The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Abstract art has probably as many "definitions" as it has viewers—perhaps
more. Generally, it is considered to be nonrepresentational—to have
no "subject," at least no recognizable subject; its beauty derives solely
from the elements of form and color. Not surprisingly, this broad category
seems to have almost as many subcategories as there are paintings, each with
its own esoteric label: Cubism (both Analytical and Synthetic), Futurism,
Dadaism, Vorticism, Synchronism, Orphism, Neo-Plasticism, Suprematism, Biomorphism,
Automatism, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Tachism, and Minimalism.
But the "-ism labels" are only part of the story. Other labels adopted over
the past 50 years or so include Concrete Art, Art Informel, Matter Painting,
Action Painting, Color Field Painting, Hard-Edge Painting, Pop Art, Op Art,
and Post-Painterly Abstraction—again only the beginning of the list.
Southgate MT. Untitled (#B-125). JAMA. 2001;286(18):2207. doi:10.1001/jama.286.18.2207