What does Abstract Art really mean?
Most pieces of visual art can be put in one of three basic categories; Non-Objective, Abstract or Representational.
Lots of people erroneously believe that anything that is not representational is by default, abstract. Not so.
Representational art encompasses a number of styles such as Impressionism, Realism and Stylized works. It is basically, any work that involves a readily discernible representation of a known form. When creating an impressionistic piece the artist concentrates on giving the viewer a very loose glimpse of his impression of a person, place or thing. Any image that is stylized, has purposefully altered or enhanced proportions, but still remains immediately recognizable. A realistic or photo-realistic piece will depict the subject matter in more detail, striving for more natural proportions.
So, isn’t everything that else Abstract?
No. In fact, most of the work that is generally referred to as Abstract is really Non-Objective.
Abstract works have some basis in reality. They are an abstraction of known organic or geometric forms, changed to emphasize colors, lines, and their relationship to one another. The original form is not as it appears in reality, not immediately evident, once changed. Cubism, Minimalism, and the Dada movement are great examples of true abstraction.
Non Objective art is that which does not represent objects known in physical nature. The intention is simply to create something that is visually appealing to most people. Good Non Objective work is based on key elements of art and principles of design as opposed to known forms.