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Abstract Drawings

Abstract drawing developed as a fully formed discipline with the rise of modern art and continues to the present day. Its development can be largely credited to the invention of cameras. The camera's introduction around the turn of the 19th century enabled artists to perfectly replicate images of daily life, consequently causing a shift in traditional art forms away from realism. Artists became increasingly more interested in transforming the world around them through paints, pastels, pencil, and other traditional media rather than reproducing it with scientific exactitude.

Impressionism and abstract drawing arose along with the popularization of the camera. Artists including Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Paul Cezanne sought to capture the feeling and chromatic subtleties of a particular moment, which the camera struggles with.

While the artworks of artists from this time period tend toward the figurative, they also have elements of abstraction as their drawings turned from realistic to expressive. This tradition remains very much alive today as artists continue to explore new ways to present non-figurative imagery through drawing.


Quick Facts

  • The trend of abstract drawing, and more famously painting, fully matured with the rise of modern art in the mid-20th century. Artists including Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock began to produce works that appeared completely devoid of reference to the outside world
  • The esteemed artist Robert Longo recently produced a body of work replicating the paintings of Abstract Expressionist masters like Ad Reinhardt and Jackson Pollock using charcoal on paper
  • The Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was one of the first artists to create drawings of a purely abstract nature in the early 20th century

Recommended Items at Auction

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Piero Dorazio
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
Piero Dorazio
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Stoffers Elisabeth - Compositions (1916-1918)
Mar 02, 1:00 PM CET
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Scott Lenhardt- 3- piece lot, Ross Powers #6"Book of Life" ca.2005.3- ink on board graphic originals and 1- snowboard
Mar 03, 6:00 PM EST
Scott Lenhardt- 3- piece lot, Ross Powers #6"Book of Life" ca.2005.3- ink on board graphic originals and 1- snowboard
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PAUL PLANTE ABSTRACT DRAWING SIGNED
Mar 13, 3:00 PM EDT
PAUL PLANTE ABSTRACT DRAWING SIGNED
by Austin York LLC
Est: $80- $150
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Giorgio Cipriani,  Italian active c.1946-48 -  Untitled, 1946;   ink on p
Mar 12, 10:00 AM GMT
Giorgio Cipriani,  Italian active c.1946-48 -  Untitled, 1946;   ink on p
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Est: £300- £500
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Scott Lenhardt- 2- piece lot, Omen Series #4 ca.2003, 1- sketch, charcoal on paper and 1- snowboard
Mar 03, 6:00 PM EST
Scott Lenhardt- 2- piece lot, Omen Series #4 ca.2003, 1- sketch, charcoal on paper and 1- snowboard
by Nathan Auction & Real Estate Inc.
Est: $1,500- $3,500
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Scott Lenhardt- 2- piece lot, Omen Series #1 ca.2003, 1- framed board graphic, charcoal on paper and 1- snowboard
Mar 03, 6:00 PM EST
Scott Lenhardt- 2- piece lot, Omen Series #1 ca.2003, 1- framed board graphic, charcoal on paper and 1- snowboard
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Est: $1,500- $3,500
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Scott Lenhardt, Specials Series ca 1998, Snake
Mar 03, 6:00 PM EST
Scott Lenhardt, Specials Series ca 1998, Snake
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Est: $1,500- $3,500
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VINT BLACKBURN - Colourful Abstract
Mar 24, 1:00 PM CST
VINT BLACKBURN - Colourful Abstract
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Est: $60- $80
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GREG KESSLER - Untitled
Mar 24, 1:00 PM CST
GREG KESSLER - Untitled
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Est: $120- $160
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Van Severen Dan - Composition (1993)
Mar 02, 1:00 PM CET
Van Severen Dan - Composition (1993)
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Est: €3,800- €5,000
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Scott Lenhardt- Vapor Series, ca 2005
Mar 03, 6:00 PM EST
Scott Lenhardt- Vapor Series, ca 2005
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JAVIER CLAVO (Madrid, 1918 - 1994). Untitled, 1975. Ink on paper. Signed and dated in the lower right area.
Mar 18, 2:15 PM CET
JAVIER CLAVO (Madrid, 1918 - 1994). Untitled, 1975. Ink on paper. Signed and dated in the lower right area.
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Est: €200- €250
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Ahmed Alsoudani
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
Ahmed Alsoudani
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Est: $1,000- $1,500
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Anonimo - XX secolo. Simbolo della idea generale della simmetria, novembre 1962
Mar 23, 6:00 PM CET
Anonimo - XX secolo. Simbolo della idea generale della simmetria, novembre 1962
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Est: €0- €0
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Drawing 1
Mar 07, 12:00 PM JST
Drawing 1
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Est: ¥150,000- ¥200,000
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Boris Iosifovich Zhutovsky (1932 - 2023). Begonie, 1967
Mar 23, 6:00 PM CET
Boris Iosifovich Zhutovsky (1932 - 2023). Begonie, 1967
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Est: €0- €0
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ANONYM (20. Jahrhundert)
Mar 03, 10:00 AM CET
ANONYM (20. Jahrhundert)
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Est: €240- €480
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Ulrich Hachulla - Klytaimnestra, 1983
Apr 20, 3:00 PM CEST
Ulrich Hachulla - Klytaimnestra, 1983
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Est: €0- €0
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Sellers Who Sell Abstract Drawings


Schmidt Kunstauktionen Dresden OHG

Schmidt Kunstauktionen Dresden OHG

Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus

Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus

De Vuyst

De Vuyst

Roseberys

Roseberys