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Abstract Prints

Abstraction, or the freedom of subject matter from the representational, was a key element of Cubism, Suprematism, Constructivism, and other movements of the early 20th century.

In the German Bauhaus, Wassily Kandinsky created abstract lithographs based on ideas of spirituality in color and inspiration in music. Pioneering Cubist George Braque continued his experimentation with abstraction in color lithography, enjoying the process of creation almost as much as the finished result. In the mid-1940s and 50s, Jackson Pollock experimented with his abstract expressionist style through screenprinting and etching.

Reacting against the fluid gesture of abstract expressionism, 1960s artists created hard edge abstract prints. Screenprinting was an especially suitable medium for artists to create abstract works due to the layering and transferring integral to the technique. In the later 20 century, artists began to explore reproduction, appropriation, and hybridization as elements of their fine prints, making full use of the forgiving nature of the medium.


Quick Facts

  • Jackson Pollock created his first etchings at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17. He worked after hours to avoid the attention others, and drew directly onto the plate into the wax ground without the help of preparatory drawings
  • Atelier 17 was a great supporter of female printmakers; notable artists such as Louise Nevelson, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler experimented with abstract techniques in engraving and lithography in the studio
  • Similar to the loose abstract style of her soak and stain canvases, Helen Frankenthaler created monotype prints in the 1960s that produce a similar effect of soft color areas

Recommended Items at Auction

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Graham Gillmore, Canadian (1963-), For M. R., print, 13 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (34.3 x 21.6 cm.)
Apr 17, 9:00 AM PDT
Graham Gillmore, Canadian (1963-), For M. R., print, 13 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (34.3 x 21.6 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $300- $500
$85010 Bids
A Rare Henri Matisse First Edition Lithograph
Apr 28, 11:00 AM MST
A Rare Henri Matisse First Edition Lithograph
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $500- $2,000
$12010 Bids
Rainer, Arnulf
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Rainer, Arnulf
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€4609 Bids
Ellsworth Kelly Red Curve Radius of 8' Lithograph
Apr 17, 5:00 PM EDT
Ellsworth Kelly Red Curve Radius of 8' Lithograph
by Abington Auction Gallery
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$6,2508 Bids
1956, Vieira da Silva (1908-1992), Portuguese, An abstract hand-finished print
Apr 18, 10:00 AM BST
1956, Vieira da Silva (1908-1992), Portuguese, An abstract hand-finished print
by Sloane Street Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£2007 Bids
Victor Vasarely (1906 - 1997), Ond-JG
Apr 18, 10:00 AM BST
Victor Vasarely (1906 - 1997), Ond-JG
by Sloane Street Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£1307 Bids
David Hockney ,Lithographie Signed , numbered COA
Apr 21, 10:15 PM CEST
David Hockney ,Lithographie Signed , numbered COA
by Novartia
Est: €950- €1,100
€7006 Bids
Hundertwasser, Friedensreich
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Hundertwasser, Friedensreich
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€3306 Bids
Rainer, Arnulf
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Rainer, Arnulf
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €1,200- €1,800
€1,8006 Bids
Victor Vasarely Limited Edition Lithograph
Apr 17, 5:00 PM EDT
Victor Vasarely Limited Edition Lithograph
by Abington Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$2756 Bids
RICHARD BEDWASH - VI (Six)
Apr 28, 1:00 PM CST
RICHARD BEDWASH - VI (Six)
by Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting
Est: $100- $140
$555 Bids
Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991)
Apr 19, 11:00 AM CDT
Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991)
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$1,4005 Bids
Karel Appel, Fantasy figures
Apr 18, 10:00 AM CEST
Karel Appel, Fantasy figures
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €400- €1,200
€4004 Bids
PIERRE ALECHINSKY (°1927)
Apr 25, 10:00 AM CEST
PIERRE ALECHINSKY (°1927)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €300- €400
€2404 Bids
Guy VANDENBRANDEN (1926-2014), colour lithograph Composition, numbered 68/100 and signed
Apr 22, 6:00 PM CEST
Guy VANDENBRANDEN (1926-2014), colour lithograph Composition, numbered 68/100 and signed
by Maison Jules Veilinghuis
Est: €150- €250
€2204 Bids
Antoni Tapies Abstract Embossed Etching & Aquatint
Apr 21, 12:00 PM EDT
Antoni Tapies Abstract Embossed Etching & Aquatint
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$2003 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Art Atelier

Art Atelier

AaG Auktionshaus am Grunewald

AaG Auktionshaus am Grunewald

Wright

Wright