If you are looking for the most famous abstract paintings, this article will introduce you to the works of some of the most famous abstract artists. All of these paintings are great examples of abstract art, but the title is what makes them so popular.
Black Square by Kazimir Malevich
The “Black Square” is a painting by Kazimir Malevich that defies definition. The piece is entirely black, devoid of color, lines, curves, and details. In other words, the painting represents a “zero of form.” Malevich’s goal was to find the most basic, fundamental, and basic qualities of art. He deemed the piece sacred and believed it was the essence of modern spirituality.
During his period of artistic discovery, Malevich painted four versions of the Black Square. The first of these works was created in 1915. The second Black Square was completed around 1923. The third version was completed in 1929, probably due to the poor condition of the original piece. The fourth and final version, the smallest of the four, was created in the late 1920s. While the original painting is dated 1915, the first two are a work of art by Malevich.
Malevich’s “Black Square” became controversial when it was first exhibited. Many argued that it was an open window into the night. Although it is a simple black square on a white canvas, Malevich wanted to challenge the conventional notion of a painting representing reality. The piece represented the beginning of a new era for the Russian people. A simple square can represent so much. If Malevich had been more creative, he might have embraced the idea and painted something more abstract.
Convergence by Jackson Pollock
“Convergence” by Jackson Pollock was created in 1952. This painting represents the freedom of speech during the cold war with the Soviet Union. This painting is so large that it is best viewed in person. Interestingly, Pollock inserted a matchstick into the painting to give the painting a sense of modernity. While there is no way to determine how old the piece is, it is still considered an important work in the history of art.
Mountains and Sea by Helen Frankenthaler
Developed in 1952, Mountains and Sea is an iconic work by Helen Frankenthaler. It changed the visual texture of abstract painting and defined Frankenthaler’s style. It was influenced by Jackson Pollock, who had been an influence to her generation. The painting’s realism was rooted in a new artistic temperament that subsumed the artist’s ego into colors and gestures.
This painting is abstract, but it has a recognizable feeling. In the piece, we can see the movement of brushstrokes and the sense of serenity that the subject matter inspires. The artist did not outline specific mountain ranges or ridges on the waves; instead, her craftsmanship focused on gestures and tones of color and leaves room for the viewer’s imagination.
The technique Frankenthaler used to paint the canvas was unique in its time. She employed a technique called soak-stain, which was widely adopted by other Abstract Expressionists including Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. The technique was revolutionary, eliminating the need for brushstrokes and flattening the painting to create an illusion of depth. The piece is a perfect example of Frankenthaler’s unique approach to the medium.
Tableau I by Piet Mondrian
One of the most popular abstract paintings was Tableau I by Piet Mondrian, which was thought to mark the beginning of a pattern. This painting featured blocks of color separated by black grid lines, and it documented Mondrian’s artistic development. Unlike his predecessors, Mondrian was disinterested in conventional painting methods. His work was highly influenced by nature, and his love of trees inspired him to create abstract works.
The composition of Tableau I by Piet Mondrian was so striking that it mesmerized art lovers during its fresh state. The composition consisted of a large red square on top, surrounded by a small blue square on the bottom. The color scheme is a synthesis of lines, shapes, and colors that create a striking harmony of contrasts. In contrast to traditional paintings, the artist often left fields of color unframed in order to highlight their brushstrokes.
Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian
One of the paintings that is best known for its rhythmic themes is Broadway Boogie-Woogie, which was created by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Mondrian was no stranger to jazz or modern dance, and his paintings reflected this. His ‘late-career revolution’ tapped into the stop-start rhythm of New York’s streets. The painting’s abstract style and evocative title drew inspiration from jazz music, Broadway, and the New York subway system.
‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie’ is Piet Mondrian’s last painting and is highly influential to the school of abstract geometric painting. The unfinished canvas has long grid lines and bands of color that are reminiscent of the neon streets of New York. Mondrian created this painting between 1942 and 1944, and it shows many similarities to New York City I. However, the canvas is much larger than New York City I.
No. 5 1948 by Jackson Pollock
No. 5 1948 by Jackson Pollock is considered to be a prime example of abstract expressionism. This painting is one of the most famous works by an American 20th century artist. The work was created during Pollock’s drip period, a style that subverted classical norms and was highly desirable among new art collectors. It also shows Pollock’s unique process of creating drips. There are no plans, no pre-existing elements – only random drips.
The artist’s work is largely based on the idea of a senseless splatter of paint. This painting is currently one of the world’s most expensive paintings and was sold for $140 million in 2006. It is likely that the value of this piece will continue to rise. Pollock’s works have been widely collected, spanning a wide range of disciplines and generations. Pollock’s works have been compared to those of other Abstract Expressionist artists like Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning. During the Cold War, the MoMA’s International Council toured the work of these artists to various countries.
Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky
While some might dismiss Composition VII as nonsense, it pays rich dividends if you’re willing to open your mind. Composition VII depicts a vortex-like design with a central oval criss-crossed by black lines. Colours swirl around the central oval, leaving the viewer trying to interpret what they see. While composition VII is abstract in its very nature, it is also operatic in its interpretation. This is because Kandinsky believed that art can bring people to a state of spiritual purity, and that the viewer could experience these feelings through the work.
DEATH AND FIRE 1940 by PAUL KLEE
One of the last works created by the American artist, Death and Fire, is reminiscent of primitive or tribal art. The white skull in the center has the features of a face reminiscent of ancient hieroglyphs. In the background, a minimal figure walks towards the glowing orb, with his breast, face, and body bare. The figure is so minimal that death is the only reality. The sun rests on the earth’s rim, and the upper air is glowing with fire.
The white face of Klee’s subject is etched with letter-like features, indicating that it was created by an artist who was fascinated by hieroglyphics. Although his body was failing to produce a complete image, the dark black lines on Death and Fire suggest that Klee may have been attempting to get out his last words before his disease took him. The black strokes on the cloth, however, indicate that Klee knew that he was about to die soon.