What Is Abstract Art? And Why Should I Know It

What is Abstract Art

Whether you absolutely love or fail to understand abstract art, your curiosity brought you here for a reason. Abstract Art has been kicking around for over 100 years and continues to be explored today. This long-standing form works and continues to inspire us today. There are endless abstract artworks and famous artists to explore. After reading this, you’ll be all set for your next museum!

Abstract Art Definition

One will struggle when asked to define abstract art because abstract elements can be found everywhere. It is nearly impossible for art to be entirely objective. However, the meaning of abstract art is to distance an object as far as possible from its objective meaning. Pretty much the opposite of literal. Abstract art takes shape in both visual and performing arts like painting, drawing, literature, dance, and more. They can be both two and three-dimensional. This type of art is self-renewing and ever-changing. It makes room for infinite possibility.

Time Period

The modern wave of abstract art began around the early 20th century. It began as a radical idea ahead of its time and now exists as a common form of expression.

Types of Abstract Art

Abstract art artworks can be found through the many stylistic periods of history. Here are a few of the important ones!

List of Techniques

Famous Abstract Paintings

Paint Splatter, Drip and Splash

This technique focuses on creating texture through these random splotches. This approach energizes a canvas with its wildness.

Block Colour

This technique emphasizes the use of grids and graphically incorporates color. Primary colors are often used.


When marbling, the artist first floats the color ink on water and then transfers it lightly to paper or canvas. This technique creates an ethereal feel.


This approach gives a 3D and immersive quality to the artwork. It prioritizes the use of lines and viewpoints.

Line Art

Plain and simple. Continuous lines are made interesting artworks.


This style is known for its fluid and curved forms, as well as its mid-century color scheme. It plays with organic shape, line, color, and texture.


The act of breaking up an image or object into a series of dots. Artists use this technique to give their work a retro flair or cool overlay.

What Is an Abstract Painting?

Abstract painting is the subjective use of lines, color, shape, and texture. It often incorporates the methods we used above.

Famous Abstract Paintings

Here is every abstract art example we believe you should know!

“Composition II, in Red, Blue and Yellow”

“Composition II, in Red, Blue and Yellow”

This work was completed by Piet Mondrian in 1930. It was known as a turning point in his approach. Here, he explores geometry and the use of block color. This beautifully simple composition creates a sense of balance.



Jackson Pollock is famous for his enormous collection of splatter paint artworks. He died in his early 40’s, yet still managed to complete over 363 paintings using a similar technique. This specific piece is famous for its dripping quality and dynamic color palette. It embodies the freedom of expression through its canvas. It was made in 1952.



This more recent work was made by Tomoo Gokita in 2011. It is the only work on this list with a portrait. Well somewhat. The face is actually blurred, but you can tell it is the face of a woman. It is viewed by critics as impressive for its balance of feeling both melancholy and sensual. This grey and out of focus obscure face is more than what meets the eye.

“Autumn, May 1st”

“Autumn, May 1st”

Chu Teh-Chun crafted this fall-like masterpiece in 1978. Dark greens, deep browns, pops of orange and a hint of turquoise are smeared along with the canvas. The colors and soft strokes balance dark and light perfectly. You can truly find harmony in this work. It is autumn and warmth on a canvas.

“No.2 Green, Red and Blue”

“No.2 Green, Red and Blue”

This work by Mark Rothko is our final artwork on this list. This artist has a way of evoking emotion through his strong use of color. The warm orange and red contrast with blue and green.

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