Art & Design Magazine

Contemporary Art: Space, Color and Shape

By Yasoypintor @antoniobasso

Abstract and non abstract modern art examples

Since the very beginning artists have worked around three main concepts: space, color and shape.

Thanks to the arrival of what is called modern art, contemporary art, abstract art, visual art (you name it…), artists have stayed away from traditional “rules” (thanks god!!!) and are able to add additional themes to their art works: texture, concept, emotions, objects, movement…

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Picasso, modern abstract

What happens when a modern/contemporary abstract artist decides to include shape, space and color alltogether in an artwork?. The answer is simple: the result becomes fascinating and human emotions come to the light.

The above is well known Picasso figurative painting. Focus your sight just on the background. Forget the figure. To me this is a good “classical” example of what I mean. The painting becomes abstract and you just see color (different blue tones), shape (apparent straight lines), space (an imaginery tridimensional one), and smotions (sadness).

In this post I´m going to show you some excellent examples of the above idea. Lets start!!

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Dan Flavin, modern abstract

The above is a Dan Flavin piece. You can perfectly see the combination of shape, color and space. This is not a modern painting, nor a photography. It´s an installation. Flavin used lighted color fluorescents to make his conceptual (better known as minimal) artworks. Isn´t this one astonishing? The intelectual reasoning behind the final work was so good that it allowed him to create this “apparently simple” final piece. What do you feel?

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Carlos Cruz-Diez, modern abstract

In the above instalation Carlos Cruz-Diez also explores the relationship between color, shape and space. He does so allowing the observer to participe in the process. In fact, we are a main part of the process. We become active observers and actors. Isn´t it beautiful?. Take a closer look. Do you see how the yellow back light brings the end to the front?

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, John Chamberlain, modern abstract

John Chamberlain metal abstract sculptures brought abstract expressionism to a new dimension. He actually added a 3rd dimension to the abstract expressionism being done at that time. Color, shape and space at the same time.

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Cy Twombly, modern abstract

The above is a difficult to understand (at least to me) and apparently spontaneous Cy Tomwbly´s abstract painting, that again shows us the spectacular emotional power that a well the combined artwork can have. What emotions does it arouse on you?

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Sarah Morris, modern abstract

And what about Sarah Morris with her city building amazing abstract paintings? In this piece it is easier to see the combination of shape, color and space. Do you realize how she cleverly plays with us with her color usage technique? Fantastic!!

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Brice Marden, modern abstract

Another good example is this Brice Marden moving abstract painting. Try to stare at it for a minute. Yes, it mooooves. Brilliant!!!

modern art, abstract art, contemporary art, Antonio Basso, modern abstract

To finish this so interesting to write post, allow me to include one of Antonio Basso´s contemporary abstract pastel papers (it belongs to a private collector that will be happy to see it here). When making it I was conciously exploring space through the help of color and shape, and I guess it worked ok. What do you think?

Please, feel free to add any additional comments to this post. They will certainly make the conversation more interesting. Thank you.

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