View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
Art, including painting, sculpture, and graphic art, that does not represent recognizable objects. In the late 19th century the traditional European conception of art as the imitation of nature was abandoned in favour of the imagination and the unconscious. Abstraction developed in the early 20th century with such movements as Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, and Futurism. Vasily Kandinsky is credited as the first modern artist to paint purely abstract pictures, c. 1910. Piet Mondrian's De Stijl group in the Netherlands widened the spectrum c. 1915–20. Abstraction continued to flourish between the two world wars, and after the 1930s it was the most characteristic feature of Western art. After World War II, Abstract Expressionism emerged in the U.S. and had a great influence on European and American painting and sculpture. By the turn of the 21st century, artistic output was varied, with abstract art prominent alongside figurative and conceptual work.
Variants of ABSTRACT ART
abstract art or nonobjective art or nonrepresentational art
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on abstract art, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up abstract art? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.