With the coming of the World War II in 1940s the concrete boundaries of art began to shatter little by little, leaving art to be as chaotic as the world the artists were aiming to reflect. Abstraction in its literal sense refers to any being without physical or concrete existence, in thought or as an idea. When abstraction meets art, the physical act of creation reimagines the idea of a thing and not the thing itself. Art in this sense becomes subjective for the first time. The artist is no longer imagining things as they are, objectively for all. Rather, the artist brings into reality his or her own understanding and lens through which they see that object. This creation is dependent on a lot of subjective factors including emotions, states of mind and reactions to an event or object by the artist.
What is the reason?
The reason for the popularity of this movement after two world wars is that people have slowly become aware that the responses vary completely. The way the world is interpreted is so different that the objects and events in question appear to be different as well. In your visit to your local art shop in Canada, you will find that most artwork you see would be abstract and very few if any would be absolutely concrete as used to be the trend for long.
With wars starting and shattering the world as people once used to know, artists could now express themselves in different manners and put their reflections and perspective insides the subject that was to be portrayed and represented. Representations began becoming more and more personal. Impressionism happened that reflected the inside mind of the artist onto his artwork. Expressionism happened that reflected in an intense manner what was seen by the artist. Dadaism and all avant-guards movements happened. The reason is that the anti-establishment tendencies that all these movements shared had now found a platform to be expressed. The sanity and order as we once falsely assumed to exist was now exposed and the artists made use of this transformation. The artist became the voice telling people that what they believed to be a structure and an order was not the only manner that things would be. The artist began stepping down from his role as the reflector of the events like a mirror and sitting next to the common person who views the world through their own lens. This is how art talks of meaning and creates that meaning for people—in the manner of reflection and in the associations that it makes.
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