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Abstract Art
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Abstract art represents the idea that the forms and colors are independent entities from the subject itself. Abstract art has no connection with reality in the form it takes. There were two periods of abstract art. The first lasted from about 1910 until 1916 and was the antithesis of the naturalistic period in art. The second period began with the De Stijl movement and is still in evidence. Wassily Kandinsky was the "father" of abstract art. His treatise, "On the Spiritual in Art", put forth the basic principles of the movement. Kandinsky proposed that art is able to stand on its own. At the same time art has the same power as music, for instance. Kandinsky called his sketches "Improvisations" and his completed paintings "Compositions," using the language of music to define art. In 1912 the Czech painter Frank Kupka painted in the abstract, with such titles as "Fugue in Red and Blue" and "Hot Chromatics". Other early abstract artists include Blanc-Gatti, Henri Valensi, Francis Picabia, Robert Delaunay, Morgan Russell; and Stanton Macdonald-Wright.

The second period had its start in Holland with Mondrian, Doesburg, and Bart van der Leck (the DeStijl movement), who took the geometric characteristics from Cubism. When Mondrian left abstraction for Neoplasticism, other artists in Zurich (such as Arp) started painting the free, non logical forms that represent abstract art. Dada committed and contributed greatly to the movement, inspired by the work of the earlier artists who had paved the way. The movement declined due to the beginning of Surrealism.

However, in 1920 a new group of abstract artists emerged. The group included Otto Freundlich, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildward, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Cesar Domela, Victor Servranckx, Jozef Peeters, Kurt Schwitters, Willi Baumeister, Hendrick Werkman, Sergei Charchoune, Alfred Reth, August Herbin, Magnelli, Hans Hartung, Michel Seuphor and Joachim Torres-Garcia. These artists came from many different countries, carrying on the traditions Kandinsky started. By the end of the Spanish War and World War II, abstract art lost some of its brilliance. The Salon de Realities Nouvelles in Paris rejuvenated it in 1946. The subsequent publication of Michel Seuphor's treatise on abstract art purported the importance of the movement and the artists who founded it.

Many other artists joined the ranks of abstract art, including Hartung, Bissiere, Fautrier, Bazaine, Manessier, Lanskoy, de Stael, Poliakoff, Atlan, van Velde, Bonnet, Bertrand and Karel Appel. These artists continued to keep the movement alive in the years following the wars.

Although the movement traveled all over the world, the American movement is critical in art history and produced such artists as Mark Tobey, Hans Hofmann, Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Wilem de Kooning, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. Abstract sculptors include Picasso, Matisse, George Braque, Leger and Max Ernst and, most decisively, Vladimir Taatlin. He started as early as 1913, sculpting pieces that were geometrical and made of several different materials. The painters influenced the sculptors. Architecture was also starting a different trend in the years after World War II. Such architects as Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier's, Henri-Georges Adam, Jacques Zwobada, Andre Bloc, Gerard Manoni, and Isamu Noguchi took the original principles of abstract art and designed their buildings accordingly, creating buildings that were really sculptures. The synthesis of the arts that occurred as a result was a sensational turn of events in twentieth-century art history.

 
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