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Abstract Portraits

Abstract paintings of people are paintings that are not intended to be photographic representations of the human figure, but in which the human figure can nevertheless be discerned. In general, the abstract artist's intention is not to preserve a person's image for posterity, but rather to give expression to the abstract artist's inner self. These are abstract paintings of people in which the human figure is recognizable and sometimes even the person portrayed is recognizable, but the emphasis is not on representational accuracy and the greater part of abstract paintings is the product of the painter's imagination, of what he thinks and feels, rather than what he sees.
While artists like Picasso and Modigliani showed the way how abstract art can be applied to portraiture, contemporary artists are trying to follow up on the work of the above-mentioned pioneers. Combining the freedom and imagination of abstract paintings with the accurate representation of figurative art is the challenge. Then the people portrayed come to life as abstract people in paintings.
2001 - 2002
20032003 - 2008
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In abstract paintings one can discern various degrees of abstraction. In the semi-abstract art portrait of woman, the face is done in a typically figurative manner, while the hair is recognizable as such, but essentially abstract. The most abstract of the abstract paintings shown above is the abstract art landscape. On close inspection the vegetation on a river bank can be seen and a tree with it's reflection in the stream.
Then we have the tiger and cub painting. Here only the contours and some facial features fit the real world, in the background something that reminds of the sun can be seen but the majority of this abstract painting's details as well as it's coloration is abstract. To the right of the tiger and cub painting we have the Portrait of Hathor, painting that reminds us that abstract art is not really a 20th century invention. Made after an ancient Egyptian relief, this painting shows a body distorted with respect to reality, not a precise representation. The relief was cut in pale-grey stone, so the colors are the artist's, as well as the mosaic in the background.
Many abstract paintings show a fragmentation of the subject, a technique first seen in Picasso's cubism. The neo-cubist portrait of woman painting owes it's "cubism" to this element of fragmentation but differs from Picasso's cubism in that the image has been "flattened", that is, the third dimension has been eliminated, as in Piet Mondrian's cubist period.


Of related interest - site map

Paintings.name >> Woman´s portrait I
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