Posted on

What is Abstract art?

What is Abstract Art?


Abstract art (sometimes called nonobjective art) is a painting or sculpture that does not depict a person, place, or thing in the natural world. With abstract art, the subject of the work is based on what you see: color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale, and, in some cases, the process itself, as in action painting.

Abstract artists strive to be non-objective and non-representational, allowing the viewer to interpret each artwork’s meaning in their own way.

It is not an exaggerated or distorted view of the world such as we see in the Cubist paintings of Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, for they present a type of conceptual realism. Instead, form and color become the focus and the subject of the piece.

While some people may argue that abstract art does not require the technical skills of representational art, others would beg to differ. It has, indeed, become one of the major debates in modern art.

“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” –Wassily Kandinsky.


Art historians typically identify the early 20th century as an important historical moment in the history of abstract art. During this time, artists worked to create what they defined as “pure art”—creative works that were not grounded in visual perceptions, but in the imagination of the artist.

Wassily Kandinsky

Influential works from this time period include “Picture with a Circle” (1911) by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky and Francis Picabia’s “Caoutchouc” (1909).

It is worth noting, however, that the roots of abstract art can be traced back much further. Earlier artistic movements such as the 19th century’s impressionism and expressionism were experimenting with the idea that painting can capture emotion and subjectivity.

Going back even further, many ancient rock paintings, textile patterns, and pottery designs captured a symbolic reality rather than attempting to present objects as we see them.


Kandinsky (1866–1944) is often noted as one of the most influential abstract artists. A view of how his style developed over the years is a fascinating look at the movement as he progressed from representational to pure abstract art. He was also adept at explaining how an abstract artist may use color to give a seemingly meaningless work purpose.

Kandinsky believed that colors provoke emotions. Red was lively and confident; green was peaceful with inner strength; blue was deep and supernatural; yellow could be warm, exciting, disturbing or totally bonkers; and white seemed silent but full of possibilities. He also assigned instrument tones to go with each color. Red sounded like a trumpet; green sounded like a middle-position violin; light blue sounded like a flute; dark blue sounded like a cello, yellow sounded like a fanfare of trumpets; white sounded like the pause in a harmonious melody.

These analogies to sounds came from Kandinsky’s appreciation for music, especially that by the contemporary Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951).

Kandinsky’s titles often refer to the colors in the composition or to music, for example, “Improvisation 28” and “Composition II.” 

The French artist Robert Delaunay (1885–1941) belonged to Kandinsky’s Blue Rider (Die Blaue Reiter) group. With his wife, Russian-born Sonia Delaunay-Turk (1885–1979), they both gravitated toward abstraction in their own movement, Orphism or Orphic Cubism.


Today, abstract art is often an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of styles and art movements, each with their own style and definition. Included in this are nonrepresentational art, nonobjective art, abstract expressionism, art informel, and even some op art. Abstract art may be gestural, geometric, fluid, or figurative (implying things that are not visual such as emotion, sound, or spirituality).

While we tend to associate abstract art with painting and sculpture, it can apply to any visual medium, including assemblage and photography. Yet, it is the painters that get the most attention in this movement. There are many notable artists beyond Kandinsky who represent the various approaches one may take to abstract art and they have had considerable influence on modern art.

Carlo Carrà (1881–1966) was an Italian painter who may be best known for his work in Futurism. Over his career, he worked in Cubism as well and many of his paintings were abstractions of reality. However, his manifesto, “Painting of Sounds, Noises and Smells” (1913) influenced many abstract artists. It explains his fascination with synaesthesia, an impression of the senses, which is at the heart of many abstract artworks.

Umberto Boccioni (1882–1916) was another Italian Futurist who focused on geometric forms and was heavily influenced by Cubism. His work often depicts physical motion as is seen in  “States of Mind” (1911). This series of three paintings capture the motion and emotion of a train station rather than the physical depiction of passengers and trains.

Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935) was a Russian painter who many credit as a pioneer of geometric abstract art. One of his best-known works is “Black Square” (1915). It is simplistic but absolutely fascinating to art historians because, as an analysis from the Tate mentions, “It is the first time someone made a painting that wasn’t of something.”

Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), an American painter, is often given as the ideal representation of Abstract Expressionism, or action painting. His work is more than drips and splashes of paint on canvas, but fully gestural and rhythmic and often employed very non-traditional techniques. For instance, “Full Fathom Five” (1947) is an oil on canvas created, in part, with tacks, coins, cigarettes, and much more. Some of his work, such as “There Were Seven in Eight” (1945) are larger than life, stretching over eight feet in width.

Mark Rothko (1903–1970) took the geometric abstracts of Malevich to a new level of modernism with color-field painting. This American painter rose in the 1940s and simplified color into a subject all on its own, redefining abstract art for the next generation. His paintings, such as “Four Darks in Red” (1958) and “Orange, Red, and Yellow” (1961), are as notable for their style as they are for their size.


Kandinsky W. “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” (Über das Geistige in der Kunst). 1911.

Posted on


Artist Spotlight on Jetset Magazine

by: Ty Fahlman

Oct.11, 2016 – present


Featured Artist at The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co.

Univ.of British Columbia, Facebook Page

posted on July 2, 2016


North Shore News

Abstract Display

Dec. 21, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016


My paintings was featured on Instagram 





Posted on

Best Abstract Artists

Abstract Artist

I call my collection of work inspiration for all. Creativeness comes from places deep in our soul. We all want to find purpose in life. Sometimes heavy thoughts are colours in my dreams. My greatest art is sometimes inspired at the latest hours of everyday when my minds eye turns my hand into strokes of chaos. Yesterdays paint strokes are sometimes dark, but I see colours sometimes through the shadows of my pain.



Drawing widespread acclaim throughout the art community and early comparisons to abstract legends like Jackson Pollack, Annsabelle Ramas Pronych is one of the most provocative and notable fine artists of recent memory. Her paintings are both breathtakingly-alive and immensely striking. Instantly obvious when looking at a Pronych piece is both its sheer provocation and how her work clearly channels the struggles and turmoil she has overcame on her long road road to success. Each piece evokes strong, visceral feelings of passion, joy, and melancholy; each brush stroke has a story to tell.


It’s a bit of cliché, but it remains true that over the centuries many of our most transformative artists have crafted unforgettable works from a place of profound longing and despair. Van Gogh. Goya. O’Keeffe. Vancouver, B.C. native Pronych has certainly had her fair share of ups and downs in her life. “My greatest art is sometimes inspired at the latest hours of everyday when my minds eye turns my hand into strokes of chaos,” she tells me, speaking in an obliquely poetic way. “Yesterday’s paint strokes are sometimes dark, but I see colors sometimes through the shadows of my pain.”

Fittingly, the most notable work of Pronych’s oeuvre is a piece entitled The Hidden Pain. Conceptually the painting seems like a fierce amalgamation of Pollack and Rothko, with orderly squares and solid colors being violently overthrown by chaotic smears and splashes of paint. But the overwhelming sadness is as palpable as the conceptual doggedness, its brilliance as evident as its heart-rending sorrow. And with its powerful vibrance and layered emotions, it is the kind of work that one could easily get lost in admiring for hours.


Of course, it isn’t all doom and gloom with Pronych. Take something like Calgary Life, perhaps the most lively and colorful work in the artist’s oeuvre. According to Pronych, the vibrant piece was born at a time of great confusion in her life, back when the Canadian was living in the titular city in the frigid province of Alberta. Her confusion is clearly evident in the piece, but so is how much fun she seems to be having masking it and dealing with funny mundanities of banal city life. “I was hiding my insecurity,” she tells me, but then goes on to say, defiantly, “judge me, I don’t care.”


A preacher’s daughter, Pronych has been paying for her defiance since she was young. “I was taught to be a certain way, to act a certain way, and if not we were punished,” she says. Later in life, she struggled with poverty and physically and emotionally abusive relationships. “Times were desperate,” she admits. “Living in run-down apartments, struggling to pay the rent, wasting time with the wrong guys while working at Home Depot and selling my paintings at coffee shops to keep the lights on.” But despite the emotional highs and lows, Pronych never gave into despair. “There are times when you stop and question it all,” she says, “but I was determined to keep trying to have my voice heard.”


So she kept painting, prolifically pouring her heart and soul onto the canvas every day. “Art was my outlet. It saved me,” she says proudly. Eventually her work started to take off. “Soon I was getting calls from people in New York, inviting me out for shows, and messages on Instagram to buy my paintings for crazy amounts,” she says, still somewhat bewildered. “I didn’t have any representation or anything. To be honest, I didn’t know how to react.” She was just happy to feel truly appreciated for her work.


Today, with the size of her showings and sales rapidly growing, Pronych stands at the precipice of the kind of grand success that can either make or break an artist both creatively and emotionally. “On one hand, I am proud to be getting this recognition and no longer having to worry financially,” she tells me. “On the other, I fear that when everyone tells you how great you are, it is easy to get complacent as an artist…my greatest fear is losing inspiration.” But she is quick to add that at least for now she is “embracing” her newfound acclaim and feels as though her work has yet to suffer: “I still feel like I have a story to tell,” she says, “…and I am not going to stop telling it.”