When it comes to abstract art, you’ve probably heard of a handful of famous abstract artists. These artists’ work is edgy, challenging the viewer’s eye, and oftentimes wildly expensive. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most famous abstract artists. Whether you’re a fan of modern art or a true classic, these artists can be your guide to the world of abstract art.
Abstract art has been an increasingly popular form of art in the United States for decades, but few have managed to capture its resonant resonance quite like Pollock. Pollock made modernism and Surrealism more accessible to American audiences by reworking the logic of modernism and applying it to new problems. In his early paintings, Pollock’s work broke the rigid framework of Cubist space and replaced it with a dense web of space. In the process, Pollock updated Impressionism, creating paintings adorned with light effects and suggesting the pitch-black interiors of the human mind.
His drip-style paintings became more popular in the 1950s. In 1955, Pollock created two paintings, but then painted nothing in 1956. Ultimately, he was unable to resolve the primacy of the abstract and figurative aspects of his style, which resulted in his death in 1956 from a car accident. In his later years, Pollock’s work returned to figurative elements and color.
Wassily Kandinsky is one of history’s most influential abstract artists. He began his career at the beginning of the twentieth century as a painter of impressionistic landscapes and woodblock prints. His ideas about the relationship between sound and vision eventually led him to experiment with color and shape in his paintings. His style became known as expressionism and is considered one of the most influential types of modern art.
One of the most famous works by Kandinsky is The Blue Mountain (1908). This painting demonstrates his development as an abstract artist. The Three Riders, who cross the bottom, are a procession of three figures. Their faces, clothing, and saddles are a single color. Even the walkers are abstract and lack detail. There are many different examples of his abstract paintings, and all of them are worth seeing.
In the second half of the twentieth century, Piet Mondrian’s paintings achieved icon status and continue to permeate pop culture. The master of balance, Mondrian created a striking work in which a big red square and a tiny yellow rectangle emerge from the bottom of the canvas. The two forms meet in the middle and create more than meets the eye. Mondrian’s painting style became more refined after moving to Paris and developing his skills as a painter.
The works of famous abstract artists such as Mark Rothko were incredibly revolutionary. The works of this artist had a spiritual character that was buried underneath the brushstrokes. The artist was an abstract painter who believed that his art could represent human drama, and his works evoke a similar emotional response to music. Unfortunately, Rothko’s mental state led to his suicide in 1970 in New York City.
While Mark Rothko may not have been the most influential abstract painter of all time, his work is still highly popular today. His famous color field paintings are known worldwide, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas houses fourteen of his works. Mark Rothko was once commissioned to create a mural for a Park Avenue restaurant. However, he declined, saying that it was too expensive and would have an adverse effect on the business of the restaurant.
Born in Ukraine, Kazimir Malevich moved to Russia at an early age, studying art. He explored the various art movements and created his own style of abstract painting known as Suprematism. Suprematism preaches the supremacy of pure sensibility and represents the world through geometric shapes. Malevich remained in this style of painting until 1917 when he joined the artistic revolutionary committees.
Malevich sought to represent the “zero point” in painting. He did this by painting different forms and colors. The results of his work are often highly abstract, with almost no subject matter represented. Malevich used color and symbolism to explore new sides of human life and how they behave when faced with two choices. Some of his famous pieces include a portrait of an Englishman in Moscow, which sold for more than $60 million in recent years.
In 1914, Malevich became interested in the potential of flight. He believed that the plane was a symbol of freedom and awakening the soul. However, he backed away from aerial photographs of landscapes, as they led him too far from the abstract world he desired. He instead began to explore the pictorial possibilities of pure abstraction. Many of his works feature geometric shapes alternating with abstract patterns. His famous An Englishman in Moscow is on display at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Willem de Kooning
Willem de Kooning’s work is wildly explosive and a study in struggle. His paintings are clearly based on feeling, rather than intellect. The artist’s “primal event” is likely to have been a traumatic experience from his early life that he was unable to control, forcing it into his unconscious. The result is a work of art that violently explodes the contents of the unconscious.
De Kooning migrated to the United States in 1926 as a stowaway and landed in Hoboken, New Jersey. He worked odd jobs painting houses in the area and eventually moved to New York City to start his career. He was influenced by John Graham, an artist and friend of Willem de Kooning. He eventually joined the Federal Arts Project, where he began to work as a mural painter.
After the Second World War, Willem de Kooning became more active in his art and produced over 300 canvases before his death in 1997. But in the 1980s, he began to show signs of dementia. His doctor diagnosed him with a high risk of Alzheimer’s disease. His wife died in 1989, and his daughter was granted full guardianship of the artist.
While the modern form of abstract art can be traced back to Georges Seurat, Kazimir Malevich, and Hilma af Klint, the Wisconsin-born artist Georgia O’Keeffe deserves equal billing. Her art is immediately recognizable, and is in almost every major museum in the United States. In addition, her work has been the subject of countless books, articles, and university courses.
While living in New York City, Georgia O’Keeffe’s art career grew exceptionally. But the artist felt uninspired by the city and Lake George. She was torn between her commitment to her husband and her need to escape her familiar surroundings. In order to make up for lost time, she spent the summer of 1929 in New Mexico. While there, she discovered a newfound love for painting in a wide-open landscape.
Born in 1893 in Montroig, Catalonia, Joan Miro was one of the first painters to use the abstract style. His early work is influenced by the seaport town of Barcelona, where he was raised. Despite being the son of a watchmaker, Miro immersed himself in the arts at a very young age. In 1912, he abandoned his studies in business to study art full-time. While studying in Barcelona, he attended the local painter’s school.
After spending most of his early life in Paris, Miro officially joined the Surrealist movement. While there, he worked with visual artists such as Andre Masson and Max Ernst and was greatly inspired by the literary mind of the Surrealist movement. During this time, Miro produced a series of paintings known as peinture-poesie, a combination of words and blue pigment.
Another notable artist who used the abstract style was Pablo Picasso. His works have become classics of the twentieth century. His earliest work reflects the dynamism of nature, and the colors evoke memories and emotions. Similarly, Miró’s paintings were based on his homeland. The Tilled Field (1911) is a visual metaphor of his native Catalonia. This oil painting was a precursor to the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Related reading: 8 Most Famous Artists of All Time