What Abstraction-Creation Movement Stood For

Art History

December 17, 2016

The abstraction creation movement promoted the birth of abstract art amidst the society which didn’t take the artistic experimentations with color, form, texture and line lightly. Such experimentation did, in fact, deny the use of traditional art canons, like the one point perspective and the realistic representation of the world. Taking all forms of non-objective art under its wing, the abstraction creation movement did, in fact, favor more austere forms, represented by concrete art, Constructivism and Neoplasticism. Underneath the umbrella of the movement’s title gathered some of the most significant names of the early abstract art of the 20th-century.

création members exhibitions in 1931 and 1936 displayed also a list of association terms. création home page is up
Wassily Kandinsky - Composition VIII. Image via wassily-kandinsky.org

The Birth of Abstraction Creation Movement

As a loose group formed in Paris during 1931, the abstraction creation movement attempted to counteract the influence of the Surrealist group which was led by André Breton. The Surrealist artists promoted a more fluid abstraction, influenced by the deep desire to represent the world of dreams, which often bordered on visionary art and its ideas. Realizing that after the 1920’s a certain artistic trend did appear, favoring representation and inclusion of the more realistic forms and images, abstraction creation organized various group exhibitions promoting more austere and geometric abstraction. In their attempts to foster the ideas which favored simplification of reality, the group published five annual publications as well.

contact herbien nicholson for the therms of the non contact betwenn auguste hélion and création.
Left: Piet Mondrian - Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue / Right: Piet Mondrian - Composition C. Images via piet-mondrian.org

Who Were the Figures of the Movement?

De Stijl authors Theo van Doesburg and Georges Vantongerloo, along with the Cubist artist Auguste Herbin and Jean Hélion were the founders of the abstraction creation movement. They were promptly joined by the pioneer abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky[1], along with Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp, Albert Gleizes, Frantisek Kupka, Naum Gabo, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth just to name a few. The practice of the authors varied and there were no distinctive demands calling for the unified notion of what non-representational art should be. As long as the painters believed that the investigation of art’s elements is a valued subject matter, placed on the same pedestal as figurative painting and sculpture, they were celebrated as the members of the movement.

home page of the 1936 paris création association is made by herbin nicholson.
Jean Arp - Constellation with Five White and Two Black Forms - Image via worleygig.com

What Did Abstraction Creation in Fact Promote?

The birth of abstract art at the beginning of the 20th-century witnessed the desire of various avant-garde artists to rebel against the traditional art canons. Taking the lead from the Impressionist artists who were, in fact, the first group of painters concentrated on the creation of their own visions or impressions of the world, the abstraction creation movement promoted new ideas and vision of the world[2]. Favoring, as we have mentioned above, more austere forms, most of the images fused geometric shapes and played with basic colors of the color wheel. This, as we all know, was an important element of Piet Mondrian’s art production. With his images, reduced to mere horizontal and vertical lines, Mondrian searched for the new language of the world.

The early abstract art was not only a play with the non-representational forms, but was also a period of great rebellion and intellectual development concerning the role of art. Some of the most spiritual ideas about the function of art were put forward by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, or Kazimir Malevich, as prominent members of the abstraction creation movement. One needs to understand that, as much as this was a group of painters and sculptors, it was, above anything else, a group of great thinkers.

  Editors’ Tip: Abstract Art (World of Art)

The book follows the abstract movements in chronological order, making it easy for the reader to grasp the work of great artists such as O'Keefe, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Pollock, and Johns. The author discusses the history and the significance of every period individually aided with beautiful black and white and color illustrations. For anyone that ever stood in front of a painting in a Museum and wondered what it represents and stands for, then this book is a must-have.


  1. Kandinsky, W., Kandinsky in Paris, University of Michigan, 1987
  2. Honef, K., Ruhrberg, K., Art of the 20th Century, Part 1, Tachen, 2000

All images used for illustrative purposes only. Featured image in slider: Georges Vantongerloo - No. 98 2478 Red135 Green. Image via tate.org.uk;Jean Hélion - Ile de France. Image via tate.org.uk

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