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Abstract art

phy. The sources from which individual artists drew their

theoretical arguments were diverse, and reected the so-
cial and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of West-
ern culture at that time.[2]
Abstract art, non-gurative art, non-objective art, and
nonrepresentational art are loosely related terms. They
are similar, but perhaps not of identical meaning.
Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depic-
tion of imagery in art. This departure from accurate
representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Ab-
straction exists along a continuum. Even art that aims
for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be
abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representa-
tion is likely to be exceedingly elusive. Artwork which
Wassily Kandinsky, Kandinskys rst abstract watercolor, 1910. takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in
ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially ab-
stract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference
to anything recognizable. In geometric abstraction, for
instance, one is unlikely to nd references to naturalistic
entities. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost
mutually exclusive. But gurative and representational
(or realistic) art often contains partial abstraction.
Both geometric abstraction and lyrical abstraction are
often totally abstract. Among the very numerous art
movements that embody partial abstraction would be
for instance fauvism in which color is conspicuously
and deliberately altered vis-a-vis reality, and cubism,
which blatantly alters the forms of the real life entities

1 History
Main articles: History of painting and Western painting
Robert Delaunay, 191213, Le Premier Disque, 134 cm (52.7
in.), Private collection.

Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color 1.1 Abstraction in early art and many cul-
and line to create a composition which may exist with
a degree of independence from visual references in the
world.[1] Western art had been, from the Renaissance up
to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the Main articles: Prehistoric art and Eastern art history
logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illu-
sion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the Much of the art of earlier cultures signs and marks on
European had become accessible and showed alternative pottery, textiles, and inscriptions and paintings on rock
ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the was simple, geometric and linear forms which might have
end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a had a symbolic or decorative purpose.[5] It is at this level
new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental of visual meaning that abstract art communicates. One
changes taking place in technology, science and philoso- can enjoy the beauty of Chinese calligraphy or Islamic


calligraphy without being able to read it.[6]

Mountain market, clearing Mist, Yu Jian, China

painting is a reection of the Daoist metaphysics in which

chaos and reality are complementary stages of the regular
course of nature. In Tokugawa Japan some zen monk-
painters created Enso, a circle who represents the ab-
solute enlightenment. Usually made in one spontaneous
brush stroke, it became the paradigm of the minimalist
aesthetic that guided part of the zen painting.

1.2 19th century

Main articles: Romanticism, Impressionism, Post-
Impressionism, and Expressionism

Three art movements which contributed to the develop-

ment of abstract art were Romanticism, Impressionism
and Expressionism. Artistic independence for artists was
advanced during the 19th century. Patronage from the
church diminished and private patronage from the public
became more capable of providing a livelihood for artists.
Early intimations of a new art had been made by James
Immortal in splashed ink, Liang Kai, China, 12th century McNeill Whistler who, in his painting Nocturne in Black
and Gold: The falling Rocket, (1872), placed greater em-
In Chinese painting, abstraction can be traced to the Tang phasis on visual sensation than the depiction of objects.
dynasty painter Wang Mo ( ), who is credited to have An objective interest in what is seen, can be discerned from
invented the splashed-ink painting style.[7] While none of the paintings of John Constable, J M W Turner, Camille
his paintings remain, this style is clearly seen in some Corot and from them to the Impressionists who contin-
Song Dynasty Paintings. The Chan buddhist painter ued the plein air painting of the Barbizon school. Paul
Liang Kai ( , c.11401210) applied the style to gure Czanne had begun as an Impressionist but his aim to
painting in his Immortal in splashed ink in which ac- make a logical construction of reality based on a view
curate representation is sacriced to enhance spontaneity from a single point,[11] with modulated colour in at ar-
linked to the non-rational mind of the enlightened. A late eas became the basis of a new visual art, later to be
Song painter named Yu Jian, adept to Tiantai buddhism, developed into Cubism by Georges Braque and Pablo Pi-
created a series of splashed ink landscapes that eventu- casso.
ally inspired many Japanese zen painters. His paintings Expressionist painters explored the bold use of paint
show heavily misty mountains in which the shapes of the surface, drawing distortions and exaggerations, and in-
objects are barely visible and extremely simplied. This tense color. Expressionists produced emotionally charged
type of painting was continued by Sesshu Toyo in his later paintings that were reactions to and perceptions of con-
years. temporary experience; and reactions to Impressionism
Another instance of abstraction in Chinese painting is and other more conservative directions of late 19th-
seen in Zhu Deruns Cosmic Circle. On the left side century painting. The Expressionists drastically changed
of this painting is a pine tree in rocky soil, its branches the emphasis on subject matter in favor of the portrayal
laced with vines that extend in a disorderly manner to the of psychological states of being. Although artists like
right side of the painting in which a perfect circle (proba- Edvard Munch and James Ensor drew inuences princi-
bly made with help of a compass[8] ) oats in the void. The pally from the work of the Post-Impressionists they were
1.3 20th century 3

James McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The

Falling Rocket (1874), Detroit Institute of Arts. A near abstrac-
tion, in 1877 Whistler sued the art critic John Ruskin for libel af-
ter the critic condemned this painting. Ruskin accused Whistler Henri Matisse, The Yellow Curtain, 1915. With his Fauvist color
of ask[ing] two hundred guineas for throwing a pot of paint in and drawing Matisse comes very close to pure abstraction.
the publics face.[9][10]

instrumental to the advent of abstraction in the 20th cen- olutionized the Paris art world with wild, multi-colored,
tury. expressive landscapes and gure paintings that the critics
Additionally in the late 19th century in Eastern Europe called Fauvism. With his expressive use of color and his
mysticism and early modernist religious philosophy as free and imaginative drawing Henri Matisse comes very
expressed by theosophist Mme. Blavatsky had a pro- close to pure abstraction in French Window at Collioure
found impact on pioneer geometric artists like Hilma af (1914), View of Notre-Dame (1914), and The Yellow Cur-
Klint and Wassily Kandinsky. The mystical teaching of tain from 1915. The raw language of color as developed
Georges Gurdjie and P.D. Ouspensky also had an im- by the Fauves directly inuenced another pioneer of ab-
portant inuence on the early formations of the geometric straction, Wassily Kandinsky (see illustration).
abstract styles of Piet Mondrian and his colleagues in the Although Cubism ultimately depends upon subject mat-
early 20th century.[12] ter, it became, along with Fauvism, the art movement
that directly opened the door to abstraction in the 20th
century. Pablo Picasso made his rst cubist paintings
1.3 20th century based on Czannes idea that all depiction of nature can
be reduced to three solids: cube, sphere and cone. With
Main articles: Western painting, Fauvism, and Cubism the painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), Picasso
dramatically created a new and radical picture depicting
Post Impressionism as practiced by Paul Gauguin, a raw and primitive brothel scene with ve prostitutes,
Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Czanne had violently painted women, reminiscent of African tribal
an enormous impact on 20th-century art and led to the ad- masks and his own new Cubist inventions. Analytic cu-
vent of 20th-century abstraction. The heritage of painters bism was jointly developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges
like Van Gogh, Czanne, Gauguin, and Seurat was essen- Braque, from about 1908 through 1912. Analytic cubism,
tial for the development of modern art. At the begin- the rst clear manifestation of cubism, was followed by
ning of the 20th century Henri Matisse and several other Synthetic cubism, practiced by Braque, Picasso, Fernand
young artists including the pre-cubist Georges Braque, Lger, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp and
Andr Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck rev- others into the 1920s. Synthetic cubism is characterized

by the introduction of dierent textures, surfaces, collage Smells and Umberto Boccioni Train in Motion, 1911, to a
elements, papier coll and a large variety of merged sub- further stage of abstraction and profoundly inuenced art
ject matter. The collage artists like Kurt Schwitters and movements throughout Europe.[13]
Man Ray and others taking the clue from Cubism were During the 1912 Salon de la Section d'Or the poet
instrumental to the development of the movement called Guillaume Apollinaire named the work of several artists
Dada. including Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Orphism.[14] He
dened it as, the art of painting new structures out of ele-
ments that have not been borrowed from the visual sphere,
but had been created entirely by the is a pure
Since the turn of the century, cultural connections be-
tween artists of the major European and American cities
had become extremely active as they strove to create
an art form equal to the high aspirations of modernism.
Ideas were able to cross-fertilize by means of artists
books, exhibitions and manifestos so that many sources
were open to experimentation and discussion, and formed
a basis for a diversity of modes of abstraction. The fol-
lowing extract from,'The World Backwards, gives some
impression of the inter-connectedness of culture at the
time: 'David Burliuk's knowledge of modern art move-
ments must have been extremely up-to-date, for the sec-
ond Knave of Diamonds exhibition, held in January 1912
(in Moscow) included not only paintings sent from Mu-
Frantiek Kupka, Amorpha, Fugue en deux couleurs (Fugue in nich, but some members of the German Die Brcke
Two Colors), 1912, oil on canvas, 210 x 200 cm, Narodni Ga- group, while from Paris came work by Robert Delaunay,
lerie, Prague. Published in Au Salon d'Automne Les Indpen- Henri Matisse and Fernand Lger, as well as Picasso.
dants 1912, Exhibited at the 1912 Salon d'Automne, Paris. During the Spring David Burliuk gave two lectures on
cubism and planned a polemical publication, which the
Knave of Diamonds was to nance. He went abroad in
May and came back determined to rival the almanac Der
Blaue Reiter which had emerged from the printers while
he was in Germany'.
From 1909 to 1913 many experimental works in the
search for this 'pure art' had been created: Francis Pi-
cabia painted Caoutchouc, 1909,[16] The Spring, 1912,[17]
Dances at the Spring[18] and The Procession, Seville,
1912;[19] Wassily Kandinsky painted Untitled (First Ab-
stract Watercolor), 1910,[20] Improvisation 21A, the Im-
pression series, and Picture with a Circle (1911);[21]
Frantiek Kupka had painted the Orphist works, Discs of
Newton (Study for Fugue in Two Colors), 1912[22] and
Amorpha, Fugue en deux couleurs (Fugue in Two Colors),
1912; Robert Delaunay painted a series entitled Simulta-
neous Windows and Formes Circulaires, Soleil n2 (1912
13);[23] Lopold Survage created Colored Rhythm (Study
for the lm), 1913;[24] Piet Mondrian, painted Tableau
No. 1 and Composition No. 11, 1913.[25]
And the search continued: The Rayist (Luchizm) draw-
ings of Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, used
lines like rays of light to make a construction. Kasimir
Robert Delaunay, 1912, Windows Open Simultaneously (First Malevich completed his rst entirely abstract work, the
Part, Third Motif), oil on canvas, 45.7 x 37.5 cm, Tate Modern Suprematist, 'Black Square', in 1915. Another of the
Suprematist group' Liubov Popova, created the Archi-
The Italian poet Marinetti published 'The Founding and tectonic Constructions and Spatial Force Constructions
Manifesto of Futurism' in 1909, which inspired artists between 1916 and 1921. Piet Mondrian was evolving
such as Carlo Carra in Painting of Sounds, Noises and
1.5 Russian avant-garde 5

Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1923, The Russian Museum

1.5 Russian avant-garde

Wassily Kandinsky, On White 2, 1923
Main articles: Russian avant-garde and Futurism (art)

Many of the abstract artists in Russia became

his abstract language, of horizontal and vertical lines Constructivists believing that art was no longer some-
with rectangles of color, between 1915 and 1919, Neo- thing remote, but life itself. The artist must become
Plasticism was the aesthetic which Mondrian, Theo van a technician, learning to use the tools and materials of
Doesburg and other in the group De Stijl intended to re- modern production. Art into life! was Vladimir Tatlin's
shape the environment of the future. slogan, and that of all the future Constructivists. Varvara
Stepanova and Alexandre Exter and others abandoned
easel painting and diverted their energies to theatre
design and graphic works. On the other side stood
Kazimir Malevich, Anton Pevsner and Naum Gabo.
1.4 Music They argued that art was essentially a spiritual activity; to
create the individuals place in the world, not to organize
life in a practical, materialistic sense. Many of those
As visual art becomes more abstract, it develops some who were hostile to the materialist production idea of art
characteristics of music: an art form which uses the ab- left Russia. Anton Pevsner went to France, Gabo went
stract elements of sound and divisions of time. Wassily rst to Berlin, then to England and nally to America.
Kandinsky, himself a musician, was inspired by the pos- Kandinsky studied in Moscow then left for the Bauhaus.
sibility of marks and associative color resounding in the By the mid-1920s the revolutionary period (1917 to
soul. The idea had been put forward by Charles Baude- 1921) when artists had been free to experiment was over;
laire, that all our senses respond to various stimuli but the and by the 1930s only socialist realism was allowed.[26]
senses are connected at a deeper aesthetic level.
Closely related to this, is the idea that art has The spiri-
tual dimension and can transcend 'every-day' experience, 1.6 The Bauhaus
reaching a spiritual plane. The Theosophical Society pop-
ularized the ancient wisdom of the sacred books of India The Bauhaus at Weimar, Germany was founded in 1919
and China in the early years of the century. It was in this by Walter Gropius.[27] The philosophy underlying the
context that Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, Hilma teaching program was unity of all the visual and plastic
af Klint and other artists working towards an 'objectless arts from architecture and painting to weaving and stained
state' became interested in the occult as a way of creating glass. This philosophy had grown from the ideas of the
an 'inner' object. The universal and timeless shapes found Arts and Crafts movement in England and the Deutscher
in geometry: the circle, square and triangle become the Werkbund. Among the teachers were Paul Klee, Wassily
spatial elements in abstract art; they are, like color, fun- Kandinsky, Johannes Itten, Josef Albers, Anni Albers,
damental systems underlying visible reality. Theo van Doesburg and Lszl Moholy-Nagy. In 1925

the school was moved to Dessau and, as the Nazi party exhibition of British abstract art was held in England in
gained control in 1932, The Bauhaus was closed. In 1937 1935. The following year the more international Abstract
an exhibition of degenerate art, 'Entartete Kunst' con- and Concrete exhibition was organised by Nicolete Gray
tained all types of avant-garde art disapproved of by the including work by Piet Mondrian, Joan Mir, Barbara
Nazi party. Then the exodus began: not just from the Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Hepworth, Nicholson and
Bauhaus but from Europe in general; to Paris, London Gabo moved to the St. Ives group in Cornwall to continue
and America. Paul Klee went to Switzerland but many of their 'constructivist' work.[31]
the artists at the Bauhaus went to America.

1.8 America: mid-century

1.7 Abstraction in Paris and London
Main articles: Modernism, Late modernism, American
Modernism, and Surrealism
During the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s many artists

Kurt Schwitters, Das Undbild, 1919, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

The above is a 193942 oil on canvas painting by Mon-
drian titled Composition No. 10. Responding to it, fel-
During the 1930s Paris became the host to artists from low De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg suggested a link be-
Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and other European tween non-representational works of art and ideals of peace and
countries aected by the rise of totalitarianism. Sophie spirituality.[32]
Tauber and Jean Arp collaborated on paintings and
sculpture using organic/geometric forms. The Polish ed Europe to the United States. By the early 1940s
Katarzyna Kobro applied mathematically based ideas to the main movements in modern art, expressionism, cu-
sculpture. The many types of abstraction now in close bism, abstraction, surrealism, and dada were represented
proximity led to attempts by artists to analyse the vari- in New York: Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Lger, Piet
ous conceptual and aesthetic groupings. An exhibition Mondrian, Jacques Lipchitz, Andr Masson, Max Ernst,
by forty-six members of the Cercle et Carr group or- Andr Breton, were just a few of the exiled Europeans
ganised by Joaquin Torres-Garcia[28] assisted by Michel who arrived in New York.[33] The rich cultural inuences
Seuphor[29] contained work by the Neo-Plasticists as well brought by the European artists were distilled and built
as abstractionists as varied as Kandinsky, Anton Pevsner upon by local New York painters. The climate of freedom
and Kurt Schwitters. Criticised by Theo van Doesburg in New York allowed all of these inuences to ourish.
to be too indenite a collection he published the journal The art galleries that primarily had focused on European
Art Concret setting out a manifesto dening an abstract art began to notice the local art community and the work
art in which the line, color and surface only, are the con- of younger American artists who had begun to mature.
crete reality.[30] Abstraction-Cration founded in 1931 as Certain artists at this time became distinctly abstract in
a more open group, provided a point of reference for ab- their mature work. During this period Piet Mondrians
stract artists, as the political situation worsened in 1935, painting Composition No. 10, 19391942, characterized
and artists again regrouped, many in London. The rst by primary colors, white ground and black grid lines

clearly dened his radical but classical approach to the Joan Mitchell, among others.
rectangle and abstract art in general. Some artists of the There was a resurgence after the war and into the
period deed categorization, such as Georgia O'Keee 1950s of the gurative, as neo-Dada, uxus, happening,
who, while a modernist abstractionist, was a pure mav- conceptual art, neo-expressionism, installation art,
erick in that she painted highly abstract forms while not performance art, video art and pop art have come to
joining any specic group of the period. signify the age of consumerism. The distinction between
Eventually American artists who were working in a great abstract and gurative art has, over the last twenty years,
diversity of styles began to coalesce into cohesive stylistic become less dened leaving a wider range of ideas for
groups. The best known group of American artists be- all artists.
came known as the Abstract expressionists and the New
York School. In New York City there was an atmosphere
which encouraged discussion and there was new opportu-
nity for learning and growing. Artists and teachers John
D. Graham and Hans Hofmann became important bridge
gures between the newly arrived European Modernists 3 Causation
and the younger American artists coming of age. Mark
Rothko, born in Russia, began with strongly surrealist im-
agery which later dissolved into his powerful color com- One socio-historical explanation that has been oered for
positions of the early 1950s. The expressionistic ges- the growing prevalence of the abstract in modern art an
ture and the act of painting itself, became of primary explanation linked to the name of Theodor W. Adorno
importance to Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and is that such abstraction is a response to, and a reection
Franz Kline. While during the 1940s Arshile Gorky's of, the growing abstraction of social relations in industrial
and Willem de Kooning's gurative work evolved into society.[35]
abstraction by the end of the decade. New York City be-
Frederic Jameson similarly sees modernist abstraction as
came the center, and artists worldwide gravitated towards
a function of the abstract power of money, equating all
it; from other places in America as well.[34]
things equally as exchange-values.[36] The social content
of abstract art is then precisely the abstract nature of so-
cial existence legal formalities, bureaucratic imperson-
alization, information/power in the world of late moder-
2 Abstraction in the 21st century nity. [37]

Post-Jungians by contrast would see the quantum theories

Main articles: Abstract expressionism, Color eld,
with their disintegration of conventional ideas of form
Lyrical abstraction, Post-painterly abstraction, Sculpture,
and matter as underlying the divorce of the concrete and
and Minimal art
the abstract in modern art.[38]

Digital art, computer art, internet art, hard-edge paint-

ing, geometric abstraction, appropriation, hyperrealism,
photorealism, expressionism, minimalism, lyrical ab-
straction, pop art, op art, abstract expressionism, color
eld painting, monochrome painting, neo-expressionism, 4 Gallery
collage, decollage, intermedia, assemblage, digital paint-
ing, postmodern art, neo-Dada painting, shaped canvas
painting, environmental mural painting, grati, gure
painting, landscape painting, portrait painting, are a few
continuing and current directions at the beginning of the
21st century.
Into the 21st century abstraction remains very much in
view, its main themes: the transcendental, the contempla-
tive and the timeless are exemplied by Barnett Newman,
John McLaughlin, and Agnes Martin as well as younger
living artists. Art as Object as seen in the Minimalist
sculpture of Donald Judd and the paintings of Frank
Stella are still seen today in newer permutations. The po-
etic, Lyrical Abstraction and the sensuous use of color Albert Gleizes, 191012, Les
seen in the work of painters as diverse as Robert Moth- Arbres (The Trees), oil on canvas, 41 x 27 cm.
erwell, Patrick Heron, Kenneth Noland, Sam Francis, Reproduced in Du Cubisme, 1912
Cy Twombly, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler,

Arthur Dove, 191112, Henri Matisse, 1914,

Based on Leaf Forms and Spaces, pastel on uniden- French Window at Collioure, Centre Georges
tied support. Now lost Pompidou, Paris

Francis Picabia,
1912, Tarentelle, oil on canvas, 73.6 x 92.1 cm,
Museum of Modern Art, New York. Reproduced
in Du Cubisme Joseph Csaky, Deux gures,
1920, relief, limestone, polychrome, 80 cm,
Krller-Mller Museum, Otterlo

Wassily Kandin-
sky, 1912, Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II),
oil on canvas, 47 3/8 x 55 1/4 in. (120.3 x 140.3
cm), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show Albert Gleizes, 1921, Composition
bleu et jaune (Composition jaune), oil on canvas,
200.5 x 110 cm

Pablo Picasso, 191314,

Head (Tte), cut and pasted colored paper, gouache
and charcoal on paperboard, 43.5 x 33 cm, Scottish Paul Klee, Fire in
National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh the Evening, 1929

Piet Mondrian, Hilma af Klint,

Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Svanen (The Swan), No. 17, Group IX, Series
Gray, 1921, Art Institute of Chicago SUW, October 1914-March 1915. This abstract
work was never exhibited during af Klints lifetime.

5 See also
Abstract expressionism

Abstraction in art

Action painting

American Abstract Artists

Barnett Newman, Onement 1,
1948, Museum of Modern Art, New York Art history

Art periods

Asemic writing

Concrete art

De Stijl

Geometric abstraction

Fernand Lger History of painting
1919, The Railway Crossing, oil on canvas, 53.8 x
64.8 cm, The Art Institute of Chicago Lyrical abstraction

Op Art

Representation (arts)


Western painting

In other media

Abstract animation

Abstract comics
Theo van Does-
burg, Neo-Plasticism: 1917, Composition VII (The Abstract photography
Three Graces)
Experimental lm

6 References [20] Stan Rummel (2007-12-13). Wassily Kandinsky,

''Untitled'' (First Abstract Watercolor), 1910. Fac-
[1] Rudolph Arnheim, Visual Thinking Retrieved 2013-09-29.

[21] The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum,

[2] Mel Gooding, Abstract Art, Tate Publishing, London,
Kandinsky Retrospective, Guggenheim Museum, New
York, 2009 (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-29.
[3] Abstract Art What Is Abstract Art or Abstract Painting, [22] Philadelphia Museum of Art, Disks of Newton (Study for
retrieved January 7, 2009. 2011- Fugue in Two Colors) 1912. Re-
06-07. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Re- trieved 2013-09-29.
trieved 2011-06-11.
[23] Muse National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pom-
[4] Themes in American Art Abstraction, retrieved Jan- pidou, Paris, Robert Delaunay, ''Formes Circulaires,
uary 7, 2009. 2000-07-27. Archived from the Soleil n2'' (191213)" (in French).
original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-11. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Re-
trieved 2013-09-29.
[5] Gyrgy Kepes, Sign, Symbol and Image
[24] Museum of Modern Art, New York, Lopold Survage,
[6] Leys, Simon. 2013. The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Colored Rhythm (Study for the lm) 1913.
Essays. New York: New York Review Books. p. 304. 1914-07-15. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
ISBN 9781590176207.
[25] Rijksmuseum Krller-Mller, Otterlo, Netherlands, Piet
[7] Lippit, Y. (2012). Of Modes and Manners in Japanese Mondrian, 1913. Archived from the original
Ink Painting: Sessh's Splashed Ink Landscape of 1495. on October 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
The Art Bulletin, 94(1), p. 56.
[26] Camilla Gray, The Russian Experiment in Art, 18631922,
[8] Watt, J. C. (2010). The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Thames and Hudson, 1962
Art in the Yuan Dynasty. Metropolitan Museum of Art, p.
[27] Walter Gropius et al., Bauhaus 19191928, Museum of
Modern Art, 1938
[9] Whistler versus Ruskin, Princeton edu. Archived June 16, [28] Seuphor, Michel (1972). Geometric Abstraccion 1926-
2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 13, 2010 1949. Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.
[10] From the Tate, retrieved April 12, 2009 [29] Michel Seuphor, Abstract Painting

[11] Herbert Read, A Concise History of Modern Art, Thames [30] Anna Moszynska, Abstract Art, p.104, Thames and Hud-
and Hudson son, 1990

[12] Hilton Kramer, Mondrian & mysticism: My long search [31] Anna Moszynska, Abstract Art, Thames and Hudson,
is over, ''New Criterion'', September 1995. Newcrite- 1990 Retrieved 2012-02-26.
[32] Utopian Reality: Reconstructing Culture in Revolution-
[13] Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla, Futurism, Thames ary Russia and Beyond; Christina Lodder, Maria Kokkori,
and Hudson,1977 Maria Mileeva; BRILL, Oct 24, 2013 Van Doesburg
stated that the purpose of art was to imbue man with those
[14] La Section d'or, 1912-1920-1925, Ccile Debray, positive spiritual qualities that were needed in order to over-
Franoise Lucbert, Muses de Chteauroux, Muse come the dominance of the physical and create the con-
Fabre, exhibition catalogue, ditions Cercle d'art, Paris, ditions for putting an end to wars. In an enthusiastic es-
2000 say on Wassily Kandinsky he had written about the dia-
logue between the artist and the viewer, and the role of
[15] Harrison and Wood, Art in theory, 19002000, Wiley- art as 'the educator of our inner life, the educator of our
Blackwell, 2003, p. 189. ISBN 978-0-631-22708- hearts and minds. Van Doesburg subsequently adopted the view that the spiritual in man is nurtured specically by ab-
stract art, which he later described as 'pure thought, which
[16] Francis Picabia, Caoutchouc, 1909, MNAM, Paris. does not signify a concept derived from natural phenom- Retrieved 2013-09-29. ena but which is contained in numbers, measures, relation-
ships, and abstract lines. In his response to Piet Mondrians
[17] Museum of Modern Art, New York, Francis Picabia, Composition 10, Van Doesburg linked peace and the spir-
''The Spring'', 1912. Retrieved 2013-09-29. itual to a non-representational work of art, asserting that
'it produces a most spiritual impressionthe impression of
[18] MoMA, New York, Francis Picabia, ''Dances at the
repose: the repose of the soul'.
Spring'', 1912. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
[33] Gillian Naylor, The Bauhaus, Studio Vista, 1968
[19] National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC., Francis Pi-
cabia, The Procession, Seville, 1912. Re- [34] Henry Geldzahler, New York Painting and Sculpture:
trieved 2013-09-29. 19401970, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, 1969

[35] David Cunningham, 'Asceticism Against Colour', in New

Formations 55 (2005) p. 110

[36] M. Hardt/K. Weeks eds., The Jameson Reader (2000) p.


[37] Cunningham, p. 114

[38] Aniela Ja, in C. G. Jung ed., Man and his Symbols

(1978) p. 303 and p. 288-9

7 Sources
1. ^ Compton, Susan (1978). The World Backwards:
Russian Futurist Books 191216. The British Li-
brary. ISBN 0-7141-0396-9.

2. ^ Stangos, Nikos (editor) (1981). Concepts of Mod-

ern Art. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-20186-
3. ^ Gooding, Mel (2001). Abstract Art (Movements
in Modern Art series). Tate Publishing. ISBN 1-

8 External links
The term Abstraction spoken about at Museum of
Modern Art by Nelson Goodman of Grove Art On-

American Abstract Artists

Non Figurative Art explained

9 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

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