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Not All Abstract Art Is Created By Elephants

When you hear the phrase “abstract art,” a specific painting, sculpture, or artist, such as Piet Mondrian, may come to mind. Maybe you are drawn to some pieces but not others. Or perhaps you prefer some artists over others.

Some pieces of abstract art are vibrant and colorful. Other paintings are monochromatic. Artists can create abstract art from traditional mediums such as oil on canvas. Another type of abstract art may be an altered digital photograph or digital media. Artists can incorporate gold leaf, paper, and sand into paintings. Andy Warhol’s abstract series Oxidations is a series of paintings he painted with copper paint and urine. He produced the series during 1977 – 1978.

There are many types of abstract art, and some types may even overlap. It is hard to divide abstract art into discrete categories.


A repetitive type of abstract art is a piece of art with a recurring shape or line. The form appears over and over again. Line drawings are a common type of repetitive art.


Gestural refers to the process of making art. Paintings by elephants or sloths are light-hearted examples of gestural art. Flow painting is another excellent example. When planning and constructing gestural art, the artist focuses on the process more than the eventual outcome.


Geometric art includes cubism and block color art. Geometric art can also be very minimalist. Circles, cones, squares, and rectangles are all everyday objects and shapes portrayed in geometric art.


A representational painting contains shapes from our visual world, such as a leaf, fish, or table, but would not be considered realism or an accurate depiction. The form is recognizable but not a detailed realistic portrayal. Examples of representational art include Girl Before A Mirror by Pablo Picasso.


Emotional art can also be representational. The piece may show a screaming face or an eye with teardrops. The painting elicits an intense emotion such as fear, sadness, or the overwhelmed feeling caused by urban chaos.

Another way to divide types of abstract art is by use of color. Some artists may concentrate on the interaction between colors. An artist may choose to paint with only two complementary colors, such as blue and orange, yellow and purple, or red and green. Artists use different shades and tints of only one color to create monochromatic pieces. A monochromatic piece could also be one solid color. The texture provides the interest.

This post is certainly not a complete list of all the types of abstract art. Hopefully, it sparks thought and reflection in the mind of the reader. Which types of abstract art speak to you? Surround yourself with the original art you love.

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