Moving away from faithful representation, abstraction is a category that was formed in Western art in the 20th century, from artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. The works of JMW Turner, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet and the impressionists, influenced what we categorize today as abstraction. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, create the first abstract art movement, Cubism. This is fundamental to futurism in Italy, the non-objective abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky, Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian and the purism of Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant. It is noted that in the second half of the twentieth century, movements such as abstract expressionism, conceptual art and minimalism embraced the power and aesthetics of formal abstraction rather than literal representation. Do you like abstract art? Discover in this article 10 artists with abstract pieces.
Vieira da Silva
Through her works ranging from the figurative to the abstract, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva marked the history of Portuguese and international art. His career, which started in Paris, was associated with his versatility, with a set of works ranging from painting, sculpture, tapestry, to illustration and scenography. The artist worked and lived essentially in Paris, however it is possible to discover traces of Lisbon in her work. Due to the Second World War and the Estado Novo, she took refuge in Brazil with her husband, the painter Arpad Szenes. With a great respect for the purity of selected means of expression and through her original geometric compositions, she became one of the most celebrated abstract artists in post-war Europe. His works are exhibited all over the world, being shown in repeated retrospectives.
Catarina Ferreira is a self-taught artist in painting, with a degree in tourism. He usually says that he knows he is an artist since he managed to hold a crayon for the first time. Since the pandemic, he left the corporate world behind and developed his art, creating vibrant works full of light and joy. There is something magical about seeing the beauty of flowers and plants and being able to transform them into beautiful abstract paintings. He paints on canvas and paper, the latter being his most collected type of work. Your work comes about intuitively, letting your body and emotions guide your movement. The creative process is her therapy, the place where she feels most herself as she searches for the life and positivity that this world of ours offers. Use acrylic paints, pastels, charcoal, oil, graphite, colored pencils and even elements from your garden. She spends her days at home painting in her studio, inspired by the simplicity of everyday life and nature. His paintings are extensions of his garden. She currently lives in Cascais with her husband and dogs and spends her time traveling between Cascais and Alentejo, where her family is originally from and where she feels at home.
Maria Luísa Capela
The works of the young Maria Luísa Capela (Santo Tirso, 1997) establish themselves in a form of contemporary creative composition, where their shape and color go beyond painting by definition and establish themselves in a new space of sculptural dimension. His exceptional artistic production comes from the rigorous color choice and the strong volumetric, in a game between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality. An abstract space nourished by the attention of those who make themselves available to observe it, attributing new relationships with the visible world to the latter. A compositional unit that lives in the permanent dynamic between form and color that goes beyond painting by definition. She is currently a collaborator of the Associação POUSIO Arte e Cultura, having been part of the Project since her first artistic residency in Cachopo (Tavira), among other activities, such as a curatorship project at the invitation of Revista GERADOR, in what was her first project as healer. The exhibition Suspenso - A place of contemplation (2021) was the exhibition at Central Gerador at the magazine's annual event. He won the Revelation Prize at the XV Edition of the D. Fernando II Prize at the Sintra Museum of Arts (MU.SA) in 2019. He recently participated in Contemporary Istanbul (2021) in Turkey; at the exhibition Reflection upon Space - Part II (2021) curated by Carolina Pelletier Fontes and Delfina Sena at Espaço Útero and also at the Finalists Exhibition (2021) at the Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes. APPARENT TRIDIMENSIONALITY (2020) at António Prates Gallery; the XXI Cerveira International Art Biennial (2020) whose theme: Diversity-Research. The Space for Communication through Art Complex; BARBEITO (2020) at the Medeiros e Almeida House-Museum and the Prize Paula Rego, 2nd and 3rd edition (2017 and 2018 respectively).
José Pedro Croft
Sculptures and reduced geometric paintings characterize the work of José Pedro Croft (1957), one of the greatest contemporary Portuguese artists. In the 1980s, he began his long career in sculpture, using industrial materials such as wood and metal, on glass surfaces or mirrors. With an architectural dimension created from the application of materials and pigments, his sculptures and paintings conceive a game of tension, defragmentation and deconstruction between light, shadow and color. He represented Portugal at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 and his works can be found in several national and international museums, including the Museu Coleção Berardo in Lisbon, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Elvas, the Pompidou Center in France and the Rainha Sofia Museum in Spain.
Árpád Szenes (1897-1985) was a Hungarian artist who excelled in the fields of painting, drawing and printmaking. Born in Budapest, he began studying art at the Budapest School of Fine Arts in 1915. During World War I, Szenes served as a soldier and was captured by the Russians. After being released, he returned to the School of Fine Arts and began working as a professional artist. Szenes was one of the main representatives of Hungarian Expressionism and developed his own style of painting, characterized by vivid colors and dramatic forms. His works have a strong emotional content and deal with themes such as war, misery and loneliness. Árpád Szenes was a very productive and creative artist throughout his career, producing hundreds of works of art, including paintings, drawings and prints. Some of his best known works include "The War", "The Madonna", "The Artist and His Family" and "The Desert". Árpád Szenes he also actively defended the Jewish cause and participated in various political and social movements in defense of Jewish rights. He died in 1985, leaving an important legacy as one of the most important Hungarian artists of the 20th century.
The compositions of Joana Duarte (Vila Franca de Xira, 1999) describe the essential lines of painting: color, shape, texture and movement. In his works with great abstract influences, few elements are used with undefined limits that create interesting chromatic relationships of great subtlety. The splashes of color present in his painting offer the viewer a gateway to raw emotions and the immaterial, by preferentially exploring the tactile qualities and sensitive effects of color. Since childhood, he has been interested in the world of visual arts. Graduated in artistic production at Escola Artística António Arroio, graduated in Painting at FBAUL, post-graduated in art curatorship at FCSH-UNL and student of Museology at the same institution. As an artist, he participated in several exhibitions, including: Prize Exhibition Paula Rego 2018 – House of Stories Paula Rego (Cascais); ''Witch of Arruda'' and ''Witches and spells'' in 2020 – Cultural Center of Morgado, (Arruda dos Vinhos); “How many A4s can fit in the Á-Quatro” 2020 (Barreiro); ''Pedro Sousa Prize 2020'' Exhibition - Almada Drawing Biennial; Santa Catarina Biennial 2022 (Leiria); Exhibition “Reserva para o Futuro” – National Society of Fine Arts, 2022 (Lisbon).
In the field of fine arts, Tito Chambino (1996) mainly explore sculpture/installation and painting - the former having come to assume greater preponderance in his authorial project. Underlying his work are questions around space – the space in the piece, the piece as a function of the space it occupies, and what mediates them – , questions around time – as interchangeability of the work - and questions around the material and of matter, where structural reduction and simplification predominates, as well as an incessant search for the perfection of forms.
In constant movement and creation, Júlio Pomar (1926-2018) is one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 20th century. During his long creative career, his works addressed issues and themes such as: protest, eroticism, fado, bullfighting, literature, mythology, the Xingu Indians of Brazil, Don Quixote, portraits and animals. Belonging to the third generation of modernists, Júlio Pomar is an artist with works ranging from neorealism to expressionism, passing through abstractionism. He mainly produced paintings and drawings, but also carried out work in engraving, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, glass, tapestry, collages, theater scenography and wall decoration in tiles. In the last years of his life, he also devoted himself to poetry and music.
the portuguese artist Nadir Afonso (1920-2013) was a pioneer in geometric abstraction in Portugal, being a fundamental figure for the modernism of this country. In an initial period of pictorial experimentation, through figurativism and the representation of the real, he went through a surrealist aesthetic that made the transition to abstractionism. This is how he discovered his attraction for geometric painting. The artist considered that art was not the result of imagination, but of observation and manipulation of form. In addition to painting, he worked in architecture, collaborating with architects such as Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. His artistic production is unique and fundamental for the study of modernism in Portugal.
In the purest sense, Natália Gromicho created with a language that is both lyrical and mysterious, joyful and poetic. Employing these paradoxes, the artist applies her raw talent to different techniques and styles, creating a sense of flow, depth and mastery. the work of Natália Gromicho focuses on elementary images of nature, landscape, culture and even the individuals he meets on his travels. These memories are dramatically transformed with scale contrasts, focus shifts, jagged reflections and multiple or layered surfaces. Sensory perception for the artist is a spiritual activity, which leads to a heightened awareness of nature and culture - this thought process points to a new kind of realism. However, it also makes reference to the theoretical conceptions of deconstruction that emerged during Modernism.