Example Art Work
Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 70
(1961) Metropolitan Museum of Art.
By Robert Motherwell, who was
responsible for some of the
greatest 20th century paintings.
Top 100 Abstract
Here is a list of selected abstract artists
who have made a significant contribution to the evolution and development
of non-representational art.
English painter whose avant-garde expressionism developed into abstraction.
James McNeill Whistler
American painter, noted for semi-abstract tonal paintings.
His still lifes and landscapes are seen as important prototypes for abstraction.
Paul Serusier (1864-1927)
Leader of Les Nabis, influenced by Gauguin.
One of the earliest pioneers of geometric abstraction.
Georges Vantongerloo (1866-1965)
Belgian member of De Stijl, noted for his Elementarist painting.
One of the pioneer colour-related abstract painters.
Used Cubist methods to imply religious feeling.
Czech painter, "colour symphonist", influenced by Futurism &
Italian Futurist painter, fascinated by modern technology & movement.
Geometric painter, member of De Stijl movement, inventor of Neo-Plasticism.
Bart Van Der Leck (1876-1958)
Utrecht artist/designer, one of founders of De Stijl.
One of the great early American modernists.
A pioneer geometric abstractionist, inventor of Suprematism.
Louis Marcoussis (1878-1941)
Polish-French colourful Cubist painter, born Ludwig Markus.
Swiss fantasy artist.
French painter with private income; Cubist, Dadaist, Surrealist.
Co-founder of Der Blaue Reiter. His animal images verge on abstraction.
Patrick Henry Bruce (1880-1937)
Friend of Delaunay, associated with the Synchromists style of abstraction.
Arthur Dove (1880-1946)
Painter/illustrator. His 1912 solo show was first showing of abstract
art in US.
German-born painter, important pioneer of abstract expressionist painting.
Famous for his early abstract Cubist/Futurist painting.
Cubist painter, co-writer of Du Cubisme, the first book on Cubism.
Innovative French painter, noted for his "Tubism" & geometric
Co-inventor of Rayonism, launched at the Target Exhibition, Moscow, 1913.
Larionov's husband, co-founder of Rayonism (Luchism).
Co-founder of Cubism. Virtuoso painter, master of abstract
Leader of British Vorticism movement.
Auguste Herbin (1882-1960)
French painter, a Bateau-Lavoir neighbour of Picasso.
Co-founder of analytical and synthetic Cubism; inventor of collage.
Considered by most art experts to be the first Irish Cubist.
Theo van Doesburg
Leader of Dutch De Stijl group, inventor of term 'concrete art'.
Morgan Russell (1883-1953)
American painter active in Paris, co-founder of Synchromism.
Inspired by analytical Cubism; published Du Cubisme with Albert
Gino Severini (1883-1966)
Italian Futurist painter, stayed faithful to Cubist rigour, interested
Roger de la Fresnaye (1885-1925)
Used Cubist geometric simplification to make a nationalistic statements.
French abstract painter, inventor of Orphism (Simultanism/Orphic Cubism).
Founder of Constructivism, avant-garde painter in Neo-Primitivist style.
Produced Cubist works filled with semi-geometric forms and interacting
Sonia Delaunay-Turk (1885-1979)
Delaunay's wife, known for her colourful abstraction.
Spanish painter, leading theorist of Cubism.
Jean Arp (1887-1966)
Abstract painter and one of the great organic abstract
Johannes Itten (1888-1967)
Swiss geometric-style painter, noted for his exploration of colour.
Teacher at Bauhaus Design School;
see his Homage to the Square series.
Leading exponent of Constructivism, known for her Painterly Architectonics.
Noted for his abstract surrealist imagery.
Bradley Walker Tomlin (1889-1953)
Abstract expressionist known for his huge grid-like works with inscriptions.
Willi Baumeister (1889-1955)
German painter noted for his late paintings, dubbed 'abstract Surrealism.'
Bauhaus, Suprematist painter, leading Constructivist, noted for geometric
David Bomberg (1890-1957)
British abstract painter influenced by Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism.
Stanton MacDonald-Wright (1890-1973)
Co-founder of Synchromism, which like Orphism studied colour, light &
Famous for his late abstraction, a mix of "action painting"
Man Ray (1890-1977)
American avant-garde Dada/Surrealist artist, painter, photographer.
Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Russian painter, leading Constructivist.
Famous for his abstract Surrealism.
Evie Hone (1894-1955)
One of the pioneer abstract
artists in Ireland.
Early American abstract painter; a Robert Henri pupil, exhibited Armory
Hungarian Constructivist painter, sculptor, designer; Bauhaus instructor.
Bram van Velde (1895-1981)
Dutch painter, noted for his existential, expressive abstract paintings.
French surrealist painter, acted as bridge to abstract expressionism.
Pioneer Irish Cubist painter; founder of Irish Exhibition of Living
Jean Fautrier (1898-1964)
Famous for postwar 'Hostages' paintings, forerunners of Art Informel.
Cartoonist and gouache painter; pioneer of Kinetic art (mobiles).
Konstantin Medunetsky (1899-1935)
Russian Constructivist artist, famous for his Colour Constructions.
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Italian artist, founder of Spatialism, noted for gashed monochrome paintings.
French abstract surrealist noted for his strange lunar imagery.
Avant-garde painter, pioneer of Art Brut known also as Outsider Art.
American abstract painter, co-founder of Colour
American abstract expressionist, a founder of the Ten Group, New York.
Armenian-born American abstract expressionist. Taught De Kooning &
Jean Helion (1904-87)
French member of De Stijl; signed Doesburg's Manifesto of Concrete
Co-founder with Rothko/Newman of Colour Field painting.
Hans Hartung (1904-89)
German-French painter, one of the pioneers of Art Informel.
Noted for his gesturalist "Woman" paintings.
Jean Bazaine (1904-2001)
French Art Informel painter, leading exponent of Lyrical Abstraction.
Maurice Esteve (1904-2001)
Abstract painter of the Ecole de Paris; paintings have stained glass 'glow'.
Jiro Yoshihara (1905-72)
Industrialist & self-taught painter; founded & funded Gutai Group.
Had huge influence on Post-Painterly Abstraction.
Serge Poliakoff (1906-69)
One of the leading abstract painters of the Ecole de Paris.
Painter, graphic designer; pioneer of kinetic art and founder of Op-Art.
Wife of Jackson Pollock, joint inventor of "action painting".
Helena Vieria da Silva (1908-92)
Portugese member of Art Informel movement, known for architectural
Max Bill (1908-94)
Swiss architect/artist, promoter of non-objective art.
Noted for huge stark black/white canvases & calligraphic-style brushstrokes.
Alfred Manessier (1911-93)
French painter, lithographer, tapestry designer; member of Art Informel.
Chilean surrealist painter, influenced by Yves Tanguy.
Morris Louis (1912-62)
American Minimalist, explored "colour stain painting" with Helen
Took up abstraction when "action painting" appeared.
Nicholas Schoffer (1912-80)
Hungarian-born French painter, leading theorist of Kinetic art.
Minimalist painter, noted for her pencilled grids on monochrome ground.
Inventor of 'action-painting'.
Wols - Alfred Otto
Wolfgang Schulze (1913-51)
German Art Informel painter, Sartre's illustrator, acclaimed after early
Known for his parallel red, blue, black rectangles.
Irish painter known for his colourful fantasy paintings of the Bahamas.
Irish painter best known for his semi-abstract still lifes.
Known for his Lyrical Abstraction.
Danish painter. Founder of abstract expressionist Cobra group.
Famous for his Elegy to the Spanish Republic monochrome abstract
Jean Degottex (1918-88)
Calligraphy painter, noted for huge white monochrome paintings.
French painter, one of leading exponents of Tachisme.
British abstract painter of the St Ives School,
noted for his vibrancy of colour.
Dutch gesturalist; member of Cobra Group
French painter, known as the 'Salvador Dali of Art Informel'.
Jules Olitski (1922-2007)
Russian-American painter/sculptor; leading figure in Colour Field Painting.
American painter, member of Tachisme.
Best known as comic-strip Pop Artist, he also produced several abstracts.
Leading Canadian abstract painter, active in Paris; member of Art Informel.
Jesus Raphael Soto (1923-2005)
Kinetic artist, noted for using dots to explore optical reflectivity.
An exponent of Post Painterly
Member of Catalan artist group Dau al Set; known for impastoed
Ivan Picelj (b.1924)
Croatian geometrical abstract painter, leading figure in group EXAT-51.
Minimalist painter associated with Hard
Edge Painting, colour & structure.
Pierre Alechinsky (b.1927)
Belgian painter, noted for his expressive abstraction.
Avant-garde artist, known for International Klein Blue (IKB) monochromes
and his Anthropometry paintings.
Minimalist painter known for his calligraphic scribbles.
Minimalist painter, developed "colour stain painting" for diaphanous
Jo Baer (b.1929)
American painter best known for her 1960s and 70s minimalism.
Antonio Saura (1930-98)
Spanish painter, founder of El Paso Group 1957; violent semi-abstract
Robert Ryman (b.1930)
American minimalist painter, noted for his white monochrome compositions.
Peter Sedgley (b.1930)
British painter, Op-artist, noted for his concentric rings of colour.
Richard Anuszkiewicz (b.1930)
American painter famous for his hallucinatory Op-art.
Leading figure in British Op-Art movement.
Richard Smith (b.1931)
British painter in New York, known for abstract Pop-Art & shaped canvas.
British semi-abstract portraitist.
Contemporary abstract painter associated with Neo-Expressionism.
Howard Hodgkin (b.1932)
English painter, Turner Prize Winner; noted for his colourful abstraction.
Ex-abstract expressionist who went geometric after 1958.
Robert Mangold (b.1937)
American painter noted for his minimalist paintings and shaped canvas.
Brice Marden (b.1938)
One of the last abstract expressionists; noted also for his late gesturalism.
Contemporary German painter, famous for his gesturalism & inverted
German neo-expressionist painter, known for textured historical abstracts.
Irish-American painter, famous for large-size, geometric-style compositions.
New York painter best-known for his text-based word painting.
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