The Characteristics Of Abstract Art

The Characteristics Of Abstract Art | What Is Abstract Art?

The primary characteristic of abstract art is that It is characterized by the use of form, color, and line in a way that does not represent or depict specific objects or scenes. Instead, the focus is on the overall composition and the emotional or expressive qualities of the artwork.

There are a few characteristics that are commonly associated with abstract art:

  1. Non-representational: Abstract art does not depict specific objects or scenes, but rather uses form, color, and line to create an overall composition.

  2. Emotional or expressive: Abstract art is often intended to convey emotion or express an idea or concept.

  3. Focused on form and composition: The form and composition of the artwork are often more important than the specific objects or scenes depicted.

  4. Non-literal: Abstract art does not depict objects or scenes in a literal way, but rather uses symbolic or metaphorical elements to convey meaning.

  5. Intuitive or spontaneous: Abstract art is often created in an intuitive or spontaneous way, rather than following a preconceived plan or set of rules.

  6. Non-traditional: Abstract art often breaks with traditional representational techniques and conventions, and may include unconventional materials or techniques.

Exploring the Dynamics of Abstractionism in Art

Abstract art is as varied as its artists, so there’s no one definitive way to interpret it. When looking at an abstract painting, consider the general interpretation of the symbolic elements such as color, line, and shape.

Pay close attention to their relationships with each other– for example, jagged lines between curved forms may represent disruption or conflict. Create your own unique interpretation by thinking about what feelings or topics the artwork evokes in you; creating a personal dialogue between yourself and the painting.

To understand abstractionist art it is important to remember that the artist was intentionally trying create an emotion or feeling rather than a tangible representation of reality. Symbolism plays an important role- for example, red can be vibrant and powerful but also represent danger.

Consider what message the artist was trying to convey based on how they arranged shapes and colors on the canvas. Through this perspective, it becomes possible to gain an understanding of what abstract art brings forth in its viewers – a range of emotions, ideas and motifs which the artist has beautifully translated from within their minds onto their works.

What Is Abstractionism in Art?

Abstractionism is a form of art that moves away from traditional representation to explore shapes, color, and texture. It is often characterized by experimental, abstract lines and shapes that can be expressive and evocative for viewers.

History of Abstractionism in Art

The concept of abstractionism in art first began to emerge in the early 20th century, as a way to explore abstract colors, lines, and shapes. Unlike traditional art forms, abstractionism features non-realistic art works that do not represent any real-world scene or subject matter.

Many renowned modern painters--such as Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Constantin Brâncuși-- are responsible for popularizing this form of expression.

Abstractionism grew as an avant-garde style in the early 1910s, as artists sought to transcend traditional representational art and work with more abstract elements. During this period, art saw a move towards exploring unique shapes and concentrations of color that evoked emotion instead of concrete imagery.

Although it received harsh criticism initially, abstractionism has endured since then and been adapted by many smart creators throughout the years. It has now become a cornerstone of modern visual art, with new artists refining the idea and pushing boundaries further.

Analyzing Abstractionism's Effects on Viewers

Abstractionism can have powerful effects on viewers. Different elements like color, texture and line can evoke different emotions such as calmness or intensity. Paying attention to the way the artist arranges these elements allows you to gain insight into their feelings and motives.

Likewise, viewers may interpret the artwork in different ways due to our personal filters; no two reactions are exactly alike! You can even learn new things about yourself by exploring your reactions to abstract art.

The artist’s goal in abstractionism is to evoke a reaction from the viewer, which is what makes it such an emotive form of art. No matter how you interpret it, abstract art has the power to shine a light on feelings and experiences beyond words.

Viewers may find their emotions intensifying as they take in swathes of pigment or bold shapes like squares and circles. They may also experience the satisfaction that comes from appreciating beauty in the chaotic forms presented before them.

All these reactions can bring us closer to a greater understanding of ourselves and our artistic tastes, driving us to explore other possibilities within abstractionism even more.

Defining the Abstract

The visual language of abstract art works is composed of lines and shapes, color, texture and form. Artists may distort real-world images or create entirely new forms that are symbolic, pushing the bounds of what the artist can express visually.

Abstractionism also allows for many different interpretations from viewers; one work might evoke feelings of peace or joy in some viewers while giving rise to distressing emotions in others.

Abstract art has its roots in the early 20th century. In its earliest days, artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian helped create a new visual language by experimenting with geometric shapes, color theory and lines that curved off of the canvas.

This movement provided a bridge between representational works and those that were entirely non-objective, giving way to an entirely new form of expression that continues to challenge today's viewers.

Understanding Abstractionism's Symbols and Principles

Abstractionism is a broad concept that has been developed in various movements and styles. Much of the language of abstractionism is non-representational, meaning there are no discernible images or objects to be seen in a work.

Its symbols and principles are open to interpretation and can be used to create various effects. Curved lines evoke feelings of softness or comfort while straight lines suggest strength, power, and rigidity. Color theory is also usually applied, with warm colors creating an inviting atmosphere and cool tones inspiring a calming sensation.

Artists use abstractionism to express a wide variety of ideas and emotions. Even though objects are not visible in the painting, their presence is often felt through subtle symbols or shapes.

For instance, waves can represent motion, ripples suggest water, spirals symbolize growth and change, triangles point to direction and purpose, and circles often represent unity or wholeness.

Abstractionism also encourages creative expression as it disregards subjectivity, allowing the artist to explore new forms of visual communication that allows the viewer to experience something new.

What Is the Abstract Expressionism Movement?

The Abstract Expressionism movement had no specific subject, yet its attempt is to pass on an emotion to the observer. The Abstract Expressionism movement started during the 1940s in New York City after World War II. 

Characteristics Of Dadaism Art

What Is Abstract Art?

There are various definitions of abstract art. Be that as it may, we could state that abstract artists utilize a visual language of shape, structure, shading, and line to make an arrangement or creation of art. Abstract art doesn't usually portray an individual, spot or thing in the common world; it might not use other visual references like other styles of art.


What Is The Idea Behind Abstract Art?

The fundamental reason for abstraction is that the characteristics of artistic creation in abstraction is a creative style similar in essence to the illustrative styles. 

Types Of Abstract Art

  • Curvilinear Abstract Art
  • Geometrical Abstraction Art
  • Color-Related or Light-Related Abstract Art

What are the different types of abstract art?


Curvilinear Abstract Art, Geometric Abstraction, and Color-Related or Light-Related Abstract Art.

Curvilinear Abstract Art

Curvilinear Abstract Art

What is curvilinear abstract art?

Curvilinear abstraction is firmly connected with Celtic Art, which utilized a scope of design themes such as knots, ties, interweave patterns, and spirals. These themes were not unique to the Celts. There are numerous other early societies had been using these Celtic designs for quite a long time.

These 'Celtic' patterns later reappeared as decorative components in early enlightened paintings (c.600-1000 CE). Later they returned during the nineteenth century during the Celtic Revival Movement, and the twentieth-century Art Nouveau movement: notably in book-covers, material, and structures by the semblance of William Morris (1834-96) and Arthur Mackmurdo (1851-1942). 

Geometric Abstraction

Geometric Abstraction

Geometric abstract art started around 1908. Similar to expository Cubism: which dismissed a straight point of view and added spatial profundity in the artistic creation, to concentrate on the 2-D perspectives.

What is geometric abstract art?

Geometric abstraction is otherwise called Concrete Art and Non-Objective Art. As you would expect, it is portrayed by non-naturalistic shapes and normal geometrical shapes: circles, squares, triangles, etc. Geometric abstract art contains no reference or relationship with the common world - it is pure abstraction. 

Geometrical Abstraction Art 

  • Black Circle (1913, State Russian Museum, St Petersburg) by Kasimir Malevich
  • Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942, MoMA, New York) by Piet Mondrian 
  • Composition VIII (The Cow) (1918, MoMA, New York) by Theo Van Doesburg

Color-Related or Light-Related Abstract Art

Color-Related or Light-Related Abstract Art

What is color-related abstract art? 

Color-related abstract art utilizes various lines of color to separate the art from the composition. The color-related or light-related art can be observed in the works of Oscar Claude Monet and Joseph Mallord William Turner.


What are the common characteristics of abstract expressionist works?

Abstract expressionist paintings portray structures not drawn from the obvious world. They accentuate free, unconstrained, and individual emotional articulation. The paintings fill enormous canvases to give these mentioned qualities an enhanced visualizations both monumentality and engaging force. 

Early Abstract Expressionists

The early abstract expressionists had two striking trailblazers: Arshile Gorky, who painted interesting biomorphic shapes utilizing a free, carefully straight, and fluid paint application; and Hans Hofmann, who utilized dynamic and emphatically brushworks in an abstract and ordinarily form.

Another significant impact on early abstract expressionism was a large group of Surrealists and other significant European artists who were escaping the Nazi-commanded Europe.

Such artists significantly invigorated the local New York City painters and gave them a progressively close perspective on the vanguard of European works of art.

Who started the abstract Expressionist movement?

The Abstract Expressionist movement itself is, for the most part, is viewed as having started with Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in the late 1940s and mid-'50s.

The Ultimate Guide To Pop Surrealism

What Defines Abstract Art?

The definition: Abstraction truly implies the removal of thought from the objective. That implies, in the visual arts, pulling away from any reference focuses. Abstract art can at times be defined as nonrepresentational art.

“Abstract art has been with us in one form or another for almost a century now and has proved to be not only a long-standing crux of cultural debate but a self-renewing, vital tradition of creativity. We know that it works, even if we’re still not sure why that’s so, or exactly what to make of that fact.” - by Kirk Varnedoe

Examples Of Abstract Art


What makes an abstract painting?

The methodologies found inside abstract artworks envelop numerous movements including German Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, and Abstract Expressionism.  

What are the elements of abstract art?

There are six basic elements to Abstract Art: Line, Texture, Shape, Form, Color, and Value.

Famous Artist Of Surrealism And Pop Surrealistic Paintings


If you like this article, please share it with others, so perhaps they can also enjoy it and get inspired. Any of the artwork purchased on ATX Fine Arts accommodates me as an artist/ writer along with helping the site grow organically, thank you.


Back to blog

1 comment

What is the most recent form of abstract art ( other then digital abstract art) that has been accepted and recognized by the art world.and is there room for a new form and technique known as unrestrictive abstract art ????
Richard Rodriguez

Leave a comment

Turn Your Art Into Income