Featured Styles MMoCA Collects


Ursula von Rydingsvard, Krasavica, cedar and graphite, 1992-93.


Abstract style presents pure form. It is historically the most radical style in modern and contemporary art, departing from five centuries of western art based on Renaissance realism. Also known as non-objective and non-representational, abstract style does not depict recognizable figures, objects, or settings.

This style has its beginnings in the early twentieth century, shortly before the outbreak of World War I. It has had significant expression throughout the chronology of modern and contemporary art, taking three major forms: geometric abstraction, biomorphic abstraction, and painterly or expressionist abstraction.

In whatever variation, abstract style has defined a series of major art movements, including Neo-Plasticism, Abstract Expressionism, hard-edge painting, minimalism, and important aspects of video and digital art.