The concept of abstract derives from the Latin term abstractus and refers to a certain quality where the subject is excluded. When the word is applied to the artistic sphere or to an artist, it describes the intention of not representing concrete beings or objects; instead, only elements of shape, color, structure or proportion are considered, for example.
The abstract art is, according to Digopaul, a style that focus on formal details, structural and chromatic and deepens through the accentuation of its value and expressive power. The abstract artist does not imitate models or work according to natural type inspiration.
Its origin dates back to approximately 1910, as a reaction to realism and the appearance of photography. In this way, abstract art does not consider that figurative representation is justified and, therefore, replaces it with an autonomous visual language that has its own meanings.
In painting, the abstract style departs completely from the structures proposed by realism, where every work was a representation of something specific (landscapes, houses, flowers, living beings) and, using a language that has no specific form or codes and where the Freedom is reflected above all in the use of chromaticism, it represents entities that do not have their model in reality. There are as many abstract universes as painters have turned to this type of artistic representation.
We owe the beginning of abstract painting to Wasily Kandinsky, a Russian artist from the beginning of the last century who claimed that in painting a round stain of colors could represent a human body since art is a consequence not of what we see but of how we see it. The line, the plane and the space do not mean anything, until they acquire a certain meaning from a discharge of energy that occurs within the artist’s mind.
If we look at abstract sculpture we will find that throughout the 20th century and this many plastic artists have emerged who were inclined to develop an abstract style. Among them we can mention Hans (Jean) Arp who was also a painter and took his abstract notions of painting to the three dimensions making organic forms that reflected his vision of reality, as the result of an organic body. He was the one who developed an iconography that received the name of biomorphic sculpture to which many plastic artists of the abstract were given and continue to do.
When the Second World War ended, an artistic movement emerged that in a short time had a large number of followers, Abstract Expressionism. Its bases were found in surrealism (the prewar boom movement) and it was based on the combination of different techniques in the same work. An important style that becomes very popular in this movement is collage, which uses mixtures of different materials or elements, such as plaster and sand, to give a flat canvas a certain three-dimensional roughness characteristic of sculpture. Among the main protagonists of abstract expressionism were Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
One of the fundamental representatives of Spanish abstract expressionism is José Manuel Ciria, who has exhibited at important centers such as the Cervantes Institute in Chicago, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, and in galleries in Paris, the United States, England, Argentina and Portugal.
The abstract in grammar, mathematics and philosophy
In the area of grammar there is the term abstract noun. To understand this concept, it is necessary to previously clarify the concept of noun.
A noun is one of the fundamental elements in a sentence, which does not need the appearance of another to make sense and exist within it (house, child, dogs, Elena). The same does not happen with adjectives that are always attached to a noun that they modify in one way or another (cute, friendly, playful, blonde). Nouns can be divided into several types, some of them opposite each other. This is the case with the classification of concrete and abstract nouns.
A noun is abstract when it is used to mention an object that can only be appreciated or believed using intelligence, unlike nouns that are part of the group of concrete, where objects that are perceived thanks to the senses appear.
According to the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, we can understand by an abstract noun that word that names an object that is not independent, that is, that always needs another element to lean on in order to be. This means that these nouns, not referring to a specific element, refer to objects that cannot be perceived with the senses, but imagined.
Some examples of abstract nouns are love and happiness; so are certain political concepts like power, dictatorship and democracy and so are the seasons of the year, science and religion.
On the other hand, a verb is abstract when it is constituted by “being”, a copulative verb that is given the function of an attribute and lacks a specific meaning. In the statement “I am a human being”, “I am” is highlighted with an abstract verb.
In the field of mathematics there is the concept of abstract algebra that brings together the sector of mathematics that works with algebraic schemes (ring, group, body or vector space). This study arose from the need to obtain greater accuracy in mathematical definitions.
It is also worth mentioning within this definition the notion of abstract thought, which refers to the inner worlds created by the human being to understand existence. It consists of the way in which the human being grouped the ideas, concepts, images and objects that allow him to contain knowledge.