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Abstract art paintings speak above all to our emotions and sensibilities. They awaken the creativity within all of us and push us to question the world and our prejudices. At KAZoART, we are honoured to be able to bring together talented artists who, using oil, acrylic, watercolour and other mediums, rival each other in originality to explore abstract painting. Discover our selection of contemporary abstract paintings.
It is generally agreed that the first artist to have created an abstract artwork was the Russian painter Vassily Kandinsky. After his first "abstract" watercolour in 1910, he produced various paintings manifesting his desire to emphasize colour and form at the expense of a loyal depiction of reality, as in Composition VII (1913) and On White II (1923).
In the early 20th century, the Fauvist movement, spearheaded by Henri Matisse, began to reflect not on form but on colour. With abstract art paintings like Green Stripe (1905), in which he painted his wife with green and yellow skin, Matisse sought to use bright, unrealistic colours to arouse stronger emotions.
Orphism used small touches of light colours to emphasize luminosity, leading Robert Delaunay from the figurative to abstract art with Man with a Tulip (1609) and Simultaneous Windows on the City (1912). With her cut flowers, Grey, Blue & Black, Pink Circle (1929), Georgie O'Keefe lent her talent to the growing abstraction of art.
Geometric abstraction was developed by well-known names such as Kazimir Malevich, who created Suprematism - a reflection completely disconnected from realist constraints - and focused his work on form and colour, as seen in Supremus no. 56 in 1916. Other proponents include Piet Mondrian and his abstract work Composition in Red, Yellow, Blue and Black (1926), and Joan Miro and his huge abstract painting The Kiss (1924).
Many painters have marked the history of abstract painting: Jackson Pollock Number 5 (1948), Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Paul Klee, Francis Picabia, Fernand Léger, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Clyfford Still and Barnett Newman, and for minimalist abstract painting, Agnès Martin, Ad Reinhardt and Franck Stella.
Hegel claimed in 1832 that art must "lie in something different from the purely formal imitation of what we find given, which in any case can bring to birth only tricks, not works of art". In the early 20th century, a growing movement opposed classic academic European painting, which prioritized the rules of Realism, leaving little space for the style, personality and emotions of the painter or their audience.
From 1905, German Expressionism brought the idea in theory and in practice that art does not exist to depict reality but instead to arouse emotions independent to the real world. An analogy is made with music, which arouses emotion without any attempt to depict reality. This idea fed the concept of "pure art", emanating from invented subjects not chosen from everyday life.
The prospect of using abstract art to experiment with new techniques and new subjects of inspiration was a source of exaltation for these painters, who tackled colour, form and perspective with a fresh eye. They rejected the depiction on canvas of the third dimension.
Throughout the 20th century, a large number of movements emerged in succession and in parallel to one another. Fauvism focused on bright colours, more closely reflecting the painter’s feelings than reality. Forms remained generally figurative. Orphism gradually moved away from perspective and figuration, prioritizing small brush strokes in bright and light colours.
This same period also saw the birth of Cubism, whose influence in terms of deconstruction was decisive in the progression towards contemporary abstract painting. Artists created flat depictions of objects, based on their own perception of crossed lines.