Understanding 9 Different Types of Abstract Art

Understanding 9 Different Types of Abstract Art

Welcome to a fascinating exploration into the kaleidoscopic realm of abstract art. This journey takes us through its spectrum, touching on the different types of abstract art. We shall decipher and appreciate this profoundly creative world, often misunderstood and perplexing.

Understanding 9 Different Types of Abstract Art

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Abstract Art Defined

Abstract art marks a departure from reality. It does not seek to depict visual reality accurately but instead uses shapes, colors, forms, and gestural marks to achieve its effect. Abstract art thrives on the independence of visual reference points witnessed in nature, representing an artist’s internal thoughts, emotions, and the intangible aspects of the human experience.

Characteristics of Abstract Art

Abstract art is identifiable by its emphasis on emotional expression, freedom from the constraints of form, and its propensity for exploring the medium's inherent qualities. The genre provides a flexible canvas for artists to break away from traditional aesthetics and conventions, allowing them to manipulate shapes, colors, and textures to embody and evoke feelings, concepts, and sensations.

Types of Abstract Art

Let's delve deeper into nine significant types of abstract art that have influenced and shaped the genre's trajectory.


Pioneered by Picasso and Braque in the early 20th century, Cubism presented a radical approach to visual representation. It shunned the single viewpoint, instead portraying objects from multiple perspectives, resulting in an abstracted, fragmented form. It's the artistic equivalent of simultaneously looking at an object from various angles.


Surrealism taps into the subconscious and dreams to conjure up abstract images. Surrealist art is often bizarre, illogical, and seemingly nonsensical but offers an intriguing reflection of the mind's inner landscape. Artists like Salvador Dali and René Magritte masterfully crafted surrealistic works that continue to captivate viewers.

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism emerged post-World War II, characterized by free, spontaneous, and often highly emotional or aggressive paint application. This movement, led by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, prioritized painting itself, emphasizing the artist’s emotional engagement with their work.

Op Art

Op Art, short for Optical Art, utilizes optical illusions to engage viewers. The art form uses abstract patterns and designs that swirl, vibrate, and buzz with kinetic energy. Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely are notable artists known for their contributions to Op Art.


Fauvism, led by artists like Henri Matisse and André Derain, celebrated the potent emotional impact of bold, non-representational color. Fauvist artists used wild brushwork and vivid colors, liberating color from its descriptive role and allowing it to exist on the canvas as an emotional force.

Geometric Abstraction

Geometric Abstraction simplifies forms to their most basic geometric equivalents. Artists use lines, angles, and shapes to create compositions that can be both harmonious and jarring. Notable practitioners include Kazimir Malevich, whose 'Black Square' is a perfect example of this style.


The Dada movement was a protest against the horrors of World War I, rejecting logic and reason for nonsense, randomness, and absurdity. Dadaist works often incorporated collages, photomontages, and found objects, crafting abstract pieces that were deliberately provocative and anti-establishment.


Constructivism originated in Russia in the early 20th century, favored the use of industrially produced materials, and championed art as a practice for social purposes. Artists like Vladimir Tatlin created abstract, geometric sculptures focusing on space and materiality.

Minimalist Abstract Art

Minimalist Abstract Art, sometimes called ABC Art, strips artwork down to fundamental features. It highlights simplicity in form, color, and shape, focusing on the artwork's inherent qualities rather than representing a certain emotional expression or narrative.

How to Interpret Abstract Art Forms

It is essential to let go of the need for a literal understanding when approaching abstract art. It's about immersing oneself in the artwork, disconnecting from the tangible world, and allowing the mind to explore unfamiliar terrains.

Engage Emotionally

Allow the colors, shapes, and textures to resonate with your emotions. Abstract art often conveys emotions that words struggle to articulate, serving as a direct conduit between the artist's soul and your feelings.

Open Your Mind

Abstract art is subjective and highly personal. Be open to forming your interpretations and meanings, embracing the freedom that abstract art offers to perceive it through your unique lens.

Consider the Artist’s Intent

While the artist’s message might not be evident, researching their intention can provide valuable insight into their work. Knowing the artist's context can sometimes open up new dimensions in understanding the artwork.

Ponder on Titles

Artists often provide clues about their artwork through titles. They can guide your understanding of the piece, acting like subtle signposts directing your contemplation and interpretation.

Reflect on the Artwork Over Time

Your interpretation of an abstract piece may evolve. It's a journey of discovery that often mirrors your life experiences, making each interaction with the artwork a new adventure in understanding and appreciation.


What is the main purpose of abstract art?

Abstract art stimulates the viewer's emotions, thoughts, and imagination. It is not confined to a realistic portrayal of the world but rather explores the interplay of color, form, and texture to express intangible feelings and ideas.

What are the most important elements of abstract art?

The elements of abstract art are similar to those of other art forms. They include line, shape, form, color, and texture. However, in abstract art, these elements are often utilized in a non-representational way to evoke emotions or convey the artist's inner world.

Embrace the Abstract Art Journey with Memorialize Art

Venturing into the world of abstract art might seem daunting at first. But with every exploration comes new revelations and experiences. Abstract art is a dialogue between the artist, the canvas, and the viewer.

At Memorialize Art, we celebrate this powerful dialogue. Each brushstroke is a heartbeat, a breath of life into every abstract piece we create. We invite you to embark on this colorful journey and experience the transformative power of abstract art. Commission your custom abstract painting at Memorialize Art today. Let's give shape to the unspoken emotions and untold stories that make us uniquely human.