A Brief History of Abstract Art with Turner, Mondrian and More
Take a quick tour through the history of abstract art and take in some unexpected pioneers along the way
In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.Malevich didn’t paint exclusively in black of course but with Black Quadrilateral, he created one of the most iconic abstract artworks.
Following the diversion through Matisse, an artist very definitely in tune with abstraction was Marlow Moss. Writing in the Guardian, critic Charles Darwent points out, she was for a time ‘a devoted follower’ of Mondrian’s. Although she is written off by some as an imitator of the father of neo-plasticism, it could be argued that the influence was reciprocal. Her work from the period following her discovery of Mondrian shows his influence, but it was Moss who first introduced twin lines into her gridded compositions in 1931. A year later, Mondrian followed suit, painting Composition with Double Line and Yellow. Largely forgotten in the history of abstract art, Moss’s work, in recent years, is deservedly having something of a renaissance.
White and Yellow 1935