The tendency of art to detach from the image of reality received a logical conclusion in the works of abstract artists. Their work was distinguished by a complete lack of plot and composition. Abstract art is considered one of the most complex phenomena of modern culture, since it completely excludes ideological content and figurative form.
A new direction in art has received the name from the Latin word abstractus, which means “abstract”. Canvases, made in an abstract style, were not popular with the masses, because the paintings, randomly filled with spots and lines, are quite difficult to understand. The quality of such work is practically beyond assessment. The abstract art theorist Michel Seyfor defines this direction in the following way: “I call abstract art any art that contains no reminder, no idea of reality”.
In the late 40s, lyrical or romantic abstractionism became widespread in Europe. The characteristic features of the new trend are clearly expressed in the works of the German painter Wols.
The painting “Felix”, which was highly praised by critics, depicted double, combined eyes and wings of a monstrous bird. Refined vision, blurred in drips of red, blue, purple and gray colors, awakened various associations in the viewer. Abstractionist paintings of the time can be traced to the lack of control over the creative process. It seems that the artist senselessly leads the brush on the canvas, he changes his “technique”, using everything that can bring him an impressive effect.
As a result of small efforts on canvas, a kaleidoscope of rectangles turned out, which differed from each other only in color. Yellow, red, purple and black figures were separated by a thick paint that emerged from a palette knife. Smears formed the plane of the correct form. This completely exhausted the essence of the work.
American abstract artist Ed Reinhardt was a recognized master of the newest wave of abstract minimalism. Often changing the style and style, he sought to deprive his paintings, colors, compositions, and even traces of a touch of a brush. His work is a prime example of minimalism with works that do not represent aesthetic value. In 1953, Reinhardt created a kind of canvas, where he perfectly symmetrically depicted the Latin letter “H” in iridescent shades of blue-green.
Subsequent paintings of this painter become darker and darker. The artist belongs to a joking aphorism: “It’s not so easy to see what you see.” His work of recent years at first glance seem to be just black. However, intently gazing at the canvases, one can notice a barely perceptible cross or other form, painted in alternating muted colors. Evaluating the works of Reinhardt, critics noticed: “… the dark palette of his canvases evokes the feeling that the artist simply turned off the light.”
Having lost the graphic forms, the paintings of abstract artists became the “master’s receipt on the canvas”, revealing only the nature of his underlining. Often the works were a visual set of signs and hieroglyphs. Thus, another type of fine art arose – abstract calligraphy. A prominent representative of this style was a German artist of French origin Hans Hartung. At the beginning of his career, he was fond of expressionism. In the twenties, for the first time writing abstract watercolors, did not leave this occupation until the end of life. For the first time after World War II, Hartung “invented” calligraphy, which brought him popularity.
In the painting “Pastel P”, written in a clear calligraphic style, the author invented curved intersecting lines, made like a pen stroke, against a gray-blue background. Another type of calligraphy is the painting. A few dark strokes on a dark gray-violet background resemble bird feathers.
The most unusual artist working in the style of pictorial gesture and calligraphy was Georges Mathieu. He masterfully sketched colored spots, dots, commas and other signs resembling hieroglyphics on the canvas.