Distinguishing Abstract art from Representational

If you have tried walking in an art gallery, most likely, you will see those gallery paintings that may only include colors, shapes, forms and textures to create an image or form – or in most cases, no specific image at all! These paintings are called abstract art. An abstract art painting uses only visual imagery, or are non-representational – meaning, all you see are those that we might find hard to comprehend by the first glance because they do not represent a subject per SE. They are not specific or defined by any instance.

To make things easier to understand, let’s do a simple activity:

  1. Try to enter an abstract art gallery in your local museums or stores that has art works up for display or sale. Or, if you want to just stay in the comforts of your home, try searching for online gallery paintings which allows you to view abstract art or contemporary art.
  1. Look at the paintings from afar. What do you see?

If you can see those paintings with stokes, lines and colors that are so well defined and are almost life-like or true to life, like the beautiful Mona Lisa, these are the Representational Art.

Do you only see the burst of the beautiful and exquisite colors, the varying shapes and strokes that create a form or does it give you the feeling that you can see or define something out of it, but can only comprehend the impression that they create? Ladies and gentlemen, you are now looking at a work of art done in abstraction. In short, these are abstract art.

  1. Come closer to the painting and look at the title. What does it says?

From afar, you might have seen, for example, two circles – one is bigger and is located on the upper part; the other smaller, just next to the bigger circle – and colors that seem to exude some warmth in it. But looking closer, you read the title that says “Mother and Child.” Now really, a mother and a child? Take another look at the painting and try to understand what those circles and colors meant. The bigger circle is the head of the mother, and the smaller one is the head of the child. Meanwhile, the warmth that the painting impresses upon its viewer is the love and care a mother gives to her child.

See the difference? In Representational Art, it lets you sees things as how they should be, meanwhile Abstract art lets you see things differently by allowing you to enter into a new level of creativity and imagination. So explore those senses and feelings, visit abstract art galleries or buy abstract art that will make your world more colorful!

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