Nonrepresentational art is work that does not show anything from the actual world (people, landscapes, animals, etc.). Nonrepresentational art can merely display forms, colors, lines, and so on, but it can also communicate things that are not apparent, such as emotions or sentiments. Artists working in this medium may use techniques such as abstraction, expressionism, figuration, and so on to achieve these goals.
Nonrepresentational art began to emerge in the late 19th century with artists such as Paul Cézanne, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Edgar Degas. By the early 20th century, abstract art was becoming popular and will continue to be made today.
Abstraction is the removal of representation, including people, plants, buildings, or any other subject matter that cannot be replaced by something else without losing its essential character. In nonrepresentational painting, abstraction is used to refer to the fact that there is no direct representation of objects in the picture. Instead, the focus is on how objects affect one another visually.
Expressionism is a term applied to a group of postwar European paintings that sought to express inner feelings and thoughts rather than depict reality. This type of art was inspired by the works of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Expressionists used strong colors, simplified forms, and distorted or exaggerated human figures to convey emotional states.
Abstract art is inextricably linked to anything visible from the actual world. Abstract artists often use materials such as color, line, form, and texture to express themselves.
Nonrepresentational art does not mean empty canvas. The term includes many different types of media and approaches by their very nature, some of which may appear more abstract than others. For example, certain types of collage place unique emphasis on the element of surprise: something unexpected may be found at any moment behind any piece of collaged material. In this case, the observer's task is to look closely enough to see what has been hidden until now.
Nonrepresentational paintings are most commonly done in monochromatic tones, but colored drawings and prints are also included in this category. Monochromatic painting refers to the use of one single color throughout a work of art. Polychromatic artwork uses multiple colors simultaneously or successively (usually two or three).
Abstract artists often use geometrical shapes to express themselves.
Nonrepresentational art is another term for abstract art, however there is a distinction between the two. Nonrepresentational art, in its most basic form, is art that does not represent or show a being, a place, or an object in the natural world. Nonrepresentational art is the polar opposite of representational art, which is a picture of something. Representational art is art that uses images to tell a story or convey information.
Abstract art is any artistic work that seeks to express an idea rather than depict the physical world. Abstract artists use any means necessary to achieve this goal, such as shape, color, line, texture, or materiality. Abstraction can be achieved through many different methods and techniques, some traditional and others less so.
Traditional methods include drawing, painting, and sculpture. More contemporary methods include installation art, video, sound, and new media projects. Some abstract artists combine several methods to create their works of art.
Nonrepresentational art began around 1900 with the French artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. Both men were influenced by symbolism and occultism and used imagery that was familiar to them through literature and music to make statements about society. They created paintings that were unusual at the time because they showed people outside of traditional landscapes or scenes from daily life.
Gauguin is considered the father of modern abstract art because of his influence on younger artists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell.