Abstract art developed from several modern art movements emerging in the beginning of the 20th century. Artists sought to break from traditional artistic practices, which required them to produce realistic images of familiar subjects in everyday life. Instead, many artists looked to abstract styles to produce works whose formal qualities alone, as opposed to references to real objects and events, would deem the work valuable and aesthetically pleasing. Artists associated with movements like Cubism, German Expressionism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism experimented with different approaches to abstraction, ranging from the use of multiple perspectives to painting subjects in arbitrary colors. Well-known abstract painters include Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay, and Jackson Pollock. Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky’s name is now synonymous with abstract painting. Though famous for his color theory and vivid works like “Composition VII” (1913), Kandinsky also produced several series of abstract art prints in his signature minimal and geometric style. Minimalist painter Frank Stella issued large abstract black prints in his “Black Series II.” Other artists known for producing abstract prints include Cy Twombly, Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Alexander Calder, Kazimir Malevich, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Barnett Newman, Agnes Martin, and Paul Klee.
As color is a primary focus of abstract art, many choose to hang works which perfectly echo one or more existing colors in the room. However, you may also choose to select artwork with colors that are not used within the room, but that are complementary. For example, if the room’s dominant colors are orange and yellow, you may decide to hang an artwork with primarily blue tones. This color complements the room’s existing elements, yet creates a pleasing contrast should you wish the abstract art print to be the room’s focal point. An abstract work that coordinates with other aspects of the room--like color, texture, and mood--may, for example, be a refreshingly unexpected within a space furnished in the 18th century Rococo style. The color and style of frame you select will also go far in terms of helping a contrasting abstract art print harmonize with your chosen room.
If you’d like to give art prints to someone whom you know appreciates abstract art, it’s important to know the recipient’s preferred styles as well as have a good understanding of their living space, favorite colors, and decor sensibilities.