Abstract Art Vs Representational Art

Abstract Art Vs Representational Art

What is abstract art, exactly?

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 (1866-1944) and Piet Mondrian are well-known (1872-1944).


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 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.


Wassily Kandinsky, Landscape with Red Spots

Wassily Kandinsky, Landscape with Red Spots

Kandinsky and his female girlfriend, the painter Gabriele Münter, spent their summers at Murnau am Staffelsee, on the edge of the Bavarian Alps, between 1909 and the outbreak of World War I. The hamlet church of St Nikolaus, with its conspicuous round tower, appears in several of the artist's landscape paintings while he was there.

The pictures of the church and its surroundings became less figurative and more abstract as Kandinsky's approach matured into abstract expressionism over time. The church tower has been stretched to the very edge of the canvas in a geometrical shape, and the mountains behind it have been reduced to monochrome triangles. At the base of the tower are the iconic red dots.


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 began to make the iconic abstract paintings for which he is best known in the 1920s. The composition was built from broad, black horizontal and vertical lines that delimited the edges of the various rectangles of color or reserve, and he confined his palette to white, black, gray, and the three fundamental hues. Mondrian's construction of a new abstract painting distinct from Cubism and Futurism required the simplification of graphic elements.

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. Since the 1920s, many artists and designers have referenced this style in all parts of culture.

Wassily Kandinsky, Composition X, 1939

Wassily Kandinsky, Composition X, 1939

'Composition X' is undoubtedly his most important work. This work was the final in his lifelong series of 'Compositions,' and it was intended to bring his inquiry into the purity of form and expression to a close.

After infrequently using the color black in his previous work, it has been argued that this painting is both evocative of the universe and the darkness of premonition as he approaches the end of his life.


Joan Miro, Peinture (Etoile Bleue), 1927

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.

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.


Examples of Representational Art

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

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

Van Ruisdael caught the essence of the Dutch landscape in this painting. We stare out over 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 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.


What is the definition of representational art?

Representational art refers to works of art, especially paintings and , 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.
Back to blog

Leave a comment