Abstraction Essay

1305 words - 6 pages

Introduction This essay is about abstraction, Wassily Kandinsky and Mark Rothko. In the first subject I shall try to define the word abstraction and write about the paths to abstraction, I will then go on to introduce Wassily Kandinsky as the second subject. I will discuss Kandinsky's theories on abstraction and analyse Kandinsky's Improvisation No 30. The third subject is about Mark Rothko and his experimentation with colour, scale, balance, depth, shape and composition. I will then discuss Rothko's No14.Defining Abstraction It is quite difficult, perhaps impossible to achieve a precise and definite definition of the word abstraction in regards to Art. Just as all art is primarily abstract, ...view middle of the document...

Nature Morte- Pablo Picasso The Swineherd, Brittany- Gauguin Wassily Kandinsky and his Theories on Abstraction.Wassily Kandinsky was born in 1866 in Moscow he later moved to Munich to study painting, 1896. He began to abstract motifs from the local landscape in 1908 and at the same time began developing his theories on colour, line and form, and analogies between painting and music.Kandinsky was the first abstract artist to publish a theory justifying abstraction.Kandinsky's theory's on abstraction were based on philosophy and religion he believed that it was the responsibility of the artist to express his inner feelings in his work and put "˜soul' into paintings to give it life. As long as art possessed "˜soul', there was nothing to prevent its being abstract.Kandinsky's investigations into colour were by his own declaration, "˜not based on exact science'. Kandinsky drew up a list of antitheses, opposing yellow to blue, white to black, red to green and orange to violet. Scheme yellow classed as "˜typical earthy colour', embodying "˜active warmth', excentric and advancing qualities. Blue typical heavenly colour possesses active coolness, concentric and retreating properties.Wassily Kandinsky's Improvisation No. 30, 1913.At first sight this painting looks like an abstract composition. Because of its irregular shapes and its loose composition. Though on closer observation the rhythmic lines and dramatic colours begin to tell a story, the abstraction turn's out to represent something. The lines and irregular colours suggest a landscape dominated by a mountain. Buildings can also be seen the most easily recognisable object would be the double barrelled cannon with wheels in the bottom right-hand corner, which looks as though it has just been fired suggested by smoke from the shells a group of people on the left in the firing line. Improvisation No. 30 is, in short, a battle picture.Therefore this painting may be considered a Near-Abstract painting.Mark Rothko and his Experimentation with Colour, Scale, Balance, Depth, Shape and Composition.Mark Rothko was born on September 26, 1903 in Dvinsk, Russia (today Daugavpils, Latvia). Rothko and his family immigrated to the United States when he was ten years old, and settled in Portland, Oregon. One of the finest artists of his generation, Rothko is closely identified with the New York School, a circle of painters that emerged during the 1940s as a new collective voice in American art. During a career that spanned five decades, he created a new and passionate form of abstract painting. Rothko's work is by rigorous attention to formal elements such as colour, shape, balance, depth,...

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