The Formal Qualities of Abstract Art
The Formal Qualities of Abstract Art
When we think of Abstract Art it conjures up pictures of lines and colours swirling about, but the history of abstract art goes much deeper than that. This form of art has existed for over one thousand years and has now spread into almost every country on earth. What is Abstract Art? And why is it so popular with artists and art lovers?
An abstract painting is a work of art that does not have a clear defining style or look, but instead because of its own unique way of conveying a message. Abstract art often uses various forms of non-representational art to try and bring to life certain concepts or ideas. For example a famous piece of abstract art by Swiss artist Paul Gauguin was entitled The Night Cafe (1958). It is a striking piece of work, which depicts an old-fashioned coffee shop in the night time, with people casually sitting around and speaking to one another.
The Night Cafe was created around an idea that war was destroying the beautiful human race. In this painting Gauguin tried to tell us that the war could not destroy the values that mankind had grown up with. He used a number of different styles of painting and produced many different colours that were blended together to form what he called a “night vision”. This was a form of abstract art that was entirely different to the more traditional pictorial paintings that were coming out of Switzerland at the time. The Night Cafe painting is an excellent example of how Gauguin mixed non-representational techniques with his more traditional pictorials to produce a work of art that is still highly popular today.
Most people when they first hear about abstract art are immediately interested in forms of painting which do not have any real “form” and are generally thought to be more or less worthless. However, if you take just a moment to look beyond the common misconception, you will realize that the real value of abstract art is not found in the painting itself but rather in the ability of the artist to allow you to experience the depth of his thoughts through his artwork. When we enter into a painting, we should be able to step into the minds of the artists and discover their ideas and beliefs about the world and our place in it. An artist may create an abstract painting in order to reveal his innermost thoughts about life, religion, culture, and sometimes even about the human race as a whole.
Modern art as a whole was founded on the concept of abstract art. There are now a wide variety of ways to view the world and to communicate those ideas in a meaningful way. Abstract paintings allow modern artists to express themselves in a much more complex and deep way than they could have with more traditional pictorials. Abstract art has allowed modern artists to be bolder in their interpretations of the abstract. While abstract art has been around for decades, the concept has only become more popular with each passing year. You can generally find more abstract paintings on the walls of modern art galleries than you can find paintings by more traditional artists.
One thing that is most interesting about abstract art is that anyone who sees a beautiful piece will be able to draw their own interpretation of it. Because of this the paintings allow modern artists to challenge conventional views of beauty and even authority. Because of this the paintings encourage free thought and allow the viewer to add their own personal spin to the piece by interpreting the formal qualities of the painting in their own unique way. Many times the interpretation of the painting by the viewer can differ drastically from the actual designer who created the work of art. Understanding the formal qualities of a painting can provide a valuable tool for understanding the beauty that lies within it.