From the last decades of the 19th century, a new way of representing reality appeared on the Western pictorial scene, absolutely disruptive with respect to the known order. This new form was that of abstract pictorial art, one that seeks to pose the artist’s interiority and subjectivity when it comes to understanding what surrounds it, and thus becomes unique.
What is abstract art: first approach to the idea
To better understand the idea of what an abstract painting represents, we can say that it is characterized by showing in an alternative way the reality that surrounds us. You can even seek to represent imaginary elements, dreams and fantasies. All this does not do it from a figurative and concrete aspect, but is based on the construction of the image through geometric shapes, lines, unreal colors, silhouettes and even many elements that are highly stimulating from the visual point of view of the viewer.
Abstract painting does not seek to demonstrate a scene, a landscape or a body, but seeks to create alternative ways of representing all those same elements. There are those who maintain that a painting of this type aims to put the artist in more direct contact with its interior, since it does not give rise to reality to intervene with known images or those that can be found around us. Thus, an abstract painter does not necessarily paint a landscape but his own subjectivity of that landscape or even something that neither he knew in advance but that he had inside.
The break with academic and figurative painting
Historically, most of the history of Western art has focused on the construction of painting from an empirical or realistic point of view. This means that he sought for many centuries to represent what was observed in reality. However, it is at the end of the 19th century with Impressionism that this indisputable way of acting began to change.
Impressionist painters sought to show reality from different points of view, with highly charged brushstrokes that lost the real silhouettes of objects. At the same time , they painted the same scenes with different types of light or with more deformed geometric shapes, which visually generated very striking effects that were highly criticized at the time. They were considered artists who did not know how to paint.
From them, the avant-gardes of the 20th century took these elements as central and disfigured reality to transform it into unique and disruptive elements, creative and abstract, full of forms, color and silhouettes never seen before.