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Almost all artwork in the western world has depicted a subject easily recognizable to the viewer up until the beginning of this century Art without a recognizable subject matter known as abstract art is unique to this period Abstract art hasnt been analyzed on its own in as much detail as other styles of art more easily defined Instead it often times gets placed in a more general category called Modernism This perhaps is a result of its diversity Artists working in the abstract genre dont belong to a single movement which makes the true definition difficult to arrive at If we were to say abstract art is non-representational or non-objective we would be implying that it has no relation to natural objects Rosenthal 1 Terminology therefore becomes almost a barrier when analyzing art and especially abstract art The word abstraction is primarily used because it is widely accepted in contemporary usage and isnt necessarily the single most appropriate term Artists of our time have begun creating works of art without any apparent subject matter at all and basing them essentially on formal composition Many of the artists whom work in this manner are expressing their emotions while reducing or eliminating references to the physical world For someone new to this form of art it offers very little clues as to its content or subject matter Without an understanding of what the artists are trying to express we can experience certain difficulties when viewing an abstract piece of art This is what causes people not to take it seriously and why only very few people could say that abstraction takes on a seriousness and complexity equivalent to the great masterpieces of the past Rosenthal 1 Artists of abstract paintings put a lot of demands on the observer for they give them no starting place in the natural world The observer is required to fully absorb him or herself in the painting The artist usually tries
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