8 Abstract artists you should know

8 Abstract artists you should know

Vassily Kandinsky to Jackson Pollock, Musement shares eight of the world’s top Abstract artists.

There’s something just downright special about Abstract art. These powerful visual depictions force us to delve deep into our minds to question, ponder, understand, and unravel the artist’s message. At the same time, they can, in the best way possible, baffle. Regardless of where you stand, there’s no denying that Abstract artists have profoundly impacted art history, and here’s a look at eight of them.

1. Wassily Kandinsky, 1866 – 1944

This Russian artist is believed to have spearheaded the entire Abstract art movement. He had an interesting life: born in Moscow, raised in Odessa where he attended art school and then returned to Moscow for university then moved to Munich just before Russian Revolution. In Germany, he saw the rise of the Nazis before relocating to France in 1933 where he lived for the rest of his life. His thought-provoking works display different art styles, and some of his most famous are Circles in a Circle (1923) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yellow, Red, Blue (1925) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Composition VII(1913) at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

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Painting: 'Compostion VII (1913), Wassily Kandinsky. Music was the underlying theme in Kandinsky's paintings. He believed that shades had the capacity to resonate with each other and produce visual 'chords'. This had a powerful influence on the soul. . He said, "Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul". . #wassilykandinksy #kandinsky #compositionVII #inspiredbymusic #abstractart #russianartist #expressyourself #paintwhatyoulove #painting #artclass #artclasskolkata #worldofart #loveart #getcreative #creativity #createart #discoverart #arteducation #artforeveryone #artforartssake #inspiration #artinspiration #kolkataart #artinkolkata #encouragingcreativity #artroomkolkata

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2. Jackson Pollock, 1912-1956

This esteemed American Expressionist Abstract artist is best known for colorful swirly drip paintings and during his career, he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine and presented at the 1948 Venice Biennale. Some his most famous works include Mural (1943), which Peggy Guggenheim commissioned for her New York City townhouse, The She-Wolf (1943), which is on display at MoMA and Number 5 (1948), which sold for a record $140 million at a 2006 auction.

3. Piet Mondrian, 1872-1944

This Dutch artist is known for his use of Neoplasticism style, in which he implemented primary colors, geometry, and asymmetry in a style so remarkable that Yves Saint Laurent designed dresses inspired by his work. His Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942-1943) and Composition in Planes (1914) are at MoMA while works from his unmistakeable primary color Compositions can be found in various locations.

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Piet Mondrian, Composition No. III, with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black, 1929, 1929. Purchased in 1997 for $4,182,500 and sold in 2015 for $50,565,000, resulting in a return of 12x for the seller. —- Inspired by Post-Impressionism and the Cubist painters, Piet Mondrian’s search for the essence of painting led him to develop Neo-Plasticism in 1917. This visual aesthetic was limited to a fundamental sense of design: horizontal and vertical lines and the sole use of primary colors. The above featured painting, “Composition No. III, with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black”, is a vibrantly mature example of the artist’s vision, and is one of a series of nine works, most of which are housed in institutional collections. Upon completion in 1929, the painting was exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and subsequently gifted to Mondrian’s friend and fellow artist, Michael Seuphor. Seuphor, an alias for Fernand Bercklelaers, was the founder of the Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square) group that included artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Kurt Schwitters, in addition to Piet Mondrian #artfinance #artinvesting #invest #investing #investment #alternativeinvestments #money #business #investor #entrepreneur #property #finance #trading #wealth #financialfreedom #luxury #art #artist #artoninstagram #pietmodrian #modernart

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4. Agnes Martin, 1912 – 2004

An American-Canadian Abstract minimalist painter, Agnes Martin is closely associated with Taos, New Mexico, where she spent most of her adult life. Her works have a delicate quality, and often depict grids and geometric shapes that can conjure a calming sensation within the viewer. Among her most defining works are Untitled 1992 at the Guggenheim in New York, Harbour 1 (1957) at MoMA and Happy Holiday (1999) at the Tate Modern.

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#WorkoftheWeek is Agnes Martin's 'I Love the Whole World' 1999. Agnes Martin described having ‘inspirations’ that catalysed the creation of each new work. Seeing the finished painting in her mind’s eye, she would translate this vision into reality, methodically measuring out the divisions of the canvas as she had seen them. However, as she said, ‘we can see perfectly, but we cannot do perfectly’, so while her ‘inspiration’ was perfect, the final painting always contained slight imperfections brought about by the human hand. Martin aimed at perfection in the full knowledge that she could not achieve it: ‘I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect – completely removed in fact – as we ourselves are.’

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5. Willem De Kooning, 1904-1997

This Dutch Expressionist Abstract artist made his home in New York, where he rolled with an artistic crowd that included Jackson Pollock. He generally interpreted people, landscapes and still life, and his most emblematic works include Excavation (1950), which can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago, Seated Man (1939) at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Woman, 1 (1950-52), at MoMA.

6. Mark Rothko, 1903 – 1970

Am American painter of Lithuanian-Jewish descent, Rothko didn’t consider himself part of any art movement though he’s generally classified into the Abstract Expressionist genre. “I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on,” he stated about his work, which is made distinct by aligned vertical rectangles in bright colors against a colored backdrop. His work is enrapturing and you can stare at it for hours. Keep an eye out for Black on Maroon (1959) at the Tate Modern in London, No. 61 (Rust and Blue) (1953) at the Musem of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and No 14 (1960) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

7. Bridget Riley, 1931 –

One of the U.K.’s leading living artists, Bridget Riley takes Abstract art to a new level via Op Art, or Optical Art, a genre characterized by optical illusions. See Fall (1963) and Hesiate (1964) among several others at the Tate Modern as well as Current (1965) at MoMA.

8. Paul Klee, 1879 – 1940

This Swiss artist had an individual style dabbled with several art movements including Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism, and he’s said to have had a strong influence on the Abstract art movement. Hitler classified his Twittering Machine (1922) as “degenerate art.” Today, the work is on display at MoMA and reprints adorn the walls of children’s bedrooms around the world. His other popular works include Flower Myth (1918) at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover and Ad Parnassum at the Kunstmuseum in Bern.

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Today's art break is in honour of German artist Paul Klee's (1879 – 1940) birthday. Klee's work hovered between Expressionism, Surrealism and Cubism; never easily classified his work retains an individualist aura. The image below is one of my favourites, 'Twittering Machine' (1922). The painting is subtlety Surrealist, with watery washes of colour and the delicacy of the machine itself. Ambiguous and intriguing, the work invites us to speculate on its meaning. Is it an automaton, eternally tweeting at the turn of the handle? Or is it a nightmarish parable on nature and science? This, for me is the beauty of Klee's work – a subtle question for the viewer, never settling into definite resolutions. Please share if you have a favourite Klee. #paulklee #twitteringmachine #expressionism #artbreak #arthistory

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