Abstract art.
Have you ever seen a painting that puzzled you? Perhaps you could not see anything "real" or "natural" in it. Perhaps it seemed a jumble of lines and colours. You were probably looking at an example of abstract art.
Before the 20Ш century, most artists showed things more or less as they might look to an observer. Their scenes were recognisable. Even when they painted imaginary scenes, the elements of the picture could usually be identified.
Of course, artists have always put their own personalities into their paintings. A painting by Van Gogh, for example, can easily be recognised — it has his personal stamp. It shows the way Van Gogh looked at real things. Because of his particular style, his paintings look strange to many people. But in his art, people are still recognisable as people. No tree ever looked quite like a Van Gogh tree (he painted trees as great swirling figures), but his trees are still clearly trees.
Individual painters have always experimented with unusual ways of showing real objects. But in the 21st century artists in large numbers began to break away from realistic ways of paining. Many artists seemed to be saying, "If you want an accurate picture of a scene, buy a photograph or a picture postcard." They began to paint life in different ways. They concentrated on form, colour and shape, and avoided any attempt to tell a story or show a scene naturally.
The kind of art just described is often called abstract art. Once upon a time it was a revolutionary movement. Now it has won acceptance. Most museums have examples of abstract art. Some modern museums contain only abstract art.
Great numbers of people still prefer a more realistic art. But even the tastes of these people have been shaped, in part, by the abstract artists. Modem design has been influenced by abstract art. Even the floor covering in your kitchen may have been copied from the design of an abstract artist.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 17:06)