Abstractionism is a style of painting, and of art in general, that rejects the realistic portrayal of the world around us. Its followers depict both simple and complex forms, play with light, and use lines, planes and other objects, combining them in such a way as to create certain emotions in the viewer.

These things are what differentiate them from the techniques used by those masters who adhere to classicism and many other styles.

When you first look at a work painted by an abstractionist, you might get the impression that it depicts a chaotic accumulation of lines, shapes and patches of color. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the artist created a standalone composition designed to elicit particular thoughts, or a particular mood, in the viewer.

Composition by Wassily Kandinsky

Abstractionism appeared as a field of painting in 1910, when the Russian artist and theoretician of painting, Vasily Kandinsky, painted his first abstract watercolor.  Once Kandinsky had created Abstractionism, it quickly began to grow.

An important role in the development of Abstractionism was played by Kazimir Malevich, who made the technique of abstractness completely pointless by developing the field of Suprematism.

Suprematism by Kazimir Malevich

It is no exaggeration to say that the style that emerged constituted the start of a new era in painting. From now on, artists could completely reject all constraints and frameworks and express themselves freely, embodying their emotions, thoughts and feelings in their works.

It is worth noting that it took some time for abstractionism to be given recognition: for quite a while it remained underground and was criticized and condemned. Over time, the situation changed, and abstract painting received acclaim and took up its rightful place among the countless other styles.

Artwork by Barnett Newman

Since abstractionism first came into being, a large number of artists from various countries around the world, who practise this style, have achieved fame. They include: Vasily Kandinsky, Kazemir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, František Kupka, Robert Delaunay.