Abstract art

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Stella - Memantra (2005)

Abstract art is a collective term for art movements of the 20th century that appeared after 1900. She uses the pictorial means of design partly - like Cubism - abstracting from the object, partly completely detached from nature and real objects (non-representational art) . Works of the first category show abstracted ("materialized", condensed to an essence) objects, figures, spaces. Works in the latter category make autonomous use of visual, artistic means, without any mimetic object reference. The spread of photography with its new quality of rendering of nature is seen as one of the reasons for the emergence of abstract art.

Beginnings and pioneers

Wassily Kandinsky: watercolor without title, created in 1910 or 1913
Hilma af Klint , Chaos , n ° 2, 1906.

Shortly after 1900, the first painters and sculptors began to move further and further away from depicting the real world. Is known Kandinsky's path from a stylized, Munich Nouveau committed painting numerous stages of development to abstract compositions, the organic in the pure abstraction and geometric forms open. Programmatically, Kandinsky laid the theoretical basis for the new direction in painting with his work, written in 1910: On the Spiritual in Art . It is, however, debatable whether it should play the pioneering role in the history of the development of abstraction. According to his own statements, he painted his first non-representational picture in 1910. Today it is assumed that Kandinsky predated this picture, presumably he painted it only in 1913. The Czech František Kupka had already started painting abstract pictures in 1911.

However, according to a report by the journalist and historian Julia Voss in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in April 2011, Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) is considered the first artist to paint abstract pictures . After a series of small-format pictures in November 1906, she created her first large-format picture in 1907. Other pioneers of abstract painting were the artists Sonia Delaunay-Terk , Robert Delaunay and Francis Picabia , the Dutchman Piet Mondrian and those in Switzerland and France acting Sophie Taeuber-Arp .

In sculpture, the actually non-representational works were only created around 1920 by the Ukrainian sculptor Alexander Archipenko , the Russian constructivist El Lissitzky and the English sculptor Henry Moore .

Theoretical limits and demarcation of non-representational art

The description of moments in art that are not subject to a mimetic reference to an object - a norm formulated historically in particular for the visual and performing arts, which can only be referred to music, architecture and literature with considerable restrictions - as an abstraction, however a possible perspective that contradicts the self-image of various currents in art history. Thus, the marginalized Suprematism Kasimir Malevich and Constructivism as irrelevant explicitly from the abstract art (such as Wassily Kandinsky ) from when illusionismusfreier creation of new concrete reality in the works of art (Suprematism) and creative design of material life (constructivism).

Parallels in music

The artists of abstraction moved parallel to the music of the time. There, with the dissonant release of the tonal value of the individual tones and the distance from the melody, something comparable to the release of the color tone from the object was created. The artists of the Blauer Reiters therefore sought to close ranks with composers like Arnold Schönberg , the founder of the twelve-tone technique .


Since its inception, abstract art has asserted its place in the art scene worldwide in ever new variants, styles and contexts. Her most important styles include constructivism and suprematism , geometric abstraction , abstract expressionism , informel , analytical painting and the art that emerged at the Bauhaus .

Artist (selection)

Wassily Kandinsky: The Last Judgment / Composition V , 1911, private property
Robert Delaunay: Simultaneous Contrasts-Sun and Moon , 1912–1913, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art , New York
Kazimir Malevich: Black Square on a White Background , first exhibited in 1915, Tretyakov Gallery , Moscow
Adolf Hölzel: Abstraction II , 1915/16. State Gallery Stuttgart
El Lissitzky: Proun , 1924, MT Abraham Center for the Visual Arts
Piet Mondrian: Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue and Black , 1926, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

See also


Web links

Commons : Abstract Art  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Nicola Carola Heuwinkel: Unlimited painting. Art Informel in Germany . Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg / Berlin 2010, p. 22f.
  2. The colorful life. Wassily Kandinsky in the Lenbachhaus. Exhibition catalog Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus . Cologne: DuMont 1995. ISBN 3-7701-3785-X
  3. Dietmar Elger: Abstract Art . Taschen, Cologne 2008, p. 28.
  4. Julia Voss: The conqueror of the throne. In: FAZ. April 16, 2011, No. 90, p. 31.
  5. Andrei B. Nakov, Michel Petris: Avertissement the traducteurs . In: Nikolaj Tarabukin: Le dernier tableau . Éditions Champ Libre, Paris 1972. pp. 21-23.