The experience of standing in an art gallery in front of a huge painting covered in various shapes, textures, colors, and ideas, scares a lot of very intelligent people. No one loves the feeling of thinking they should know or understand something, that utterly confuses their psyche. Abstract art can have this very effect on many of its viewers. Often, with no recognizable shapes, words, or forms; abstract art can stun, and sometimes even stump, art appreciators.
The very essence of art, is creative expression. And if that is so, can art be considered bad? or good? Wouldn’t it simply be about the authentic expression of the creator?
Abstract art is the epitome of raw creative expression, and is often challenging to decipher or label. But simply because we may not understand completely what the artist was attempting to express, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to embrace the beauty of abstract art and find in it, a feeling or emotion with which we can relate.
Though abstract art may seem to be a huge hodgepodge of colors and themes; there are ways to differentiate between the styles.
Here are a few of the most popular forms of abstract art and the difference between them:
Impressionism After an art critic insulted one of Monet’s works, calling it a “mere impression of a sunrise”; the movement of Impressionism was born. The Impressionist era was a moving away from what is called Realism; when artists painted the world in seemingly, perfectly recognizable forms; sometimes appearing so perfect they were surreal. Impressionists are not concerned with perfect recognizable forms, instead, they choose to express the essence of a thing, how they see personally it, how it makes them feel. Artists like Renoir and Seurat, focused on the effects of light and perspective in their Impressionist pieces.
Expressionism Explicit and shocking moods and emotions are inherent within Expressionism art. Chagall and Paul Klee are two of the artists that embraced this style of painting in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. The goal of Expressionism art is to focus on the mind-set, and state of mental reality, of the artist. Which as you can imagine, could be a myriad of emotions and realities wrapped into one.
Surrealism In the middle of the 20th century, Surrealism was born. A significant milestone in the world of modern art; Surrealism attempted to describe the unconscious mind and the choosing of a place other than the real world, to represent.
Though we attempt to give you a guide on how to distinguish one work of abstract art from another; one of the pleasures of enjoying abstract art is to decide for yourself what you see within the piece of art itself, and to feel free to give it your own interpretation.