwork to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, and presented it to Dr. Paul Gachet, who described it as "totally fanatical."


Franz Marc, Red Bull

Franz Marc, Red Bull

A massive red bull is seen laying on its belly in the red bull painting. The bull looks to be looking at it, demonstrating that it is aware of its surroundings.

The Red Bull was created in 1911, as the horror of impending World War 1 began to spread; it may appear to depict the idea that the bull was aware of the perils that surrounded it.

The eye-catching color palette employed in this painting effectively conveys the artist's style of art while retaining the extravagance of oil.

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