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126 artworks, 78 artists
Abstract impressionism appeared as a branch of abstract painting in the second half of the 20th century. Abstract art is an illustration of objects, scenes, or concepts in an “unrecognizable form”. Impressionism as a way of imaging conveys emotions and visual impressions through a mosaic of sweeping, fluent strokes of pure shades. Artists interpreted this style as a reflection of the painter’s inner world, emotional state, while the art theorists described it as “emotionally subjective”. Logical analysis and intellectual perception do not allow us to catch certain concepts in pictures. The main idea is to convey the painter’s emotions and impressions with a brush and colour. Abstract impressionism pictures are recognized as the meditative image of the painter’s soul.
The trend appeared in the 1950s during the heyday of abstract expressionist painting, the art of vivid emotions and rash actions. The representatives of impressionism felt the need for creative expression in a leisurely, contemplatively thoughtful algorithm in which each colour of the palette and each movement of the brush could serve as an artistic tone. As a result, the painters filled the canvas and created a kind of pictorial symphony, an integral piece without an unambiguous meaning or subject. The elements of abstract impressionism can found in the works of Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat, therefore the trend was not a discovery or surprise for the audience. The artists urged the observer to abandon the search for subtexts, symbolism or semantic content, and to focus on spiritual experiences instead.
The works of this style have distinctive characteristics of abstract art and the techniques of impressionism. The artist denies genre division, although he/she does not deny the viewer’s right to find a subject or object on the canvas. This served as a reason for the painters to be accused of “inability to draw” and the desire to pass “colour testing canvas” off as a work of art. The painters prefer large-sized canvases and fill the surface with large, distinguishable strokes of paint. The technique, the accurate selection and combination of colours, as well as the large-scale images mesmerise the audience. Art theorist Maurice Denis (1870—1943) formulated the rationale for the aesthetics of abstract impressionism: “... Any painting, before becoming a warship or a naked woman, ... is essentially a surface covered with strokes of paint in a certain order...”
Famous abstract imressionist pictures: “Symphony No. 1” 1942 by Richard Pousette-Dart; “Composition No. ...”, “Collage” 2000 by Jean-Michel Coulon; “Azalea Park” 1956, “Verticals: January” 1957, “Yellow Painting: October” 1958 by Patrick Heron.