Trivium Art History
Themes in Art

Abstract Art

For centuries artists created artwork to represent figurative images. Landscapes and people, gods and machines. Art was a tool to communicate reality. But with the proliferation of the camera, a slow shift began in art. The world could be documented without paint or stone, and so at the dawn of the 20th century, artists began to abstract their images, fragmenting reality, and eventually — removing it completely.

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Free Space II

Free Space II

Lee Krasner
Brice MardenPortrait of Brice Marden

Brice Marden

Grow the ability to see

1938-
Group IV, No. 7, The Ten Largest, Adulthood

Group IV, No. 7, The Ten Largest, Adulthood

Hilma af Klint1907
Group I, No. 7, Primordial Chaos

Group I, No. 7, Primordial Chaos

Hilma af Klint1906-1907
Group IV, No. 3. The Ten Largest, Youth

Group IV, No. 3. The Ten Largest, Youth

Hilma af Klint1907
The Seven-Pointed Star No. 1

The Seven-Pointed Star No. 1

Hilma af Klint1908
Evolution, No. 15, Group IV, The Seven-pointed Stars

Evolution, No. 15, Group IV, The Seven-pointed Stars

Hilma af Klint1908
Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor)

Untitled (First Abstract Watercolor)

Wassily Kandinsky1910
States of Mind II: Those Who Go

States of Mind II: Those Who Go

Umberto Boccioni1911
Romantic Landscape

Romantic Landscape

Wassily Kandinsky1911
States of Mind III: Those Who Stay

States of Mind III: Those Who Stay

Umberto Boccioni1911
Sketch for States of Mind: The Farewells

Sketch for States of Mind: The Farewells

Umberto Boccioni1911
Sketch for States of Mind: Those Who Stay

Sketch for States of Mind: Those Who Stay

Umberto Boccioni1911
Composition 5

Composition 5

Wassily Kandinsky1911
Watercolor 6

Watercolor 6

Wassily Kandinsky1911
The Laugh

The Laugh

Umberto Boccioni1911
States of Mind I: The Farewells

States of Mind I: The Farewells

Umberto Boccioni1911
Dancer

Dancer

Gino Severini1912
Improvisation 28 (second version)

Improvisation 28 (second version)

Wassily Kandinsky1912
Speeding Automobile

Speeding Automobile

Giacomo Balla1912
Berlin Series No. 1

Berlin Series No. 1

Marsden Hartley1913
Nude Model in the Studio

Nude Model in the Studio

Fernand Henri Léger1912-1913
Berlin Series No. 3

Berlin Series No. 3

Marsden Hartley1913
Composition 7

Composition 7

Wassily Kandinsky1913
Portrait Arrangement No. 2

Portrait Arrangement No. 2

Marsden Hartley1912-1913
Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences

Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences

Giacomo Balla1913
Composition 6

Composition 6

Wassily Kandinsky1913
Berlin Series No. 48

Berlin Series No. 48

Marsden Hartley1913
Rayonism, Blue-Green Forest

Rayonism, Blue-Green Forest

Natalia Goncharova1911-1913
Abstract Speed + Sound

Abstract Speed + Sound

Giacomo Balla1913-1914
Curtain for Le Coq d'Or: Third Act

Curtain for Le Coq d'Or: Third Act

Natalia Goncharova1914
Portrait of a German Officer

Portrait of a German Officer

Marsden Hartley1914
Study for a Curtain for 'Le Coq d'Or'

Study for a Curtain for 'Le Coq d'Or'

Natalia Goncharova1913-1914
Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 1

Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 1

Hilma af Klint1915
Group IX/SUW No. 8, The Swan, No. 8

Group IX/SUW No. 8, The Swan, No. 8

Hilma af Klint1915
Black Square and Red Square

Black Square and Red Square

Kazimir Malevich1915
Group IX/SUW, No. 17. The Swan, No. 17

Group IX/SUW, No. 17. The Swan, No. 17

Hilma af Klint1914-1915
Black and White, Suprematist Composition

Black and White, Suprematist Composition

Kazimir Malevich1915
Group IX, No. 3, The Dove

Group IX, No. 3, The Dove

Hilma af Klint1915
Berlin Series No. 49

Berlin Series No. 49

Marsden Hartley1914-1915
Black Square

Black Square

Kazimir Malevich1915
Group IX/SUW No. 12, The Swan No. 12

Group IX/SUW No. 12, The Swan No. 12

Hilma af Klint1915
Supremus No.50

Supremus No.50

Kazimir Malevich1915
Berlin Series No. 47

Berlin Series No. 47

Marsden Hartley1914-1915
Group IX/UW No. 25, The Dove, No. 1

Group IX/UW No. 25, The Dove, No. 1

Hilma af Klint1915
Black Trapezium and Red Square

Black Trapezium and Red Square

Kazimir Malevich1915
Berlin Series No. 50

Berlin Series No. 50

Marsden Hartley1914-1915
Dynamic Suprematism

Dynamic Suprematism

Kazimir Malevich1915-1916
Non-Objective Composition (Flight of an Airplane)

Non-Objective Composition (Flight of an Airplane)

Olga Rozanova1916
Non-Objective Composition

Non-Objective Composition

Olga Rozanova1916
Movement, Sails

Movement, Sails

Marsden Hartley1916
House under construction

House under construction

Kazimir Malevich1915-1916
Spring

Spring

Giacomo Balla1916
Suprematist Composition

Suprematist Composition

Kazimir Malevich1916
Composition with Colours B

Composition with Colours B

Piet Mondrian1917
Suprematism

Suprematism

Kazimir Malevich1917
Color Painting

Color Painting

Olga Rozanova1917
Painterly Architectonics

Painterly Architectonics

Liubov Popova1917
Green Stripe

Green Stripe

Olga Rozanova1917
Woman with Guitar

Woman with Guitar

María Blanchard1917
Cubist Still Life

Cubist Still Life

María Blanchard1917
Composition with Lines (Composition in Black and White)

Composition with Lines (Composition in Black and White)

Piet Mondrian1917
Composition with Colours A

Composition with Colours A

Piet Mondrian1917
Composition XIII

Composition XIII

Theo van Doesburg1918
Variation on Composition XIII

Variation on Composition XIII

Theo van Doesburg1918
Composition

Composition

Aleksandr Rodchenko1918
Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black)

Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black)

Aleksandr Rodchenko1918
Cubist Composition

Cubist Composition

María Blanchard1918
Rhythm of a Russian Dance

Rhythm of a Russian Dance

Theo van Doesburg1918
Linear Composition

Linear Composition

Liubov Popova1919
Composition in Black and Gray

Composition in Black and Gray

Piet Mondrian1919
Cubist Composition

Cubist Composition

María Blanchard1916-1919
Cubist Still Life

Cubist Still Life

María Blanchard1919
Composition in Gray (Rag-time)

Composition in Gray (Rag-time)

Theo van Doesburg1919
Untitled

Untitled

El Lissitzky1919-1920
Construction

Construction

Aleksandr Rodchenko1920
Rooftop and Pathway: View from the Artist's Studio

Rooftop and Pathway: View from the Artist's Studio

Gwendolen Mary John1920
Line Construction

Line Construction

Aleksandr Rodchenko1920
Rooftop and Lane: View from the Artist's Studio

Rooftop and Lane: View from the Artist's Studio

Gwendolen Mary John1920
Proun 19D

Proun 19D

El Lissitzky1920-1921
Mystic Suprematism

Mystic Suprematism

Kazimir Malevich1920-1922
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 3

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 3

El Lissitzky1923
Composition 8

Composition 8

Wassily Kandinsky1923
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 2

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 2

El Lissitzky1923
The Denaturalized Material, Destruction 2

The Denaturalized Material, Destruction 2

Theo van Doesburg1923
The Eye

The Eye

Antoine Pevsner1923
Untitled

Untitled

Hannah Höch1922-1923
Study for Proun S.K.

Study for Proun S.K.

El Lissitzky1922-1923
On White II

On White II

Wassily Kandinsky1923
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 1

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 1

El Lissitzky1923
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 6

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 6

El Lissitzky1923
Circles in a Circle

Circles in a Circle

Wassily Kandinsky1923
Static-Dynamic Gradation

Static-Dynamic Gradation

Paul Klee1923
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 5

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 5

El Lissitzky1923
Decoration

Decoration

Mainie Jellett1923
Kestner Portfolio, Proun 4

Kestner Portfolio, Proun 4

El Lissitzky1923
Untitled

Untitled

Wassily Kandinsky1923
l.n.31

l.n.31

El Lissitzky1922-1924
Counter Composition VI

Counter Composition VI

Theo van Doesburg1925
Composition with Blue and Yellow (Composition 1)

Composition with Blue and Yellow (Composition 1)

Piet Mondrian1925
Composition (Definitive State)

Composition (Definitive State)

Fernand Henri Léger1925
Proun 99

Proun 99

El Lissitzky1923-1925
Yellow Red Blue

Yellow Red Blue

Wassily Kandinsky1925
May Picture

May Picture

Paul Klee1925
Composition

Composition

Fernand Henri Léger1926
Several Circles

Several Circles

Wassily Kandinsky1926
The Kiss

The Kiss

Max Ernst1927
Composition with Red Yellow and Blue

Composition with Red Yellow and Blue

Piet Mondrian1928
Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. 4

Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. 4

Georgia O'Keeffe1930
Composition

Composition

Mainie Jellett1930
Simultaneous Counter-Composition

Simultaneous Counter-Composition

Theo van Doesburg1929-1930
Abstract Composition

Abstract Composition

Théo Kerg1933
Spiral, tangent, curve

Spiral, tangent, curve

Théo Kerg1933
Two forms

Two forms

Barbara Hepworth1933
Abstract Composition

Abstract Composition

Mainie Jellett1935
Composition with Aloes, No. 4

Composition with Aloes, No. 4

Fernand Henri Léger1934-1935
Violet-Orange

Violet-Orange

Wassily Kandinsky1936
Untitled

Untitled

Ad Reinhardt1937
Study for a Painting

Study for a Painting

Ad Reinhardt1938
Untitled

Untitled

Ad Reinhardt1938
Study for a Painting

Study for a Painting

Ad Reinhardt1938
Study for a Painting

Study for a Painting

Ad Reinhardt1939
Study for a Painting

Study for a Painting

Ad Reinhardt1939
Argula

Argula

Arshile Gorky1939
Untitled

Untitled

Ad Reinhardt1940
Newsprint Collage

Newsprint Collage

Ad Reinhardt1940
Composition

Composition

Ad Reinhardt1940
After Xhorkum

After Xhorkum

Arshile Gorky1940-1942
Oval Sculpture (No. 2)

Oval Sculpture (No. 2)

Barbara Hepworth1943
1944-N No. 2

1944-N No. 2

Clyfford Still1944
Water of the Flowery Mill

Water of the Flowery Mill

Arshile Gorky1944
Figure

Figure

Clyfford Still1944
Untitled

Untitled

Arshile Gorky1944
Jamais

Jamais

Clyfford Still1944
Sleep Mask

Sleep Mask

Adolph Gottlieb1945
Untitled

Untitled

Charmion von Wiegand1945
Untitled

Untitled

Barnett Newman1945
Untitled

Untitled

Charmion von Wiegand1946
Pelagos

Pelagos

Barbara Hepworth1946
Changing Moods

Changing Moods

Norman Lewis1947
Individual Worlds

Individual Worlds

Charmion von Wiegand1947
The Nuptial Form

The Nuptial Form

Charmion von Wiegand1946-1947
Agony

Agony

Arshile Gorky1947
Ulysses

Ulysses

Robert Motherwell1947
Title Unknown (Street Scene)

Title Unknown (Street Scene)

Norman Lewis1947
Number 43

Number 43

Ad Reinhardt1947
1948

1948

Clyfford Still1948
Onement, I

Onement, I

Barnett Newman1948
Drunk with water

Drunk with water

Théo Kerg1949
Yellow Painting

Yellow Painting

Ad Reinhardt1949
Study for "La Combe II"

Study for "La Combe II"

Ellsworth Kelly1950
Untitled

Untitled

Ahmed Yacoubi1950
Number 107

Number 107

Ad Reinhardt1950
PH-950

PH-950

Clyfford Still1950
In the Patio IX

In the Patio IX

Georgia O'Keeffe1950
Abstraction

Abstraction

Willem de Kooning1949-1950
Untitled

Untitled

Charmion von Wiegand1950
Excavation

Excavation

Willem de Kooning1950
No. 12

No. 12

Ad Reinhardt1950
Morning

Morning

Théo Kerg1950
The Wild

The Wild

Barnett Newman1950
The Citadel

The Citadel

Charmion von Wiegand1949-1950
Triangle Form

Triangle Form

Ellsworth Kelly1951
Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Barnett Newman1950-1951
1951-T No. 3

1951-T No. 3

1951
Two = One

Two = One

Saloua Raouda Choucair1947-1951
At the Solferino-Paris bridge

At the Solferino-Paris bridge

Théo Kerg1951
Composition with a Circle

Composition with a Circle

Saloua Raouda Choucair1952
Gradual Rythmical Composition

Gradual Rythmical Composition

Saloua Raouda Choucair1953
Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance

Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance

Ellsworth Kelly1951-1953
Linear Construction in Space no. 3, with Red

Linear Construction in Space no. 3, with Red

Naum Gabo1952-1953
Mother and Child (Abstract)

Mother and Child (Abstract)

Tamara de Lempicka1953
Migrating Birds

Migrating Birds

Norman Lewis1953
Composition with Vertical

Composition with Vertical

Saloua Raouda Choucair1953
Shattered Light

Shattered Light

Lee Krasner1954
White Light

White Light

Jackson Pollock1954
Carib Selva

Carib Selva

Aubrey Williams1955
Bird Talk

Bird Talk

Lee Krasner1955
Composition for Tapestry

Composition for Tapestry

Saloua Raouda Choucair1956
Easter Monday

Easter Monday

Willem de Kooning1955-1956
Birth

Birth

Lee Krasner1956
Hemlock

Hemlock

Joan Mitchell1956
The Seasons

The Seasons

Lee Krasner1957
Untitled

Untitled

Agnes Martin1957
Harbor Number 1

Harbor Number 1

Agnes Martin1957
Untitled

Untitled

Agnes Martin1957
Juarez

Juarez

Elaine de Kooning1958
Iberia

Iberia

Robert Motherwell1958
Composition Plains

Composition Plains

Seund Ja Rhee1958
Buds

Buds

Agnes Martin1959
Composition with Blue Rectangle

Composition with Blue Rectangle

Natalia Goncharova1950-1959
Orange Red Relief

Orange Red Relief

Ellsworth Kelly1959
Cool Blast

Cool Blast

Adolph Gottlieb1960
Image II

Image II

Barbara Hepworth1960
Alabama

Alabama

Norman Lewis1960
The Eye is the First Circle

The Eye is the First Circle

Lee Krasner1960
Abstract painting

Abstract painting

Aubrey Williams1960
Duo

Duo

Philip Guston1961
Mist

Mist

Adolph Gottlieb1961
Abstract Painting no. 4

Abstract Painting no. 4

Ad Reinhardt1961

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