19 julio, 2024

Organic abstraction: what it is, characteristics and exponents

What is organic abstraction?

In art, the organic abstraction It is a subtendency of abstraction that relegates figurative art and seeks new ways of expression. It was characterized by the fluidity of its forms without resorting to the object, curved lines and mixtures of colors, without resorting to pure tones.

Some of these subtrends of abstraction were geometric abstraction, originated in Paris in 1912 by a cubist exhibition, inorganic abstraction or informalism, and organic abstraction, which derived from the forms present in nature, without copying them and being inspired by it. .

Characteristics of organic abstraction

– It is also known as biomorphic abstraction, since its main characteristic is that it is inspired by natural forms to capture them in art.

– “Abstract” literally means “non-figurative”. It implies breaking down the concrete images and replacing them with the meanings that the author himself gives them.

– “Organic” refers to representations similar to those found in nature, such as curved shapes, rounded shapes, or fluid geometric shapes, with few or no straight lines or sharp angles.

– Organic abstraction was closely related to the surrealist and existentialist currents and was manifested in all artistic expressions of the 20th century.

– Although it had its peak between 1940 and 1950, there have been manifestations of this style since the beginning of the century, also extending to the 60s and 70s.

– The characteristics of organic abstractionism, such as the presence of soft and undulating lines, the prominence of nature, irregular shapes and free lines, are transferable principles, and in fact were transferred, to any other artistic manifestation of the time, such as the literature and theatre.

– Organic abstraction had Joan Miró, Jean Arp, Isamu Nuguchi, Henry Moore and others as its most relevant exponents, both in painting and sculpture, with abundant works in irregular volumes and curves.

– In architecture, this artistic expression began to develop in the first half of the 20th century. Organic architecture seeks and expresses the harmony between the human and his natural environment, seeks to integrate the place with the buildings, the furniture and what surrounds it to make it a single unit.

– The concept of organicity as an imitation of nature has been present since prehistoric times. However, the expression «organic architecture» to define buildings was used for the first time by the American architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), and was later taken up and promoted by his countryman and pupil, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (1867-1959).

– As an avant-garde movement, organic abstraction sought to break with the norms and prejudices of bourgeois society, challenging the imagination.

Main exponents of organic abstraction

Joan Miro (1893-1983)

He was a Catalan visual artist who absorbed the entire abstractionist movement when he lived in New York in the 1940s. His constant characteristic was to flee from academicism and from being pigeonholed in any specific trend.

In all his pictorial work the organic feeling beats strongly. Most of his works were made on paper and ceramics, as well as engravings and bronze sculptures, among which «Woman and bird», «Lunar bird», located in the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid, and «Woman bottle», stand out. located in the Viera y Clavijo Cultural Park, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Henry Moore (1898-1986)

He was an English sculptor famous for his abstract works of the human figure made in marble and bronze.

Those that recreate the figure of the female body stand out, such as “West Wind” (1929), sculpted in Portland stone –inspired by the figure of the Chac Mool in Chichén Itzá and the sculptures by Michelangelo in the Medici Chapel–, and the bronze sculpture “Die Liegende”, located in a public space in Stuttgart, Germany.

Jean Arp (1886-1975)

The Franco-German artist combines automatism and dream techniques in the same work, developing an iconography of organic forms that has come to be called «biomorphic sculpture», in which he tries to represent the organic as a formative principle of reality.

One of his most beautiful sculptures is «Pastor de Nubes» and it is exhibited in the open spaces of the University City of Caracas, Venezuela.

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

He was a Japanese-American sculptor and designer. One of his works, made of stainless steel, won the national competition to decorate the Associated Press pavilion at Rockefeller Center in New York in 1938.

Subsequently, he made sculptures for the open air, designed according to the aesthetic principles of Japanese gardens, where the location of each piece plays a determining role in achieving the integral balance of the landscape.

For Noguchi, trees were very important in his work and in his life, to the point that in his studio and where he installed his museum at the end of his years, the layout of the building was determined by the location of the pre-existing trees.

Juan Soriano (1920-2006)

He was a Mexican plastic artist whose talent became known from an early age. In the 50’s he traveled to Europe, where he consolidated his artistic style.

Among her most relevant pictorial works is «María Asúnsolo en Rosa» and «Apollo y las muses», and in the sculptural plane, figures of birds such as «La Paloma» (in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, Mexico), » Duck” and “Two-faced Bird”.

Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)

She was a British plastic artist who was greatly influenced by the work of Henry Moore; she worked traditional materials in an innovative way, giving special importance to her natural properties.

He was characterized by his sculptures in stone and wood with holes or holes, such as «Sphere with inner form» and «Winged Figure».

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

He was a civil engineer who began as a draftsman in the studio of Louis Henri Sullivan, who had a decisive influence on his future career.

He was the one who introduced the term organic architecture, where the construction must derive directly from the natural environment. Some of his emblematic works are the Guggenheim Museum in New York (USA) and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (Japan).

Constantine Brancusi (1876-1957)

He was a Romanian sculptor considered a pioneer of modernism. He has works distributed in museums in France, the United States, Romania and Australia.

One of his emblematic organic works is «The Column of Infinity», in Targu Jiu, Romania, as well as «The Kiss» and the «Sleeping Muse».

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

Russian artist, author of the first abstract watercolor. He is one of the great artists of modern art.

Yves Tanguy (1900-1955)

French surrealist painter, whose work is characterized by a limited palette of colors and shapes inspired by nature.

Andre Masson (1896-1987)

Associated with surrealism and expressionism, his work stands out for its innovative collages, where he applied sand and gum arabic to the canvas before starting to paint.

Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)

He was an Armenian painter, one of the exponents of abstractionism. Towards his final years, his work abandoned cubist rigidity and leaned towards more sinuous forms.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

American sculptor, precursor of kinetic sculpture. His most important work is the one found in the Aula Magna of the Central University of Venezuela, the “Floating Clouds”.


Joan Miro. Recovered from fmirobcn.org.
The most unknown museum in NY. Recovered from turismo.perfil.com.

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