Obelisk Art History
Themes in Art

Abstract Art
Unshackled from the figure

Abstract Art, Themes in ArtCanal

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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#10, Mark Rothko


Mark Rothko, 1952
1944-N No. 2, Clyfford Still

1944-N No. 2

Clyfford Still, 1944
1948, Clyfford Still


Clyfford Still, 1948
1951-T No. 3, Clyfford Still

1951-T No. 3

A Lady and a Road Map, Bernice Bing

A Lady and a Road Map

Bernice Bing, 1963
Abstract Composition, Théo Kerg

Abstract Composition

Théo Kerg, 1933
Abstract Composition, Mainie Jellett

Abstract Composition

Mainie Jellett, 1935
Abstract Painting, Ad Reinhardt

Abstract Painting

Ad Reinhardt, 1966
Abstract Painting no. 4, Ad Reinhardt

Abstract Painting no. 4

Ad Reinhardt, 1961
Abstract Sculpture 3, Katarzyna Kobro

Abstract Sculpture 3

Katarzyna Kobro, 1924
Abstract Speed + Sound, Giacomo Balla

Abstract Speed + Sound

Giacomo Balla, 1913-1914
Abstraction, Willem de Kooning


Willem de Kooning, 1949-1950
Abstraction No. 4, Beauford Delaney

Abstraction No. 4

Beauford Delaney, c. 1965
After Xhorkum, Arshile Gorky

After Xhorkum

Arshile Gorky, 1940-1942
Agony, Arshile Gorky


Arshile Gorky, 1947
Alabama, Norman Lewis


Norman Lewis, 1960
Alalgura, My Country in Bloom, Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Alalgura, My Country in Bloom

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1992
Alhalkere, My Country, Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Alhalkere, My Country

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1994
Arabesque Brush, Albert Gleizes

Arabesque Brush

Albert Gleizes, 1952
Argula, Arshile Gorky


Arshile Gorky, 1939
Arlatyeye, Emily Kame Kngwarreye


Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1995
At the Solferino-Paris bridge, Théo Kerg

At the Solferino-Paris bridge

Théo Kerg, 1951
Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), Jackson Pollock

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)

Jackson Pollock, 1950
Awelye, Emily Kame Kngwarreye


Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1995
Balanced Forms, Araceli Gilbert

Balanced Forms

Araceli Gilbert, 1952
Basin, Helen Frankenthaler


Helen Frankenthaler, 1979
Berlin Series No. 1, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 1

Marsden Hartley, 1913
Berlin Series No. 3, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 3

Marsden Hartley, 1913
Berlin Series No. 47, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 47

Marsden Hartley, 1914-1915
Berlin Series No. 48, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 48

Marsden Hartley, 1913
Berlin Series No. 49, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 49

Marsden Hartley, 1914-1915
Berlin Series No. 50, Marsden Hartley

Berlin Series No. 50

Marsden Hartley, 1914-1915
Bird in Motion, Fortunato Depero

Bird in Motion

Fortunato Depero, 1916
Bird Talk, Lee Krasner

Bird Talk

Lee Krasner, 1955
Birth, Lee Krasner


Lee Krasner, 1956
Black and White II, Charles Alston

Black and White II

Charles Alston, c. 1960
Black and White, Suprematist Composition, Kazimir Malevich

Black and White, Suprematist Composition

Kazimir Malevich, 1915
Black Square, Kazimir Malevich

Black Square

Kazimir Malevich, 1915
Black Square and Red Square, Kazimir Malevich

Black Square and Red Square

Kazimir Malevich, 1915
Black Trapezium and Red Square, Kazimir Malevich

Black Trapezium and Red Square

Kazimir Malevich, 1915
Blue Green Yellow Orange Red, Ellsworth Kelly

Blue Green Yellow Orange Red

Ellsworth Kelly, 1966
Blueberry, Joan Mitchell


Joan Mitchell, 1969
Body Painting Series, Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Body Painting Series

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1996
Breakthrough I, Robert Rauschenberg

Breakthrough I

Robert Rauschenberg, 1964
Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers, Alma Thomas

Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers

Alma Thomas, 1968
Broadway Boogie Woogie, Piet Mondrian

Broadway Boogie Woogie

Piet Mondrian, 1942-1943
Budgerigar Dreaming, Kaapa Tjampitjinpa

Budgerigar Dreaming

Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, 1972
Buds, Agnes Martin


Agnes Martin, 1959
Bullfight, Elaine de Kooning


Elaine de Kooning, 1959
Burney Falls, Bernice Bing

Burney Falls

Bernice Bing, 1980
More Themes in Art
Still Lifes, Themes in Art

Still Lifes

Quiet moments with simple objects

Death in Art, Themes in Art

Death in Art

Life's only guarantee

Self-portraits, Themes in Art


The canvas mirror

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