The usage of the circular form in art can be traced back to Greek antiquity where the same was used as the central element of painted vases. Tondi, as these circular artworks were referred to, were fully revived during the Renaissance, and that name remained although in English it is most commonly used for the works over about 60 cm in diameter.
In the contemporary moment, this format is still very much used, and to take a closer look at various approaches to the same, we selected ten mostly abstract round artworks that you can add to your collection while reading the text below.
Featured image: Calo Carratala - Houses on stilts on the Amazon jungle. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.
French artist Théo Lopez, an emerging muralist and the member of the Parisian collective 9th Concept, developed a distinct aesthetic driven by the modernist legacies of Expressionism, Russian Constructivism, and Lyrical Abstraction. By exploring the relationships between the color, line, and matter, Lopez constructs intriguing compositions that reflect his profound interest in the notion of temporality.
Cold burn is a painting made by the artist in 2019.
German artist Harald Kröner, best known for abstract, gestural and rather reduced compositions, made the second round artwork on our list. He explores different perceptual effects caused by blurring the line between the visible and the invisible, while smoothly referring to the Asian traditions and the concepts such as contemplation and void. Another one of Kröner’s inspirations comes from literature, languages, and fonts, and is perhaps most visible in his installations.
Tondo 8 is a simple doted circular painting made by the artist this year.
The multilayered works of American multidisciplinary artist Steve Moors are infused with numerous impressions regarding the understanding of our primal and present-day selves. Alongside his fruitful career as an artist who exhibited internationally, Moors simultaneously acted as an art director, an art teacher, a photographer, and an illustrator.
This artwork was made by the artist in 2019 and it explores the contemporary notion of femininity.
Spanish artist Enrique Mestre-Jaime is best known for his vibrant acrylics. He focuses on water as the primary condition for life; boats, pirogue, and the underwater world are most often depicted, especially fish. Through his works, Mestre-Jaime critically speaks about the way humans exploit the water as if they are unaware that such abuse will affect them.
This artwork is depicting wondering fishes.
Chen Fei is best known for his surrealistic or hyper-realistic paintings. This emerging Chinese artist explores micro-narratives rather than grand historical themes in a distinct humorous manner. Centered on his own figure, and framed as movie sequences, the figurations of Chen Fei are infused by both Eastern and Western self-portrait tradition, and at the same time very critical of social and political shifts in his native country.
The work Go Home Early from School was made by the artist in 2010.
Martin C. Herbst is an American artist who gained fame after his unconventional paintings that cross the constraints of the chosen traditional media. It could be said he is producing constructs that explore the distortion of the image as the artist intervenes in the field of art history and the digital.
Perseus is a round artwork made by Herbst in 2008.
Coming up is the work of an established Italian painter and sculptor Fiamma Zagara. This figure gained international recognition for her multimedia body of work that includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations. By focusing on the color red and developing flesh like compositions, Zagara closely explores the notion of identity and society.
This piece is an assemblage made by the artist in 2014.
The works by a Spanish artist Calo Carratalá show his interest in the landscape genre as he travels around the world and captures different sites. Entranced by the encountered, Carratalá makes sketches that are further extended and made into the captivating canvases which encompass a feeling of romantic nostalgia and contemplation and lead the observer somewhere else.
This round artwork made by Carratala in 2014, and it belongs to the Jungle series.
This artwork was produced by the distinguished American painter, printmaker, muralist, photographer, and teacher, Michael Knigin. During the 1960s he was able to study printmaking at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop and collaborate with Rufino Tamayo, and since 1967 Knigin worked as a full professor at the Pratt Graphic Center in Manhattan until 2003. Knigin was a co-owner of the Chiron Press where he worked with Andy Warhol, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, and Tom Wesselman. His vibrant and sharp approach to printmaking made him one of the most relevant figures in the field.
The White Lily is a beautiful painting made by Knigin in 1976.
The last round artwork on our list belongs to the exceptional Indian conceptual artist Nalini Malani. Throughout her expansive career, she worked with painting, drawing, but also video, film, and animation. Malani’s works are characterized by the expansion of the pictorial surface into surrounding space and intense visual imagery that tackles socio-political issues such as conflict, displacement, transnational politics, gender roles, and the effects of colonialism and globalization.
In the Heart of Darkness is round artwork made by Nalini Malani in 2009.