Week42—Summary Modern Painting Styles and tone of paintings (post13)

1. Abstract Art

Abstract art refers to a style of painting that does not use figurative reality as a reference. Instead, the artist alludes to his or her subject and reduces it to a simplified form. Colors and shapes are used to portray emotions and the landscape of one’s inner world. Listed below are the various kinds of abstract art styles that have emerged.

Abstract Art Type

Defining Characteristics

Famous Artists

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract expressionism paintings are emotionally intense and spontaneously created by the artist. It is often synonymous with action or gesture paintings that have an anarchic and rebellious feel. There is tension and high drama in their composition.
  • Jackson Pollock
  • Mark Tobey

Color Field

Color field paintings are characterized by large, solid colors on a flat plane. The colors are the subjects themselves, and they are normally painted on large canvas material. Compared to abstract expressionism, color field painters aim to present their paintings as one cohesive image.
  • Mark Rothko
  • Robert Motherwell
  • Barnett Newman
  • Hans Hoffman

Lyrical Abstraction

Lyrical abstraction refers to abstract paintings that are softer and more romantic in nature. Instead of drama and tension, this style has a relaxed randomness and spontaneity. It is called “lyrical,” because of the imagery that allows the person to interpret or “read” it.
  • Paul Jenkins
  • Sam Francis
  • Joan Mitchell
  • Pierre Soulages


Cubism is characterized by geometric figures. Cubist painters analyze the subject and break it up into a geometric abstract form. These are normally viewpoints of the subject from various angles. Cubist paintings range from partially abstract to fully abstract.
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Georges Braque
  • Jean Metzinger
  • Robert Delauney
  • Fernand Leger

Abstract expressionism, color field, cubism, and lyrical abstraction are just some of the abstract art paintings available out there. Choosing among these styles depends on one’s personal preference as well as the type of environment the painting will occupy, whether a bedroom, living area, or office space.

2. Surrealism

Surrealism is a modern painting style that juxtaposes various images together to give a startling effect. The images in these paintings are often illogical and have a dream-like quality about them. Surrealist paintings emphasize the subconscious. Among the popular Surrealist painters are Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Valentine Hugo, Joan Miro, and Toyen.

3. Conceptual Art

Conceptual art is a modern art style where the artist believes that concept is more important than artwork itself. Many conceptual artists believed that while they conceived the work, it is completed by the viewer. In fact, many types of conceptual art are only a set of instructions. It is rare to find this type of art to just be a painting, as it often incorporates elements of sculpture and installation. Marcel DuChamp, Yoko Ono,Yves Klein, and Robert Rauschenberg are some of the famous conceptual artists.

4. Pop Art

Pop Art paintings occurred as a reaction to abstract expressionism, which mid-1950s British artists believed was art that was far-removed from daily life. Pop Art revolved around mundane subjects like comic books, advertising, celebrities, and other objects found in the everyday. It was a return to realism and representation in art. Prominent artists in this field include Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and Wayne Thiebaud, among others.

5. Photorealism

From the name itself, a photorealist painting is one that looks as realistic as a photograph. This is done by taking a picture of the subject and then painting it. Photorealism is an art movement influenced by pop art, and it ran counter as a reaction to abstract expressionism. Unlike abstract art or conceptual art, photorealist painting has to be done by an artist who possesses advanced technical ability to capture the realism of the photograph onto canvas. Famous photorealist painters include the following: Glennray Tutor, Robert Bechtle, Tom Blackwell, Don Eddy, and Cindy Wright, among others.

6. Hyperrealism

Hyperrealism is an advancement of the photorealism art movement. Artists use high-resolution cameras to take photographs and paint them on canvas. Compared to photorealism, however, hyperrealist paintings have exaggerated shadows and inanimate objects display lifelikeness, even though they do not normally possess these qualities. Hyperrealism focuses on a false “super” reality. The following are some of the popular hyperrealist painters: Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, Bert Monroy, Duane Hanson, and Charles Bell, among others.

7. Minimalism

Minimalism is an art movement that is, as expected, characterized by simplicity.Minimalist paintings strip down the subject to its very essence. Instead of energy-filled self-expression as is the hallmark of abstract expressionism, minimalist art, on the other hand, paints only what the artist believes is necessary. Some of the more famous minimalist painters are Barnett Newman, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and Frank Stellas.

8. Futurism

Futurism is a painting style that concerns itself with subjects like the technology, speed, violence, and the future of the world. It concerns itself with the depiction of man’s triumph over nature. This movement rejects the establishment and praises originality. To recreate this level of emotional dynamism on canvas, futurist paintings adopted the cubist style of painting where they deconstruct subjects into geometric figures to show movement. David Burlyuk, Aristarkh Lentulov, Fortunato Depero, and Gerardo Dottori are just some of the well-known Futurist painters.

9. Impressionism

Impressionism is one of the earliest modern painting styles that originated in Paris, France. It is characterized by thin brushstrokes and an emphasis on the depiction of light. Impressionist artists often painted outdoors to capture sunlight and color of their subjects. In the 1870s, Impressionist paintings were considered radical because they did not paint according to the rules. Famous impressionist painters include Claude Monet,Pierre – Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Armand Guillaumin, among others.

10. Fauvism

Fauvism is an art movement that occurred sometime after impressionism. While impressionism retains a somewhat realistic representation of the subjects, Fauvist paintings focus on strong color. Artists employing this style have wild brush strokes and highly simplified subjects. Among the popular Fauvism painters are Andre Derain,Henry Matisse, Charles Camoin, and Maurice Marinot.

According to above, i get some key words that represent the tone of paintings.

such like:

The starry night:



Gloomy & Melancholy



Gentle & Smile

Softer & Romantic



Emotionally Intense

Nimbus & Passion


Whistler’s Mother


Tender & Mystery

Noble & Tranquility




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