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realistic or abstract?

If you go into a museum or art gallery you will find two main types of art – realistic and abstract.

Seeing the Difference

Realistic art is where the artist has tried to create something that is instantly recognisable and looks ‘real’ – like a sculpture of a person, or a painting of a landscape or a bowl of fruit.

Image credit: Steve Johnson on Pexels

Realistic or abstract? Compare the two images shown below. Can you see how one shows a view of water lilies and the other is not clearly showing anything real?

Image credit: Water lilies by Claude Monet (1840-1926) / Abstract image credit: Gerd Altmanna from Pixabay

Abstract artists create work that represents an idea, a feeling, or a message that you can’t easily paint in a realistic style.

A work of Art?

One of the most famous abstract paintings of the 20th century is by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935). It was a simple black square. Lots of people said, ‘But my child could have painted that!’

But they didn’t, did they?

It is a good example of what abstract art does – it makes the viewer think about what message the artist was sending. But it also makes the viewer think. What does the image mean to them?

A painting of a bowl of fruit doesn’t make you think. It’s just meant to be nice to look at. That’s one big difference between traditional realistic art (Realism) and abstract art.

Check out the video …

What do these images show?

Images credits: MALENS, Oli Harkness, and cottonbro, all from Pexels; and Lea L on Unsplash.

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

Six Feelings, Three Squares

Thinking about Malevich’s black square painting, let’s see what we can do with just a few black squares.

Your Task

What you have to do is this: show six ‘feelings’ using only three black squares placed inside a white box. You can download the pdf version of them here and print it out to then cut out the squares.

The six feelings you should try to represent are:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Contentment
  • Frustration
  • Excitement
  • Joy

It’s not just about ‘what looks right where’ … sometimes the position of elements can change the entire feel or mood of an artwork.

For example, you could depict ‘fear’ by having all the squares huddled together for safety and comfort because they’re all scared of the same thing. Or spread out because they’re all scared of each other!

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

Art Materials

What is Art?

Good & Bad Art

Colour

Tone

Mark Making

Picasso

Abstract Art

Great to see you here, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda