What Is Abstract Art Abstractly?


I always thought I knew the answer to What is Abstract Art until I sat down and tried to define it. Thankfully we live in the information age where expert assistance is only a mouse click away.

Abstract Monarch Butterfly ArtCourtesy of David Gunter

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Enter Wikipedia:

Abstract art is more about form and colors than the actual object. It uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.

I like this answer because it would have been a helpful explanation of the term if I knew nothing about it! Subjects of abstraction are almost what you'd expect, but with a unique twist that makes them stand out from the crowd and compels us to admire their ambiguous individuality.

When Did the Abstract Period Begin?

Long ago, western art history was based on the idea that every piece of art needed a subject at it's core. During the early twentieth century three style movements occurred that gave art a midlife identity crisis....and later, an opportunity to evolve.

  • Impressionism- a style that left works of art largely unfinished. (Impressionists were rarely served dessert by their mothers.)
  • Fauvists- Unrealistic colors were the rule of the day. Look up at a sparkling purple sky while sailing across the deep orange sea.
  • Cubism- One painting from several different angles. These images can be difficult to wrap your mind around but they make for great conversation pieces, no?

These three movements gave way to the idea that forms, lines, and colors could be the main act of paintings, and not just a supporting role. On this site, abstraction will be a more form relative experience since we are committed to showcasing the best butterfly art.

Now that What is Abstract Art has been explained, you can enjoy this art form in all it's ambiguous glory.