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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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MARIO MERZ (1925-2003)
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Est: €800- €1,200
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Jean TINGUELY (1925-1991)
Dec 03, 1:00 PM CET
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(2pc) WILFREDO LAM (1902-1982)
Dec 04, 10:30 AM EST
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MIRIAM CAHN
Dec 01, 2:00 PM CET
MIRIAM CAHN
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Est: CHF2,000- CHF3,000
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Huhnen, Fritz
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Huhnen, Fritz
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Est: €0- €0
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PETER BUSA (1914 - 1985, AMERICAN) Untitled.
Dec 01, 12:00 PM EST
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JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
Dec 09, 2:00 PM CET
JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
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DAVID BURLIUK (1882 - 1967)
Dec 11, 1:00 PM EST
DAVID BURLIUK (1882 - 1967)
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Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976) Untitled, 1961
Dec 14, 10:00 AM CST
Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976) Untitled, 1961
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JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
Dec 09, 2:00 PM CET
JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
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Est: €300- €400
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Dora Maar, Three Apples
Dec 07, 11:00 AM EST
Dora Maar, Three Apples
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Est: $1,000- $1,500
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JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
Dec 09, 2:00 PM CET
JOSEPH WILLAERT (1936-2014)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €80- €100
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Kyncl, František: Ohne Titel
Dec 03, 2:00 PM CET
Kyncl, František: Ohne Titel
by Galerie Bassenge
Est: €600- €800
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Wolf Kahn (American/German, 1927-2020) Rosy Fog Bank, 1998
Dec 07, 10:00 AM CST
Wolf Kahn (American/German, 1927-2020) Rosy Fog Bank, 1998
by Hindman
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5001 Bid
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André MARFAING (1925 - 1987) Sans titre - 1967 Encre sur papier
Dec 07, 4:30 PM CET
André MARFAING (1925 - 1987) Sans titre - 1967 Encre sur papier
by Artcurial
Est: €6,000- €8,000
€6,0001 Bid
Meret Oppenheim: "La flèche de feu arrive avant la flèche"
Nov 30, 10:30 AM CET
Meret Oppenheim: "La flèche de feu arrive avant la flèche"
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Est: €5,000- €7,000
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Wolf Kahn (American/German, 1927-2020) On the Edge, 1992
Dec 07, 10:00 AM CST
Wolf Kahn (American/German, 1927-2020) On the Edge, 1992
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Est: $3,000- $5,000
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JOSEP MARIA SUBIRACHS - Ninety degrees
Dec 13, 5:00 PM CET
JOSEP MARIA SUBIRACHS - Ninety degrees
by Subastas Segre
Est: €0- €0
€7001 Bid
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ROBERT MCMURTY (AQUASU) "THE SYMBOL MAKER" PASTEL ON PAPER
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
ROBERT MCMURTY (AQUASU) "THE SYMBOL MAKER" PASTEL ON PAPER
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Est: $0- $0
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Francis Bott
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
Francis Bott
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €460- €920
€4501 Bid
Herta Günther "Zwei". 1987.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Herta Günther "Zwei". 1987.
by Schmidt Kunstauktionen Dresden OHG
Est: €950- €1,100
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Untitled
Dec 02, 6:00 PM CET
Untitled
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Est: €12,000- €15,000
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Sellers Who Sell Abstract Drawings


Bernaerts Auctioneers

Bernaerts Auctioneers

Grisebach

Grisebach

Cornette de Saint-Cyr-Bruxelles

Cornette de Saint-Cyr-Bruxelles

Art Atelier

Art Atelier