A Complete Guide to Understand Abstract Art

Understand Abstract Art

Have you ever gazed at a painting for long trying to find its meaning? Seeing a painting of a garden, a flower, or a girl, you know the subject; thus, it leaves no scope for your imagination. However, when you see abstract art, it communicates with you by evoking a feeling. This feeling transports you to your world of imagination. In a way, we can say abstract is where art meets divine as just like God, abstract art also gives us free will to imagine and think.

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Abstract is a multi-facet genre that is highlighted by elements like shape, form, colours & lines.

The subject in Abstract Art is non-representational however its non-representation nature be slight, partial or complete. Thus allowing the viewer's imagination to flow freely and see what his physical eyes can not see. 

It is not necessary for an abstract painting to have a meaning or a narrative. The purpose of the abstract is to allow the viewer to engage by setting their imagination free. Thus same painting could have different meaning of each individual based on their imagination. 

Quotes by Well-known Abstract Artists

My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or fields...it's more like a poem...and that's what I want to paint. - Joan Mitchell
"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes...Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas."― Arshile Gorky


How to look at abstract art? 

For people led by feelings, how to see abstract art is something worth knowing.

There are two paintings in abstract art, one painted by the artist and the other that you paint with your imagination as you see the art.
  • Look at it for as long as you feel like for as far as your imagination goes. 
  • Focus on how abstract art makes you feel each time you look at it. A good painting is the one that draws you towards it.
  • See, the strokes should be smooth and not be broken. 
  • Check the color composition. The color composition should be pleasing to your eyes.
  • Do not judge abstract art by its title, as it might suggest you to think in a specific direction. Let the art transport you to the world of your imagination. 
  • Do not try to find the art's meaning; instead, let your imagination define the abstract art for you.


Some well known abstract artists:

Last but not least, explore works of famous abstract artists like Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Joan Miro, Jason Pollock, Clyyford Still, Hilma Af Klint, Christine Ay Tjoe, and Arshile Gorky. 

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