Modern Abstract Paintings VS Traditional Art

Modern Abstract Paintings VS Traditional Art


Abstract art refers to paintings and sculptures that depict things that are not found in the real world. This type of art consists of shapes, sizes, colors, and even the process of creating the art itself. Modern abstract art is easy to identify as this type of art is eye catching and appealing, making them stand out among other forms of art.

Examples of Modern Abstract Paintings

They offers unique views on the use of colors and shapes. There are many modern painters that use abstract art as a form of expression. The designs that are found in modern paintings show views of the world as seen through the eyes of the artists. Here are some examples of art at its finest:

- 'A Day in the Forest' (2011): Igal Fedida is an Israeli born artist who has been living in the United States since he was young. His modern painting 'A Day in the Forest' shows his fantastic ability of using contrasting colors and images to create art that stands out.

- 'Coming Home' (2010): This painting by David Hatton is a digitally enhanced oil painting that depicts an abstract view of the sea. It uses an interesting spin on colors as the base of the painting offers a checkerboard of green and white set against the background of blues, purples, and grays.

- 'Ride the Fire' (2011): Mark W. Stevens has stated that this painting took him much longer to complete than most of his other work. The painting offers a mix of reds and yellows contrasted with blues, greens, and grays.

- 'Expanse' (2012): Jane McKay offers a modern piece of work that combines a mix of white, blues, greens, and yellows, that catch the eye in their appealing display. Created in 2012, this painting is done on canvas using acrylic paints.

- 'Raindrops #4' (2001): This is an acrylic painting done by Bruce Gray, who is one of the more well-known abstract artists of this time. The large and extremely impressive painting is almost eight feet wide.

- 'Controller of the Universe' (2007) the art consists of hand tools that are hanging and pointing outward. The modern piece almost looks like an explosion. It was created by Damian Ortega, who is an artist from Mexico.

- 'Vomiting Skull' (2008): This installation of modern abstract art consists of a skull that is seeming to vomit lots of colorful pieces of paper. It was created by a street artist from Miami, Florida who goes by Typoe.

What is Modern Art?

First, any artwork created during the 1860's to 1970 is usually considered modern. Modern paintings will look very different than traditional paintings, as modern artists used to experiment with new ideas. The creators of of this type of art had a tendency to make abstract artwork more so than traditional artists. Modernism is often confused with contemporary, as the only difference is that the last one is more current. They are a fantastic representation of the time it was created in, displaying the philosophy and styles of that era within paintings.

Most experts believe the first type of modern art was in the form of paintings, starting in 1863. However, this is a highly debatable subject because some people believe that first modern painting was created in 1784. Many experts and historians believe that the birth of modernism was actually 1863 and everything before was just a step forward towards modern art. Since it is easy to distinguish from traditional art, let's move on.

So, what's the difference between modern and traditional art?

Traditional paintings are usually portraits, decorative and other paintings with a prominence on realism. However, modern art focused more on abstract paintings and included more experimentation than traditional artwork. Since it represents a more advanced era for mankind, there is an obvious difference in modern art. The styles are experimental, abstract and aren't focused on trying to appear real like traditional paintings.

It was created by artists attempting to create something completely different than traditional art. In fact, many of these artists were dedicated to making artwork that looked nothing like traditional paintings. The reason for this is because modern artists didn't have nearly as many limits that traditional ones had. Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Cubism and Pop Art are all movements within modernism. Many people claim that there are no rules or boundaries when it comes to creating this type of art, and that itself is the only rule.

In today's world, we don't expect there to be any limits within the new art that's being produced. We expect to see shocking, controversial pieces, almost to the point that we don't get shocked about it anymore. However, in the era of modern art, this wasn't the case for most of the viewing public. The famous painting, 'The Luncheon on the Grass' offended many people, as it portrayed a naked woman surrounded by men, in a painting that had absolutely nothing to do with religion. Nowadays this wouldn't be so shocking, but back then it offended the public morale.

Different Painting Materials Used

Besides the obvious difference in style, modern artists also had different types of paint that separated them from traditional artists. There were many innovations in the painting materials used during that particular era. Oil paintings, acrylic paint, watercolor, casein, encaustic are just some of the types of paint used to create the art. These different types of paint allowed the modern painters to create artworks with different textures, therefore artists of that time could be more flexible than ever before. Since each type of paint they used had a different attribute, modern artists had many more choices than artists did in the previous era.


Abstract art uses line, form, and color to create portraits of things that are independent from typical visual representations of things in the real world. Through the years there have been numerous abstract artists that have created works of art that are truly inspiring. Abstract art can consist of paintings, sculpture, as well as other art forms. Each form of abstract art tells its own story and can be deciphered in many different ways depending on who is looking at it.

Posted on 12/23/2014 Art Blog 5886