Abstract art – art that does not represent a tree, or a person, or something. Instead, it is art that uses shapes, colours, forms and gestures
(Pronounced ab-strakt ahrt)
To remember what abstract art is, recall the following mnemonic:
The absence of anything to distract (abstract) is the key to abstract art. That is, there is no solid form you recognise.
Abstract art has no recognisable forms. Instead, abstract artists let the colour, shape, and gestures of their medium speak for themselves. Some of the most famous artists in modern art specialise(d) in abstract work – artists such as Matisse and Kandinsky, with Picasso even painting some abstract pieces.
Robert Delaunay, Le Premier Disque, 1912–13
Wassily Kandinsky, On White II, 1923
Abstract Art Project
In this project, we will make a 3D abstract sculpture that uses shape, colour, form and gestural mark-making, which are all used in abstract art.
You will need lots of cardboard, acrylic paint and a whole range of items you can use to make marks.
To begin, get your cardboard and cut it into large pieces (around dinner plate size) with straight or curved edges. The shapes can be as wacky as you like as long as they are not the shape of a recognisable form.
Once you have your pieces cut out, cut slats into one or two sides of each of them. The slats need to be the same width as the thickness of your cardboard, which is usually around 5mm thick.
This is where the fun begins. For each panel, paint a different design, covering the surface entirely. Remember to do both sides. You want each panel to be different and they all need to be abstract (with no recognisable forms visible).
You can use whatever you like to make the marks on your panels, here a just a few ideas:
Drip paint and blow it with a hairdryer:
Roll a marble through the paint so it creates random tracks:
Make blobs of paint then splat them with the back of a spoon:
Use masking tape to create straight lines and block out areas:
Use your imagination and continue until all of your panels are painted. Once completed, allow them to dry.
Once dry, you can assemble a sculpture with your panels.
The cut-out slits in each panel should slide onto another panel like so:
Keep building up the structure until you run out of panels and have created an abstract form you are happy with.