figurative versus abstract

The term figuration is generally used as an equivalent of abstract. Contrary to an abstract image, a figurative image shows clear similarities to reality. We understand abstract art to be art without an image. Abstract art is also called non-figurative art. Abstract art came about at the beginning of the 20th century and bore little or no relationship to the familiar world that we are able to see around us. The artist distorts, abstracts a familiar image and shows only the most important things, the essence. This results in the original specimen becoming almost or totally unrecognisable and this is reduced to lines, shapes and colour. Important movements in abstraction are abstract geometric art and abstract expressionist art.

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