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Abstract Paintings

Abstraction developed through the early to mid-1900s. The Cubists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque pushed painting toward abstraction, but did not go all the way. Wassily Kandinsky was one important abstract painter whose paintings make the most sense when you listen to twelve-tone music. He was friends with Arnold Schoenberg and aimed to paint musically.


Abstract Styles

The Italian Futurists sought to make a complete break from the historic art styles, and to create a new art that celebrated modern, urban life, the machine age, and themes of dynamism and speed. Giacomo Balla's "Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash," 1912, is a playful example of their style.

Kasimir Malevich achieved pure abstraction with his Suprematist style. His pictures are completely flat and composed of simple geometric forms with solid color. The Suprematist works are intended to evoke a feeling in the viewer, completely unrelated to the world of things.

The Abstract Expressionists, however, are perhaps the most famous abstract artists. They completely broke with traditional paint application techniques. Jackson Pollock, for example, splashed paint onto a canvas laid on the floor, as in "Number 1 (Lavender Mist)," 1950.


Quick Facts

  • The International Program of the Museum of Modern Art exhibited works by the Abstract Expressionist painters around the world during the Cold War, promoting the ideal of free expression in a democratic nation
  • Popular Abstract Expressionist Barnett Newman painted large fields of color separated by bands called “zips,” as in "The Stations of the Cross," 1958-66
  • In May 2015, a painting by the abstract artist Pablo Picasso sold for a record $719,365,000 at Christie's in New York. The estimated selling price was $140 million

Recommended Items at Auction

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JACKSON POLLOCK , OIL ON CANVAS. ATTRIBUTED
Dec 11, 10:15 PM CET
JACKSON POLLOCK , OIL ON CANVAS. ATTRIBUTED
by Novartia
Est: €3,000- €4,000
€11510 Bids
Francoise Gilot (French, b. 1921) Composition in Red
Dec 07, 10:00 AM CST
Francoise Gilot (French, b. 1921) Composition in Red
by Hindman
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$3,7508 Bids
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JONONE (John Andrew Perello dit) (Américain - Né en 1963) Guy Moquet - 2012 Acrylique sur toile
Dec 08, 12:00 PM CET
JONONE (John Andrew Perello dit) (Américain - Né en 1963) Guy Moquet - 2012 Acrylique sur toile
by Artcurial
Est: €6,000- €8,000
€5,0006 Bids
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JONONE (John Andrew Perello dit) (Américain - Né en 1963) Perpétuité - 2009 Acrylique sur toile
Dec 08, 12:00 PM CET
JONONE (John Andrew Perello dit) (Américain - Né en 1963) Perpétuité - 2009 Acrylique sur toile
by Artcurial
Est: €7,000- €9,000
€5,5006 Bids
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BRUCE HUDGENS "SHADES OF BLUE ABSTRACT" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
BRUCE HUDGENS "SHADES OF BLUE ABSTRACT" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$406 Bids
Signed Steve L. "Honey" Abstract Oil on Canvas
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Signed Steve L. "Honey" Abstract Oil on Canvas
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$505 Bids
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BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$354 Bids
Three Watercolors by Risaburo Kimura
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
Three Watercolors by Risaburo Kimura
by Caza Sikes
Est: $200- $400
$1704 Bids
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BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT PUEBLO" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT PUEBLO" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$804 Bids
Bo Bartlett (American, b. 1955) Study for 'Sins of Our Fathers'
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
Bo Bartlett (American, b. 1955) Study for 'Sins of Our Fathers'
by Freeman's
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0004 Bids
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BRUCE HUDGENS "KATSINAS" ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
BRUCE HUDGENS "KATSINAS" ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1104 Bids
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DONALD MCCAULEY "UNTITLED ABSTRACT" WATERCOLOR ON PAPER
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
DONALD MCCAULEY "UNTITLED ABSTRACT" WATERCOLOR ON PAPER
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$553 Bids
HERBERT BRANDL (°1959)
Dec 09, 2:00 PM CET
HERBERT BRANDL (°1959)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €800- €1,000
€6003 Bids
PAIK NAM JUNE (1932 - 2006) Untitled.
Dec 20, 5:00 PM CET
PAIK NAM JUNE (1932 - 2006) Untitled.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €10,000- €14,000
€5,0002 Bids
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Jean FUSARO Né en 1925 La Trinité des Monts Huile sur toile
Dec 07, 2:00 PM CET
Jean FUSARO Né en 1925 La Trinité des Monts Huile sur toile
by Artcurial
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,8002 Bids
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BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
BRUCE HUDGENS "ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE" ACRYLIC ON BOARD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
NIELE TORONI (°1937)
Dec 09, 2:00 PM CET
NIELE TORONI (°1937)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €600- €800
€5002 Bids
Signed Jordan Miles Modern Art Acrylic on Canvas
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Signed Jordan Miles Modern Art Acrylic on Canvas
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Leonardo Nierman, Lava
Dec 15, 10:00 AM PST
Leonardo Nierman, Lava
by Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$252 Bids
Leonardo Nierman White Castle Abstract Oil / Board
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Leonardo Nierman White Castle Abstract Oil / Board
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$5502 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Paintings


Artcurial

Artcurial

Ozbid Auctions

Ozbid Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf