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Abstract Art any work in which the subject does not recall or evoke reality. The first period of abstract art, from 1910 to 1916, constituted a reaction against naturalistic representation, and it was only later, with De STIJL (the Dutch artistic movement), that abstraction became every artist’s starting point. Kandinsky (1866-1944) began to experiment with abstract patterns with the idea of evoking some of the character of music. In India, abstract art through the use of geometric forms and symbols e.g. Chakra and Yantra has always been prevalent in Indian religion.
Abstract Expressionism art movement that originated in America in the work of Jackson Pollock in 1950, which dispenses with the painter’s normal apparatus and ideas of composition. The act of painting is reduced to a physical act – the paint is thrown or dripped on to a horizontal surface.
Did you know? Abstract Expressionism is also known as action painting.
Aquatint makes use of some of the principles of etching. However, no lines are drawn, and the design on the plate is achieved through the protection of some parts of the printing surface in repeated dippings in the acid bath. It became common in the 18th century.
Did you know? A development on these lines was the sugar aquatint, used by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) whereby a wash drawing could be made direct on the metal surface; sugar was sprinkled over the plate to provide a richer effect and the picture reproduced in monochrome.
Etching a form of engraving and a sub-category of the general form of Graphics, where a metal plate is first coated with a thin layer of a waxy substance, through which the design is then drawn with a needle-point. The plate is then placed in an acid bath and the lines drawn through the was exposing the metal to the corrosive action of the chemical, while the rest of the surface remains unaffected. This process is termed as ‘biting’. The process of printing is thereafter the same as with line engraving, the sunk lines retaining the ink which is transferred to the paper in the printing. Remember, an etching is not a photocopy!
Did you know? Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) was one of the first artists who appreciated the freedom of expression which etching offered.
Pointillism a neo-impressionism technique whereby tones are split into the primary colours and represented on the canvas by juxtaposed dots which form the correct colour impression at a distance. This method was used as early as the 17th century by Jan Vermeer, however In the 1880s Georges Seurat tried to develop this technique in a scientific way by breaking up light into different colours.
Did you know? Computers and televisions use a similar technique to represent the image by using the colours red, green and blue.
Still Life study of an arrangement of inanimate objects, distinct from landscape or figure painting. Carvaggio’s (1573-1610) paintings of fruit and flowers are among the first examples of this genre.