Abstracting something means removing something, removing details or forms. In a way, all visual arts have undergone abstraction, nothing can ever be an exact image of reality. The story or motif has always been selected. It is possible to speak of different degrees or levels of abstraction. Some unimaginative works have not undergone abstraction at all, but can be seen as an object in itself, something concrete.
The breakthrough of abstract art in the history of Western art occurred with modernism and the early impressionists, between the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a way of representing the sublime, pure and authentic expression. Abstract art was omnipresent during the post-industrial era, when the machine played an important role in human existence. Non-painting art thus became the expression of a new technology, a sterile environment and the search for perfection. However, a non-figurative, geometric design has existed for thousands of years, for example in decorative painting on ancient vases and urns or in Islamic art and architecture.
In the Abstract-Reflections of the Collection, five themes have been invoked. Minimalism, geometry, meaning of colour, house and kaleidoscope. These different themes can give us several possibilities to see and be touched by the abstract. In the exhibition we get to know artists who have adopted different types of abstraction and non-figurative narrative. Among others, through strict geometrical forms, an abstract expressionist style is visible with traces of spontaneity, body movements and the materiality of colour, not to mention a minimalist and tight painting.
Abstract art in 60 seconds
We could call the artist Paul Cézanne the father of abstract art. Not because his work itself is perceived as abstract, but rather because he experimented with colour and form, which inspired other artists. Especially in the artistic direction that has been called cubism. A typical example of cubist works is that perspectives are rejected so that you can see objects and people from all angles at once.
But to do something completely new, as art often does, you also have to dare to question what is. This became the mantra of the Dadaists when they created what they called anti-art. Art can be just about anything, and often it was completely random. They liked big three-dimensional, geometric shapes that represented nothing. Art was created to be experimented with, not analyzed.