Indeed there is a category of non-objective art which is not Abstract Art The term describes very well what the existence of the artwork is--that is, it has no object or no subject matter. There are three major art form categories: Representational (often times incorrectly described as Realistic), Abstract, and Non-objective. The first category represents all types of art styles that come very close to being photographic. If the artist spends a considerable amount of time placing in all details of their subject matter and there is absolutely no question on behalf of the viewer as to what they are looking at then it truly represents reality in the eyes and hands of the artist. These works of art are usually produced from observations of their subject matter. Incredibly imaginative works of art can also be Representational even though they do not really exist in our world but "look' so 'real.' Abstract Art represents a very wide range of styles, art movements, and cultural influences found throughout the world over tens of thousands of years. Visual components of abstract art are simplification, exaggeration, deletion, distortion, and addition to any recognizable subject matter. If the viewer thinks they recognize any kind of subject matter in the work of art (if it was the artist's intention or not) it is Abstract. Lastly if there is absolutely no recognizable subject matter in the work of art and its existence is based solely on the elements and principles of design, it is Non-objective (or non-descriptive) Art. This form of art can be just as difficult to make as the other two forms of art since there is no subject matter on which to base the artwork's existence.
Using the term Realistic instead of Representational is fine; however, it really is a name given to art style in the 1800's that was more abstract then representational. The Realist's goals were to create artworks that did not emphasize attention to detail and focused their attention of the common everyday life of people who were not in the aristocratic class of their time. Their 'story' in their artwork was as it could be observed and not the imagined story-telling that was very common for hundreds of years leading up to this period. Common colors were earth tones such as browns, grays, and neutrals. This style of artwork was abstract in all ways.
The Non-objective artists really got started in the late 1940's and became most well-known (but not necessarily accepted by society) in the 1950's through the 1970's. Do to the lack of subject matter, people found the artwork difficult to accept because it lacked any subject matter and appeared that any toddler (or elephant or chimpanzee) could have made it in a matter of minutes. And this idea continues to be perpetuated by many contemporary artists who lack a good understanding of composition and the elements and principles of design. Take a look at the artwork posted on Pinterest and you will quickly see what I mean. Good non-objective art is produced by artists who have had a lot of art training in observation and have a very good understanding of composition and color theory.
I hope this helps you understand the existence of the art form, Non-objective Art. I encourage you to do more research on this topic and come to your own conclusions regarding this type of art form.
Hi James, and welcome to the Art Colony! I hope you enjoy the site - there's a lot to explore here, so have a look around and make yourself at home. You'll find plenty of art and inspiration!
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Please note that as much as we love photography, this site focuses on hand-crafted art forms so photography is not allowed. Please also familiarize yourself with our guidelines on Digital Art. As per the Member Guidelines:
Digital art is accepted, as long as it fits the following definition: "Computer-generated art that is created by hand (i.e. using a tablet, stencil etc), either from scratch or from a reference source."
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