A Curated Selection of Abstract Prints, Brought To You by ArtWise

September 3, 2019

Abstract art emerged from the artists’ desire to create works unrelated and unrestrained by visual references in reality. It has formed a central stream of modern art since 1900, using shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.

Being with us for more than a century in one form or another, abstract art has proved to be not only a long-standing crux of cultural debate but a self-renewing, vital tradition of creativity. This is why we prepared a curated selection of abstract prints created by artists who have shaped the movement as we today know it, all brought to you by ArtWise.

Featured image: Jackson Pollock - Convergence (detail). All images courtesy of ArtWise.

Roy Lichtenstein - Paper Plate

An artist in the front of the Pop Art movement, Roy Lichtenstein became famous for deceivingly simple works that appropriated from popular comic book characters, pulp fiction, and advertisement. Drawing inspiration from the culture around him, he exemplified Pop Art’s complex relationship with societal change and pop culture.

Paper Plates were originally sold in packs of 10 and wrapped in cellophane. The artist made the paper plate for the well-known fashion and advertising photographer Bert Stern, who had set up an uber-chic New York boutique called On First Store. Stern’s idea was to commission stylish yet affordable objects for the home and wardrobe from notable fashion designers and artists.

See more info about the work here.

Dorothea Rockburne - Mozart and Mozart Upside Down and Backward

A Canadian abstract painter, Dorothea Rockburne draws inspiration primarily from her deep interest in mathematics and astronomy. Merging aspects of geometry, nature, and Egyptology, she has been making unorthodox art for the last seven decades. As she explained, despite having basis in mathematical structure, her work comes from a deep emotional source within herself.

A limited-edition print, Mozart and Mozart Upside Down and Backward was created in 1993 for the benefit of The Lincoln Center Print & Sculpture collection.

See more info about the work here.

Ellsworth Kelly - Red, Yellow, Blue

With a career spanning over seven decades, Ellsworth Kelly was one of the greatest 20th-century abstract artists emerging from the United States. He is known for works characterized by pure forms and colors, blended with the tendency to suppress gesture in favor of creating spatial unity within the composition.

In Red, Yellow and Blue, Kelly simple rectangles of the three bold primary colors, presenting them with straightforward clarity. Each flat panel reads as a sculptural object, together forming a triptych filled with a rainbow of potential.

See more info about the work here.

Frank Stella - Letter on the Blind II

One of the most iconic figures that emerged from the post-World War II American art, Frank Stella is best known for his use of geometric patterns and shapes in creating both paintings and sculptures. Utilizing the formal properties of shape, color, and composition to explore non-literary narratives, he went on to create increasingly complicated work that seemed to follow a natural progression of dynamism, tactility, and scale.

The title of this work references an essay called Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those who See by Diderot, a French philosopher known for his art criticism. The essay, written in 1749, referenced new surgical techniques that allowed doctors to restore sight to certain patients who had been blind their entire lives.

See more info about the work here.

Hans Hartung - Stormcloud

An established German artist, Hans Hartung investigated the painterly surface, the relations between the forms, and principles of harmony and proportion. Expressive and dramatic, his works were a direct reflection of his philosophically inclined inner processes. “The first and most important thing is to remain free, free in each line you undertake, in your ideas and in your political action, in your moral conduct,” he once stated.

A 1985 lithograph, Stormcloud demonstrates the artist's spontaneous and gestural style free from rigid formal constraints.

See more info about the work here.

Jackson Pollock - Convergence

An influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock is best known for his drip painting technique, an action painting in which he would lay the canvas on the floor and work from all angles, sometimes "literally in the painting."

Convergence is perhaps the most exemplary of this Pollock's unique technique. While the original was painted on a canvas measuring 93.5 x 155 inches, this reduced-size version maintains the effect and power of Pollock's intention.

See more info about the work here.

Donald Sultan - Black Poppies

An American artist Donald Sultan is best known for his large-scale still-life paintings on which he often used industrial materials such as tar and enamel. Using recurring imagery—such as flowers, playing cards, and lemons—he creates colorful still lifes framed by tar-black backgrounds.

This serigraph is part of a set of 5 screenprints which included Red Poppies I, Red & Black Poppies I, Black Poppies, Red Poppies II, and Red & Black Poppies II. The artist once explained:

The images... are really about the architecture in the paintings; they seem so massive and strong and permanent but nothing is permanent. The image in the front is very fragile, but it conveys the loaded meaning of everything that is contained in the painting.

See more info about the work here.

Jasper Johns - Screenprints

Over the course of his five-decades-long career, Jasper Johns has been continuously experimenting, innovating and standing behind his unique concepts, laying the groundwork for later movements of Pop art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Using such materials as pencil, pen, brush, crayon, wax, and plaster, he constantly challenged the technical possibilities of printmaking.

Screenprints the catalog for the artist's exhibition held at the Brooke Alexander Gallery in New York City from November 1977 through January 1978. The work on the cover is retained in the original envelope that it was sent out in from Brooke Alexander, Inc in 1977, including the original postage, postmarks and return to address.

See more info about the work here.

Gerhard Richter - Eis 2

A German contemporary artist and one of the most famous and influential postwar painters in the world, Gerhard Richter is known for photo-realistic paintings full of tension, sentiment, and memory. He gained fame during the 1960s and early 1970s after creating a series of blurred paintings based on black-and-white photographs.

This limited edition poster titled Eis 2 was published by the Lincoln Center Poster Program in 2003 for their Vera List Art Project.

See more info about the work here.

Julie Mehretu - Easy Dark

Ethiopia-born and the United States-base artist, Julie Mehretu is famous for her printmaking and painting with a strong note of abstraction. Her works are based on heavy layering in order to create images from patterns and architectural photographs which depict the cumulative effects of urban sociopolitical changes through the landscape's alteration of architecture, topography, and iconography.

Unsigned offset lithograph printed in 2007, Easy Dark is an all-over composition exemplary of her unique style.

See more info about the work here.

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