Lyrical abstraction, lyrical-emotional, psychological abstractionism is one of the areas of abstract art, which is characterized by a desire for a direct expression of the artist’s emotional, mental states and improvisational performance. Lyrical abstraction is the European parallel of American abstract expressionism. Other names for this trend are formless painting and tashism.
The founder of this trend was the Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky – a recognized leader and theorist of abstractionism, the basic principles and provisions of which were set forth by him in his works On the Spiritual in Art (1911); “Retrospective” (1913); “Point and line on the plane” (1926). According to Kandinsky’s doctrine, the model of modern society was a pyramid, at the base of which there were material and primitive people, at the next stage – inspired, and at the very top – artists who wield the minds and hearts of people and carry the light of art. Realizing the imperfection and illusory nature of the real world, the artist had to leave it in the name of peace “under the sign of the Spirit”, i.e. to move your gaze from the surrounding reality inside yourself. Natural forms are an obstacle for the artist and must be rejected by him. He created paintings focused on his inner vision, and the voice of the soul will tell him the true form of the work.
The works of lyrical abstractionism – the embodiment of the subjective color impressions and fantasies of the artist, the stream of his consciousness captured in color, a snapshot of a person’s state of mind. Object images are dead, they are “killed by their signs,” so painting should be pointless. Paintings of V. Kandinsky, freed from the forms of reality, affirmed the expressive value of color, musical associativity, color combinations expressing the “cosmic principles” and “spiritual essences” of the universe.
The idea of complete “liberation from forms” was picked up by abstract expressionists (current in American painting) and received a logical conclusion in their writing technique – “painting action”, a method of expression that is alien to all figurativeness and striving to convey the main realities of color and drama of creativity on canvas.
Masters of lyrical abstraction: Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Jackson Polok, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline, Alfred Manisirer, Hans Hartung, Emilio Vedova.