Abstract Art, which originated in the late 19th century, was an incredibly versatile art period made up of a variety of genres. Some of the types included Abstract Expressionism, Lyrical Abstraction, Color Field Painting, Post-painterly Abstraction, and Minimalism. Abstract Art emerged due to the desire of artists to create artworks that were completely independent to and unrestrained by visual references that occurred in real life. Thus, art pieces embodied the multiple changes that were taking place in society, technology, and science at the time.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Introduction to Abstract Painting
- 2 The Ten Most Famous Abstract Art Pieces
- 2.1 Wassily Kandinsky: Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor) (1910)
- 2.2 Piet Mondrian: Tableau I (1921)
- 2.3 Paul Klee: Senecio (1922)
- 2.4 Joan Miró: Peinture (Etoile Bleue) (1927)
- 2.5 Pablo Picasso: Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932)
- 2.6 Ben Nicholson: 1934 (relief) (1934)
- 2.7 Jackson Pollock: Convergence (1952)
- 2.8 Helen Frankenthaler: Mountains and Sea (1952)
- 2.9 Mark Rothko: No. 2, Green, Red and Blue (1953)
- 2.10 Robert Motherwell: Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110 (1971)
An Introduction to Abstract Painting
Seen as a non-representational art movement, abstraction within art developed tremendously throughout the years, with many artists choosing to experiment within this genre. Thought to arise during the late 19th century and early 20th century, Abstract Art opposed traditional representation art, as it aimed to bear no resemblance to anything remotely distinguishable in the natural world.
Abstract Art arose as artists attempted to create works that were completely unrelated to any perceptible references, to the point where artworks became completely detached from reality altogether. Most artists in the early 20th century sought new ways of producing art, with Abstract Art existing as a medium that evoked the notion of being entirely abstracted from something real.
This was because reality at the time, with all of its many changes, was thought to be incredibly restricting and artists felt a need to break away from its limitations.
Abstraction was firmly established as a major force within the art world as society began to experience depression, food shortages, and war. Artists began to depict these concepts of what was seen in society through non-realistic and symbolic artworks, which demonstrated a great departure from traditional and representative artistic creation. The development of Abstract Art gave artists the autonomy needed to create endless boundaries in order to put together their theoretical compositions and label them as “art”.
Rain Landscape (1911) by Wassily Kandinsky; Wassily Kandinsky, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
This freedom in art was characterized by an unrestrained use of color, shapes, forms, and gestural marks, which were combined to achieve an unusual aesthetic, which led to intense emotional responses from viewers. The result of these artworks was that they became greatly abstracted, with this style said to represent the artist’s thoughts and emotions when creating the artwork. Therefore, Abstract Art was believed to conjure up powerful emotions and connections with viewers through the images that were depicted.
Artworks created were thus in retaliation to the fundamental changes that were occurring in the technological, scientific, and philosophical spheres of the Western European world, with Abstract Art existing as the major turning point in artistic society.
Due to this, no right or wrong way existed when it came to interpreting Abstract Art and what it meant, as the movement embodied the idea that any depictions could be classified as art.
One of the most iconic Abstract Artists of all time was Wassily Kandinsky, who was said to paint the first and most iconic Abstract artwork ever made. Since the creation of Kandinsky’s artwork, the Abstract Art movement proved to be an extremely multifaceted field that encouraged an investigation and development of new styles and techniques, that have since influenced the emergence of other art movements today.
The Ten Most Famous Abstract Art Pieces
Throughout the early 20th century, a lot of famous Abstract art was created, with the majority of these artworks still being spoken about today. When considering these Abstract Art examples, certain artworks have managed to stand out and gain increasing popularity as time has gone on. While there are many more artworks that can be included when considering the most famous Abstract paintings of all time, we have chosen the ten best Abstract paintings to talk about below.
Wassily Kandinsky: Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor) (1910)
Thought to be the pioneer of Abstract Art, Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was easily recognized as the most iconic member of the entire movement. Nicknamed the “father of Abstract Art”, Kandinsky painted some of the earliest works within the genre, including what was said to be the first true artwork of the Abstract Art period. The artwork in question, which he painted in 1910, was his Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor).
|Artist||Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944)|
|Medium||Watercolor and Indian ink and pencil on paper|
|Dimensions||49.6 cm x 64.8 cm (19.5 in x 25.5 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris|
Kandinsky expressed a desire to break away from the constraints of including subject matter within artworks, with Untitled demonstrating elements and techniques that were unique to the new genre of Abstract artwork was developing. Characterized by vivid colors and gestural smears, Kandinsky prioritized the expression of intense emotions over an accurate depiction of reality within his painting.
Working with watercolors, Kandinsky was able to complete this painting in just three days. However, despite his haste, Kandinsky made various studies for this artwork before beginning the final composition. What added to the speed that can be interpreted within Untitled was his color choice, as Kandinsky artfully picked colors that he knew would faithfully represent his emotions at the time. The lines and shapes that were drawn also add to and emphasize the chaos and urgency that is experienced when viewing this painting.
Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor) (1913) by Wassily Kandinsky; Wassily Kandinsky, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Abstraction is also clearly demonstrated within this artwork through the loose and vague lines depicted, which triggered considerable interest from the artistic crowd at the time. Untitled exists as an important instigator of the Abstract Art movement, as it was the very first time that anything remotely detached and unrestrained was accepted as a suitable subject matter within artworks at the time. Untitled marked a defining point within European art as the departure from traditional artworks towards more abstracted and uninhibited art pieces.
The period between 1910 and 1914 was considered to be Kandinsky’s career peak and the pinnacle of his greatest artistic achievements. Thus, Untitled existed as one of the first artworks that blatantly cast off all references to recognizable forms and emerged out of the constraints that were posed by the representational conventions of Western European painting.
This notion of complete freedom went on to feature prominently within the majority of the work created by Kandinsky during this period.
Piet Mondrian: Tableau I (1921)
Iconic Dutch artist Piet Mondrian was another important figure within the Abstract Art movement, as he created some of the most iconic famous Abstract art pieces within the genre. Known for his involvement in both the Abstract and De Stijl movements, Mondrian’s art style evolved significantly until it was eventually condensed into basic and uncomplicated geometric elements. His 1921 painting, titled Tableau I, demonstrates Mondrian’s style well and exists as one of his most famous Abstract paintings.
|Artist||Piet Mondrian (1872 – 1944)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||103 cm x 100 cm (40.5 in x 39.3 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Netherlands|
Through creating a painting that separated panels of paint by using solid black lines, Mondrian managed to solidify his well-known style within Abstract Art. This polished and harmonious balance that was created by the mathematic precision applied to compositions characterized the majority of Mondrian’s artworks during this period, as he relied on firm and geometric shapes to take the place of recognizable figures.
In addition to this, Mondrian made use of solid blocks of color and line in order to emphasize that no distinct reference to anything was ever made within his artworks. The use of lines and color within Tableau I aided in the stark compartmentalization that Mondrian attempted to create between viewers and their minds when looking at this Abstract artwork.
This was done to highlight the notion that logical sense did not always accompany artworks, as some pieces can simply be understood and accepted as simple blocks of color, line, and form.
Tableau I (1921) by Piet Mondrian; Piet Mondrian, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
As seen within Tableau I, and other artworks during this period, Mondrian only made use of primary colors. His simplified color palette went on to display his utopian theory that the universe was merely an organic and balanced collection of objects and substances that could easily be combined in geometric forms and lines.
By using only primary colors, Mondrian made reference to the building blocks of all colors and was able to seamlessly create a sense of compositional harmony within his abstracted works, which is demonstrated within Tableau I. Mondrian achieved a near-perfect balance of color within Tableau I, with this Abstract artwork going on to influence an array of other artists, architects, and fashion designers within pop art and contemporary art.
Paul Klee: Senecio (1922)
Another prominent artist within the Abstract Art era was German artist Paul Klee, whose paintings make up some of the best Abstract Art examples throughout history. Klee was also known for his involvement within Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism, as his great exploration of color theory stands out in the majority of his artworks. His most famous Abstract art piece, painted in 1922, is titled Senecio.
|Artist||Paul Klee (1879 – 1940)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas mounted on panel|
|Dimensions||40.5 cm x 38 cm (15.9 in x 15 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland|
Within Senecio, also known as Head of a Man Going Senile, Klee depicts what appears to be a human head that has been divided into various rectangles of orange, yellow, red, and white. The different squares of color are said to resemble a type of mask or patches traditionally worn by a harlequin, further implied by the reference to artist-performer Senecio in the artwork’s title.
Due to the abstraction created by the different squares, Senecio does not appear to depict a face at first. However, when looking at the triangle and curved line seen above both eyes, it gives off the impression of raised eyebrows and viewers are then able to make out a face within the blocks. The geometric precision in this work demonstrates quite a heavy Cubist influence, with this artwork considered to fall part of both Cubism and Abstract Art.
Senecio (Head of a Man) (1922) by Paul Klee; Paul Klee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Through using simple colors and ambiguous shapes, Klee was able to manipulate graphical elements to the point where they were able to form into a somewhat recognizable figure by the eye of viewers. Senecio also reveals Klee’s sense of humor and interest in African culture, as the face has a mask-like quality to it.
The combination of colors, shapes, and illusion within Senecio demonstrates the shifting relationship that existed within the art world at the time, as the face Klee portrayed had the ability to easily shift into another form if viewers understood it differently. In addition to this theoretical notion, Senecio mocks paintings made by children, as the use of vague shapes and minimal facial details, like that in children’s artworks, still manages to convey the figure Klee intended.
Joan Miró: Peinture (Etoile Bleue) (1927)
Spanish artist Joan Miró, who practiced primarily within the Dada, Experimental, and Surrealist movements, also produced many famous Abstract paintings during his career. Despite being more closely linked to Surrealism, Miró painted several prominent artworks which were considered to be precursors to the development of Abstract Art. One of these artworks, painted in 1927, was his Peinture (Etoile Bleue).
|Artist||Joan Miró (1893 – 1983)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||115.5 cm x 89 cm (45 5/8 in x 35 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Private collection|
What makes this artwork so interesting is that it documented Miró’s transition between Figurative and Abstract Art. Within this painting, it is difficult to discern what the actual subject matter is at first. However, after viewing it for a few minutes, most viewers will remark that they may still not quite understand what it is that Miró is trying to represent.
Painted with a scorching blue background, the thin black lines that seem to be doodles become clearer, as well as the two spots of bright blue and red. In the middle of the painting, in between the winding black lines, a splash of pink is shown. Despite this intersection of lines and flecks of color, no concrete images or representable figures are able to form, demonstrating the true abstraction present within this artwork.
Portrait of Joan Miró in 1935; Carl Van Vechten, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Within Peinture (Etoile Bleue), Miró was able to create an extraordinary image of visual potency, with this artwork taking on a dreamlike feeling. Miró dubbed the intensity of the blue within this painting as the “color of [his] dreams”, further demonstrating the phantasmagorical and surreal feeling that can be felt when viewing this artwork.
Miró claimed that when he painted, he simply painted the images he saw in his head.
This statement emphasized that fact that visually recognized references could not always be found within his paintings, as the subject matter he depicted was taken from his own mind. As a Surrealist artist, Miró often painted while hallucinating and under the influence of drugs. Peinture (Etoile Bleue), while existing as a famous Abstract art piece in its own right, was thus a product of Miró’s irrational approach to art creation.
The colors used within Miró’s artwork, in particular the striking blue, went on to influence other Abstract painters such as Mark Rothko and Yves Klein. In addition to its great impact, Miró’s Peinture (Etoile Bleue) went on to become the most expensive painting of his that ever sold, fetching £23.5 million in 2012.
Pablo Picasso: Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932)
One of the most iconic painters within art history, in general, is Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Throughout his lengthy career, Picasso experimented predominantly within the Cubist and Surrealist movements. In addition to this, he created some artworks that were considered to be part of the Abstract Art period as well. Out of all the works he created, one of his best Abstract Art paintings was thought to be Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, painted in 1932.
|Artist||Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||162 cm x 130 cm (64 in x 51 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Currently on long-term loan to the Tate Modern, England|
Within Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Picasso painted his mistress at the time, Marie-Thérèse Walter. Picasso thought of Walter as his muse, with this portrait being dedicated to her and the great impact that she had on him. Standing over a meter tall, this Abstract artwork includes a representation of Walters as a slightly simplified and abstracted figure lying in front of a vibrant blue curtain. She appears to be surrounded by seemingly random objects, including a plant, a bust sitting atop a plinth, and some fruit.
This stunning masterpiece represented the sensuous relationship that Picasso had with Walters. For years, he kept their relationship a secret from his wife, with this air of mystery and privacy being implied by the abstracted figure in the painting and the inclusion of a curtain. In painting Walters this way, Picasso was able to further shield her identity in addition to creating a form that was initially confusing for viewers to make logical sense of.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust exists as a notable example of Abstract Art, as the techniques and elements used by Picasso demonstrate that it was somewhat removed from reality. This is emphasized by the confusion surrounding the objects that are shown, as well as the concealment of the figure’s face.
Primary colors are used in the background, which illustrates the compositional harmony that was created through the use of these colors, referencing the technique made famous by fellow artist Piet Mondrian.
Thus, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust exists as an important artwork within Abstract Art, as Picasso managed to seamlessly incorporate elements from other styles into this unique painting. It also broke the world record for the most expensive painting ever sold at the time, as it was auctioned at $106.5 million in 2010. Today, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust holds the price tag for the third-highest price ever attached to a piece of artwork on auction.
Portrait photograph of Pablo Picasso in front of his painting The Aficionado (Kunstmuseum Basel) at Villa les Clochettes, Sorgues, France, summer 1912; Anonymous Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Ben Nicholson: 1934 (relief) (1934)
Another prominent artist within the Abstract Art period was British artist Ben Nicholson. Working exclusively in Abstract compositions, landscapes, and still lives, Nicholson’s artworks have been said to make up some notable Abstract Art examples. One of Nicholson’s artworks, created in 1934, is his 1934 (relief) artwork.
|Artist||Ben Nicholson (1894 – 1982)|
|Medium||Oil paint on mahogany|
|Dimensions||71.8 cm x 96.5 cm|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Tate Modern, England|
Heavily inspired by the Post-Impressionist and Cubist movements, Nicholson was intrigued at how paintings could potentially represent space. He began to wander away from his traditionally figurative style so as to start experimenting and producing what he believed to be abstract reliefs. In these abstract and geometrically sculpted artworks, Nicholson hand-made each piece before painting them white.
Within 1934 (relief), Nicholson was greatly influenced by the artworks of Piet Mondrian after meeting him, as well as fellow artists Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. In this Abstract artwork, Nicholson demonstrated his avoidance of color as he chose to paint in pure white. Created in the years before World War Two broke out, 1934 (relief) existed as a subtle exploration of the turbulent period that was experienced between both wars through the vast abstraction and lack of color used.
1934 (relief) oil paint on wood sculpture by Ben Nicholson, 1934, Tate Modern; sculpture: en:Ben Nicholson (d 1982); photo: Wmpearl, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Through carving out a circle and a square from a wooden board, Nicholson demonstrated the idea of “lacking” within society at the time. In 1934 (relief), all emotion is removed through the inclusion of geometric forms, the dimensional layering, and the monochromatic color palette used.
This artwork established Nicholson as one of the most important figures within English Abstraction at the time, as he went on to create a series of these abstract white sculptural reliefs in this unique style.
Jackson Pollock: Convergence (1952)
An artist who was primarily associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement was American painter Jackson Pollock. Seen as a major figure within that movement, Pollock created many famous Abstract art pieces throughout his career, as he was said to have produced an impressive 363 paintings while he was alive. One of his best Abstract paintings, created in 1952, is his Convergence artwork.
|Artist||Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||237 cm x 390 cm (93.5 in x 155 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York|
In addition to being one of his earliest Abstract artworks, Convergence is widely considered to be Pollock’s most admired and courageous piece ever made. Known for his infamous drip-painting technique, Pollock demonstrated this style within Convergence, as the painting depicts a collage made up of splattered colors that seem to form into expertly skilled shapes and lines. These elements are able to evoke quite intense emotions from viewers while simultaneously attacking the eye, as the immense size of Convergence is a lot to take in.
Within Convergence, little bits of life can be seen on the surface of Pollock’s work. He included objects like nails and coins, as well as a small match which can be seen in the center of the artwork. Originally creating this painting with a monochromatic color palette, Pollock was unhappy with the result and decided to add bits of color in order to save the Abstract artwork. While critics may have initially debated if his addition of color succeeded in salvaging the artwork, Convergence exists as one of Pollock’s most well-known works today.
Existing as a personification of free speech as well as freedom of expression, the boldness of Convergence almost dares viewers to slightly disagree with its message. Convergence managed to express opinions of the threat of Communism and the Russian Cold War through the unique style that was used.
Thus, it is considered to be an important and innovative painting within history, as the message attached to Pollock’s artwork described everything America stood for at that time.
Due to its colossal size, Convergence is best appreciated in person. Because of its popularity, a jigsaw company released a 340-piece puzzle of Convergence in 1964 and advertised it as “the world’s most difficult puzzle” at the time. Due to this marketing, countless Americans went to purchase the puzzle, which further solidified Pollock’s prominence within the art world, as well as the impact of Convergence on society.
Portrait of Jackson Pollock in 1928; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Helen Frankenthaler: Mountains and Sea (1952)
An important female artist within the Abstract Art movement was American painter Helen Frankenthaler, who was one of the only artists to span the several generations of all Abstract painters. Her Abstract Art paintings were ever-changing, which demonstrated her developing style within the period. One of her most famous Abstract art pieces, painted in 1952 when she was just 23 years old, was Mountains and Sea.
|Artist||Helen Frankenthaler (1928 – 2011)|
|Medium||Oil and charcoal on canvas|
|Dimensions||220 cm x 297.8 cm (87 in x 117.2 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.|
Within this artwork, Frankenthaler was celebrated for her unique soak-stain technique, in which she thinned her oil paints with turpentine or kerosene before using them to stain the unprimed canvas. This led to the paint being absorbed by the unprepared canvas, which gave her works a sense of constant movement. After viewing some of Jackson Pollock’s monochromatic drip works in 1951, Frankenthaler was inspired to create her own distinctive technique in the artworks she produced, which led to the development of soak-staining.
After a trip to Nova Scotia, Frankenthaler was inspired by the scenery she saw to test out her new technique for the first time. Mountains and Sea demonstrated an almost translucent depiction of abstracted forms thought to represent mountains, which gave her artwork an elusive-like aura. By using her soak-stain technique, Frankenthaler’s painting took on organic configurations that implied great tranquility, with her light and pastel color palette adding to the heavenly and transient nature of her work.
Based on the result of Frankenthaler’s technique, Mountains and Sea is considered to be one of the first successful Color Field Paintings to exist within Abstract Expressionism and has remained one of the movement’s most appealing images today. Frankenthaler’s famous Abstract art pieces went on to influence numerous artists experimenting within the genre, as her light and flowy technique allowed a smooth release from the popular impasto technique that dominated painting at the time.
Mountains and Sea was Frankenthaler’s first professionally exhibited Abstract artwork of her career. In addition to this, her artwork is also one of her largest paintings ever made. Despite its immense size, Mountains and Sea was able to capture a quiet intimacy that Frankenthaler experienced when in Nova Scotia, with her soft color choices of pink, blue, and green adding to the luminous yet transparent quality of the watery figures and shapes she depicted.
Its size, in conjunction with the colors used, essentially allowed her depictions to float off the canvas.
Mark Rothko: No. 2, Green, Red and Blue (1953)
An important pioneer of Color Fields Painting within the Abstract Art genre was Russian-American artist Mark Rothko. Best known for the vivid use of color within his artworks, Rothko’s artworks exist as notable Abstract Art examples due to a significant lack of subject matter in most of his paintings. One of his notable paintings, which he painted in 1953, is Rothko’s No. 2, Green, Red and Blue.
|Artist||Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970)|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||205.7 cm x 170.5 cm (81 in x 67.1 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Private collection|
The colors used within No. 2, Green, Red and Blue demonstrate Rothko’s fascination with creating washed canvases made out of only three colors, which went on to become his signature style. As depicted within this artwork, as well as in Rothko’s numerous other famous Abstract paintings, he relied on creating grids that were able to squarely fit blocks of solid color that often contrasted with one another.
Mark Rothko, Yorktown Heights, ca. 1949; Consuelo Kanaga, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons
Within No. 2, Green, Red and Blue, the expression of color exists as the main subject in the painting. Rothko chose colors that accurately depicted his emotional state at the time, with the bright hues of red, green, and blue depicting a lighter energy. However, as his career progressed, Rothko’s mental health was said to drastically decline, which led to him making use of more somber tones such as blacks, grays, and blues within his paintings. No. 2, Green, Red and Blue was the artwork that marked the transition between his light and dark phase.
Through the careful use of color, Rothko is able to conjure up intense emotions within his Abstract Art paintings.
In this artwork, the red band in the middle of the painting contrasts heavily with the blue block while complementing the green section of the work. Rothko believed the use of color was able to tap into basic human emotions and thus bring about a variety of different meanings in viewers when considering his artworks. The lighter tones within No. 2, Green, Red and Blue were thought to signify a more peaceful time in his life.
Robert Motherwell: Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110 (1971)
The final painter on our list is American artist Robert Motherwell, who was well-known throughout the Abstract Expressionist movement. Motherwell was considered to be the most articulate artist within the movement, as his Abstract artworks touched on many pertinent issues regarding politics, philosophy, and literary themes. One of his famous Abstract art pieces, painted in 1971, was titled Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110.
|Artist||Robert Motherwell (1915 – 1991)|
|Medium||Acrylic with graphite and charcoal on canvas|
|Dimensions||208.3 cm x 289.6 cm (82 in x 114 in)|
|Where It Is Currently Housed||Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York|
Within this artwork, Motherwell was said to shake up the world of Abstraction, as his painting included very primal and rugged gestures which simultaneously conveyed feelings of strength, energy, and anxiety. The stark use of black and white in this painting implied a deep understanding of life and death, which added a stoic type of strength to this artwork.
The subject matter, which this painting is believed to be based on, was the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936.
Although Motherwell was only 21 years old at the time, the atrocities that he witnessed would go on to greatly affect him in the years to come. Based on this, the intensity within his painting brings forth profound and heavy emotions when viewing the artwork. In addition to this painting, Motherwell created a series of more than 200 other paintings which responded to the Spanish Civil War.
The sense of pure freedom within this artwork added to the level of abstraction that Motherwell used in his artwork. Within Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110, this abstraction served as a memorialization of human suffering and the unrelenting circle of life and death.
The furious type of energy in Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110 completely surrounds viewers when looking at the artwork, as the gestural and primal brushstrokes seem to burst right off the canvas. Motherwell’s artwork contains a strange sense of anxiety, which adds to the striking vitality that is present in the painting. At a time where Abstraction seemed to be fading away, Motherwell inserted a vigorous new life force into the style, which has gone on to inspire Abstract artists to this very day.
Hardy Plants (1934) by Paul Klee, oil on pulpboard; Paul Klee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Abstract Art held a powerful influence over the direction of artistic creation. Some of the world’s most famous Abstract art pieces were created during this period and are still highly revered today. While we have only included ten of the best Abstract Art examples here, we encourage you to explore this genre further if you have enjoyed learning about these unique and exceptional artworks.
Take a look at our Abstract paintings webstory here!
Isabella studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature & Language and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate years, she took Art History as an additional subject and absolutely loved it. Building on from her art history knowledge that began in high school, art has always been a particular area of fascination for her. From learning about artworks previously unknown to her, or sharpening her existing understanding of specific works, the ability to continue learning within this interesting sphere excites her greatly.
Her focal points of interest in art history encompass profiling specific artists and art movements, as it is these areas where she is able to really dig deep into the rich narrative of the art world. Additionally, she particularly enjoys exploring the different artistic styles of the 20th century, as well as the important impact that female artists have had on the development of art history.
Cite this Article
Isabella, Meyer, “Famous Abstract Paintings – The 10 Best Abstract Art of all Time.” Art in Context. May 24, 2021. URL: https://artincontext.org/famous-abstract-paintings/
Meyer, I. (2021, 24 May). Famous Abstract Paintings – The 10 Best Abstract Art of all Time. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/famous-abstract-paintings/