Non-objective art was pioneered by Russian constructivist artists Wassily Kandinsky and Kasimir Malevich, as well as sculptor Naum Gabo. It was inspired by Plato, the Greek philosopher who felt geometry was the finest expression of beauty. Non-objective artists abandoned representation of objects or people in order to focus on shapes and colors that have no specific meaning.
They did so in order to express the eternal verities of life: change, movement, gravity, upness/downness, and other such metaphysical concepts. The aim was to create works of art that would make viewers feel something, rather than show them images of things that might happen in real life.
Non-objective art has had an influential effect on many artists since its inception in the early 20th century. Today it is regarded as one of the first movements in modern art.
Kandinsky is often cited as the father of abstract art. Although he never used this term himself, his paintings in blue, green, and red tones without objects or figures attracted many young artists who were looking for new ways to express themselves creatively.
Malevich invented the term "non-objective" to describe his own work and that of others like him.
Art that isn't objective. They were all interested in breaking away from the realism of European painting styles to create their own unique visions.
Non-objective art can be found everywhere from theater sets to furniture design to even tattoos! Here are just a few examples:
Futurist sculpture by Giovanni Palliola (1867–1957). The Italian artist designed these metal sculptures which represent different aspects of modern life: industry, technology, mathematics, and science. They were inspired by theories developed by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and other scientists.
De Stijl movement art by Piet Mondrian (1872–1944). This art movement originated in the Netherlands but had influences from many other countries including Germany, France, and America. Its main focus was on pure aesthetics with colors arranged in balanced compositions.
Abstract expressionism art by American artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. This style began in New York City in the late 1940s and early 1950s and is known for its intense emotions expressed through paint drippings and brushstrokes.
Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956), a Russian constructivist artist, used the phrase "non-objective art" in the names of several of his paintings (e.g., Non-Objective Painting: Black on Black 1918, MoMA, New York). He developed this idea further in his book The Non-Objective World of Art (published in English as Art into Life: On the Transition from Objectivity to Non-Objectivity in Art, 1903–1917), which argued that true art could not be represented by objects or physical actions alone but required a human subject as well.
Rodchenko's ideas were widely discussed and debated among artists in Russia during this time. Some criticized him for being subjective, while others saw him as a pioneer in moving away from representation into more abstract forms. His work is now held in major museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Vitebsk Museum of Art in Belarus.
There are other important non-objective artists such as Francis Picabia (France), Robert Delaunay (France), Victor Vasnetsov (Russia), and Leon Trotsky (Russia).
Non-objective painting is also called visual poetry, aesthetic photography, photorealism, and concrete poetry.
Kandinsky, Wassily Wassily Kandinsky is unavoidably included while discussing the beginnings of abstract painting. In 1935, the Russian artist wrote to his New York gallerist to make a significant claim: he had created the first abstract painting in art history, a piece done in 1911. "I believe I invented the method," he said. "Before me there was no such thing." Kandinsky's statement has been disputed by some scholars who argue that other artists had produced works that were simply called "abstract" or "expressionistic" long before 1911.
But it is true that no one else used shapes that had no reference to objects or scenes as canvases for expressing ideas and feelings. The idea of using colors independently of each other and of any object or scene was new, but people had been applying this concept to paintings for several decades. What made Kandinsky's work unique was his belief that color alone could be expressive enough to convey meaning just like words in language. He believed that color was powerful enough to stand on its own without any reference to objects or scenes around it. This is why he called his style "abstraction".
Abstraction is the removal of all representation of objects or scenes behind the colors used. Thus, abstraction can be applied to words, music, images, etc. - any field where ideas are conveyed through forms of expression rather than through realistic depiction.
Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Bradley Walker Tomlin, and Jack Tworkov's paintings exhibit the impact of the Surrealists' "automatic" techniques established in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Also important are the abstract expressionists, who developed their own style during the 1940s and 1950s.
Pollock was the most influential artist in action painting. He created many different styles within this genre, including "action painters," "mural-style" painters, and "driftwood" painters. Action paintings are characterized by large, dynamic shapes often influenced by movements or actions that they represent. During his early career, Pollock used various materials to create images that were often dark with no precise outlines. But he also used oil paint on canvas, wood, paper, metal, or even glass. He mixed colors directly from the tube, applied them with brushes, sticks, or fingers, and even used a knife to slice off pieces of color-soaked cloth called "blenders."
In addition to being one of the first American painters to be widely recognized abroad, Pollock is also famous for having a very active personal life. He had relationships with several women, including one who said that they had married photosynthesizing plants born from his genes. He also had numerous affairs, some of which ended in divorce.