Abstract art creates a new world next to the 'real' world and seem to have nothing in common with 'reality'. Inside, it complies with the general laws of 'cosmic world'. So, a new very real and concrete 'world of arts' appears next to the 'natural world'. Therefore, I prefer to call so-termed 'abstract art' as 'concrete art'. Abstract painting is based on the balance of colored spots, lines and strokes; sculpture - on combination of volume and flat geometrized forms. With the help of abstract constructions artists wanted to express the internal laws and intuit essence of the world and the Universe that are hidden behind the visible forms.
Abstract painting — is the painting that does not reproduce visibilities of the external world, and is not defined by this reproduction neither for its own purposes, nor in its tools, nor in its spirit. Abstract painting does not aspire to any reproduction of the external world; in other words, painting is only abstract in its proper sense, when a picturesque creation is not mingled with the intention to portray something of the objective world, willingly or unwillingly, consciously or not. (Leon Degan)
Abstract painting is a beautiful test. It can help to determine whether a person feels picturesque or sees a subject, which is a story of painting? A person who feels painting, will feel it in the art of the Renaissance, and in the abstract art. A person, who sees the subject, will appreciate the painting neither in the art of the Renaissance, nor in the abstract art. (Emmanuel Nirmal)
Figurative lyrical abstraction is one of the directions of the abstract art, which is characterized by the desire for direct expression of emotional and mental states of the artist and performance improvisation. Works of lyrical abstraction embody the subjective color impressions and imagination of the artist, flow of his or her consciousness embodied in color.
One of the goals of abstraction is to achieve 'harmonization', creation of certain color combinations and geometric shapes in order to induce different associations for the viewer.
The origins of abstract painting and time of creation of the first abstract painting were not determined. We can only be confident to say that in the period between 1910 and 1915 many European artists tried to go in for non-objective, non-figurative compositions (painting, drawing, sculpture). Kandinsky is commonly called as the 'inventor' of abstract art, referring to his watercolors of 1910-1912 period. He also presented an aesthetic credo of the abstract art in his book "On the Spiritual in Art" (1910).
Abstract art developed in two main directions: harmonization of non-objective color combinations and creation of geometric abstractions.
The first direction brought the search of Expressionism and Fauvism in the field of 'liberation' of the color from the form of reality to its logical conclusion. The main emphasis was made on self-expressive value of color, music associations, and color combinations, which was achieved by means of transferring music functions to the art.
The second direction ranks Paul Cezanne and the Cubists to their forebears. This direction developed towards the creation of various geometric shapes, color planes, lines and polylines. It had a number of branches: Rayonism of M. Larionov, O. Rozanova, L Popova; K. Malevich Suprematism. In the Netherlands: De Stijl (1917) group, headed by P. Mondrian and T. Van Doesburg. The representatives of this group put forward the concept of Neo-Plasticism, which contrasted 'simplicity, clarity, constructiveness, functionality' of pure geometric forms against "randomness, uncertainty and arbitrary of nature'.
New generation of abstract artists (J. Pollack, de Kooning), who came into the art after the World War II, apprehended the principle of 'psychic automatism' from Surrealism . The focus in Pollack's works is moved from the work itself to the process of its creation, which becomes an end in itself. So-called action-painting originates from here.
Contrary to the prevailing ideas, abstraction is not a stylistic category. This particular form of visual art is divided into several areas. Geometric abstraction, lyrical abstraction, gestural abstraction, analytical abstraction and more particular directions, such as Suprematism, Aranformel, Nuagismetc, etc.
The styles of abstract art are made up of the same style elements, as the styles of figurative art. In particular, this is evidenced by the fact that monochrome painting - canvas, painted over with one tone - is in the same neutral position with regard to the style as completely naturalistic figurative image.
If painting, same as other arts, is not merely a demonstration of skills - creation of the work, but a way of expression, then abstract art is admittedly the most advanced stage of graphic activity. This 'ascent' is demonstrated by the creative evolution of the pioneer of abstract art Wassily Kandinsky, which transfers to a number of stages, including academic drawing and realistic landscape painting, before it passed to the free space of color and line. Abstract composition is the last, molecular level, in which painting remains painting.
Creative individual was set free in the abstract art. Uncorrected line, color, texture become original autotype. Nothing theoretically prevents individual to be imprinted in plastic, graphic, scenic projections, which merge how and what together. 'My painting is the most direct and pure embodiment of my emotions', - said Matisse.
Painting as a means of self-expression is not inferior to the music in objectification of 'unspeakable' and, if necessary, it can be even more specific than the word. Painting owns its unique means, namely, color, alongside with the entire volume of means for drawing and plastic possibilities for sculpture, by recreating the illusion of real and fantastic space, and significantly outperforming the sculpture at the possible manipulation of objects. Color possibilities have been deployed even more widely with the onset of painting into abstraction.
Abstract painting does not aim at transmitting accurate and realistic actuality, quite the contrary - it is more important to transmit the flow of emotions and convey the inner state of the artist.