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Abstract Art (Art Essentials)

Stephanie Straine


'Telling abstraction’s multiple stories through the work of a wonderfully wide range of artists – some familiar, some less so – this book takes a fresh approach to one of modern and contemporary art’s most vital forces' - Fiona Bradley, Director, The Fruitmarket Gallery

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This lively introduction tells the ever-evolving story of abstract art, tracing its history from the early 1900s right up to the present day. Emerging out of western movements such as Cubism and Expressionism, abstract art quickly became a global phenomenon, changing the face of modern and contemporary art. Stephanie Straine weaves accounts of well-known pioneers with fascinating insights into lesser-known ground-breakers from across the world.

Although abstraction in art is often associated with vagueness or the forbiddingly theoretical, for many artists the abstract represents pure simplicity. Straine’s vivid discussion demystifies the work of over seventy innovative artists – from Wassily Kandinsky to Emma Kunz and Rana Begum – and develops our appreciation of their conceptual approach. A reference section includes a timeline of key exhibitions of abstract art, suggestions for further reading and a glossary of art terms.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 21.6 x 13.8 cm

Extent: 176 pp

Illustrations: 96

Publication date: 17 September 2020

ISBN: 9780500295755

Contents List

Introduction • Multiple Beginnings • Constructing an Abstract Vocabulary • Abstract Expressionism and its Legacies • Global Geometries • Minimal, Conceptual and Process Art • Abstraction in the Digital Age

About the Author

Stephanie Straine is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh. She was previously Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford and has worked at Tate Liverpool and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. She publishes widely on modern and contemporary art, with a focus on artists working with drawing.