abstract art


What is abstract art

I am often asked what is it supposed to be in order to define it, first let’s take a look at some of the ways a painter can organise his efforts when painting in an abstract or nonobjective way. While both styles rely on the elements of art (shape, value, line, colour, contrast, texture, form within a space), abstract art usually has a basis in reality, as in something being “abstracted.” The artist is the one in charge of what is being abstracted and to what degree. Sometimes the viewers can’t tell; sometimes they can.

In contrast, nonobjective art is totally reliant on the elements of art as subject. There’s no underlying reference to anything real. I make the distinction between abstract and nonobjective; a lot of artists do not. I regret that the two terms have become virtually interchangeable. We’ll use the term abstract in this article.

Abstract art isn’t synonymous with chaotic design. To avoid the “put some paint down and mush it around” syndrome, which, I’ll admit sometimes results in a good painting, a more considered approach will give you a leg up on producing a work that is well-designed and for which the application of materials match what you want to say; in short, a work that has meaning.