The Latin word abstraction, meaning
withdrawal or abstraction, became
the stem of the name of the art
movement abstractionism. So what
did art have to withdraw or abstract
from? It withdrew from depicting
images of distinct objects towards
Art decided that in order to fully serve
beauty it is sufficient to be able to
combine color and fuzzy objects, or
geometrical shapes at least.
After cutting ties with the dull reality,
art headed for an unknown field.
This did not happen abruptly.
Medieval Chinese artists used to
create paintings by spraying ink
droplets, seeking to create something
spontaneous, irrational, and unknown.
Barely distinguishable landscapes
helped to create a meditative mood.
Ancient Chinese masters Wang Mo,
Liang Kai, Yu Jian, Zhu Derun
blurred the line between reality and
By the way, Chinese calligraphy and
arabesques can be regarded as
abstract art by those who cannot
read what is written with their help.
However, all these are a very ancient
form of art.
By the end of the 19th century, artists
had felt tired of everything realistic
and understandable, and started
searching for something unknown.
One of the forerunners of the new
style is Nocturne in Black and Gold:
a Falling Rocket by James Whistler.
In this abstract oil painting, created
in 1872, the form is evidently more
important than the meaning.
But officially this art movement
appeared a little later. The approximate time of birth of
abstractionism is 1910. Among the
pioneers of the new style were the
Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, Eastern
European artists František Kupka,
Kazimir Malevich and Wassily
Kandinsky. The latter also elaborated
a theoretical justification for the new
style in his theoretical work
Concerning the Spiritual in Art.