Cubism and Abstract Art

While reading “Cubism and Abstract Art” by Alfred H. Barr, Jr I thought I would add some notes to my blog for future reference, and for reference when adding facts about the cubist and abstract movement to my Contextual Studies sketchbook.

Dictionary definition: Abstracting or being extracted; removal. An object while is being fully or partly abstracted from.


Pure-Abstraction – Pure Abstraction is the use of abstract shapes or details not taking from human/natural or architectural form, this are purely abstract because they are not based around a subject or object. Picasso’s “Violin” can’t be considered a pure-abstract painting, as it it based around a subject of a form. Many suprematists works are based around pure-abstraction such as “Black Square and Red Square” by Kasimir Malevich.

Near-Abstraction – This is the extracting of form or shape from an object, such as analyzing and representing angles of a particular subject. This type of abstraction has a visual basis and because of this, no matter how abstract the end result, it still depicts the initial form. Picasso’s near-abstractions were often titled as the subject of the abstraction – as a guide for the viewer. Many artists saw this a stumbling block because it made the viewer relate to the original form, and defeated the object that the abstraction resulted in.


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