Top 100 Abstract Paintings
Top 100 Non-Representational Pictures: Geometric/Organic Abstraction.
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Number 4 (1950)
By Jackson Pollock, the leading.
exponent of Action Painting.
See Jackson Pollock's paintings.

Famous Abstract Paintings (c.1830-2000)

Contents

Top 100 Abstract Paintings

Other Resources

Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art
How to Appreciate Paintings
Abstract Art: History & Types
Greatest Abstract Painters
Abstract Art Movements & Styles
What is Concrete Art?
What is Non-Objective Art?

Beginning with the prehistoric abstract signs found in South Africa, 70,000 years ago, abstract symbols dominated ancient painting right up to Antiquity, when representational art took over. Today, the abstract works of Mark Rothko and Pablo Picasso sell for tens of millions, while famous examples of geometric and organic abstraction can be seen in museums of modern art across the world.

Here is a list of the Top 100 abstract pictures, listed chronologically by artist.


COLLECTIONS
Abstract painting can be seen
in the best art museums around
the world. Exceptional holdings
are at the following institutions.
- Museum of Modern Art, NY
- Guggenheim Museum, NY
- Tate Modern, London
- Guggenheim Bilbao
- Guggenheim Venice
- Centre George Pompidou, Paris.

ABSTRACT ART COLLECTORS
For the three greatest collectors
of non-objective art, see:
Solomon R Guggenheim (1861-1949)
US art collector, museum-founder.
Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979)
Collected modern abstract art.

BEST MODERN ART
For a list of great works
see: Greatest Modern Paintings.

Top 100 Abstract Paintings

ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY, BY ARTIST'S DATE OF BIRTH.

Anonymous artists of the Book of Kells (c.800)
- Christ's Monogram Page (Chi/Rho) (Trinity College Dublin Library)

JMW Turner (1775-1851) (Expressionist)
- Interior at Petworth (1837, Tate Collection)

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) (Impressionist)
- Nocturne in Black & Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875, Detroit Institute of Arts)

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) (Expressionist, Colourist)
- Picture With an Archer (1909, Museum of Modern Art, NY)
- Composition No.4 (1911, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen)
- Landscape with Church (1913, Folkwang Museum, Essen)
- Harmony Squares With Concentric Rings (1913, Centre Georges Pompidou)
- Composition VIII (1923, Guggenheim Museum, New York)
- Composition IX, (1936, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

NOTE: For interpretation of modern works,
see: Analysis of Modern Paintings (1800-2000).

Frank Kupka (1871-1957) (Colour Symphonist, Orphism)
- Amorpha - Fugue in Two Colours (1912, National Art Gallery, Prague)
- Disks of Newton: Study for a Fugue in Two Colours (1912, Pompidou Centre)
- Organization of Graphic Motifs II (1913, National Gallery, Washington DC)

Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) (Futurism)
- Girl Running on a Balcony (1912, Gallery of Modern Art, Milan)
- Rhythm of a Violinist (1912, Private Collection)

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) (De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism, Geometric)
- Apple Tree in Bloom (1912, Private Collection NY)
- Tableau No.3 Oval Composition (1913, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
- Composition in Colour A (1917, Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo)
- Composition (1929, Guggenheim Museum, New York)
- Composition With Blue And Yellow (1932, Philadelphia Museum Of Art)
- Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942, MoMA, New York)
- Composition with Yellow, Blue, Red (1942, Tate Collection, London)

Bart Van Der Leck (1876-1958) (De Stijl, Elementarism, Geometric)
- Composition (1918, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)

Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) (Expressionist-Cubist)
- Painting No.48 (1913, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY)

Joseph Stella (1877-1946) (America's leading Futurist painter)
- Brooklyn Bridge (1918-20, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT)

Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935) (Suprematism, Geometric)
- The Knife-Grinder (1912, Yale Art Gallery, New Haven)
- Black Circle (1913, State Russian Museum, St Petersburg)
- Red Square (1915, State Russian Museum, St Petersburg)
- Suprematism (1915, Stedelijk Museum)
- Suprematist Composition: White on White (1918, MoMA, New York)

Otto Freundlich (1878-1943) (Geometric painting, Constructivist)
- Composition (1930, Musee de Pointose, Cergy-Pointose)

Paul Klee (1879-1940) (Fantasy/Surreal Imagery)
- In the Desert (1914, Franz Mayer Collection, Zurich)
- Twittering Machine (1922, MoMA, NY)
- Fire in the Evening (1929, MoMA, NYC)
- Rhythmical (1930, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou)

Francis Picabia (1879-1953) (Fantasy/Surreal Imagery)
- Catch as Catch Can (1913, Philadelphia Museum of Art)
- Very Rare Picture on Earth (1915, Guggenheim Venice)

Arthur Dove (1880-1946) (Colourist)
- Holbrook's Bridge to Northwest (1937-8, Private Collection)

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) (Pioneer of Abstract Expressionism)
- Fairy Tale (1944, Private Collection)
- Transfiguration (1947, Andre Emmerich Gallery, NY)
- Apparition (1949, Private Collection)

Carlo Carra (1881-1966) (Cubist/Fututurist)
- Woman on the Balcony (1912, Private Collection)

Fernand Leger (1881-1955) (Cubist, geometrical)
- Contrasts of Forms (1913, Kunstmuseum, Berne)
- The Stairway (1914, MoMA, NY)
- Soldiers Playing at Cards (1917) Kroller-Muller State Museum, Otterlo
- The City (1919, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964) (Rayonism)
- Red Rayonism (1913, The Merzinger collection, Switzerland)

Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) (Rayonism)
- Rayonist Forest (1914) E Rubin Collection

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) (Founder of Cubism)
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art NY) (semi-abstract)
- Seated Nude (1909-10, Tate Collection, London)
- Girl with Mandolin (1910, Private Collection)
- Weeping Woman (1937, Tate Collection, London) (semi-abstract)

 

Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) (Vorticism)
- Workshop (c.1914-15, Tate Collection, London)

Auguste Herbin (1882-1960) (Abstraction-Creation Group)
- Volutes (1939, Private Collection)

Georges Braque (1882-1963) (Proto-Cubist Painting & Analytical Cubism)
- The Pedestal Table (Still Life w. Violin) (1911, Centre Georges Pompidou)
- The Portugese (1911, Kunstsammlung, Basel)

Theo Van Doesburg (1883-1931) (Elementarism, Geometric, De Stijl)
- Composition VII (The Three Graces) (1917, Private Collection)
- Composition VIII (The Cow) (1918, MoMA, New York)
- Arithmetic Composition (1930, Private Collection)

Morgan Russell (1883-1953) (Orphism: Cubist-inspired colourism)
- Synchromy in Orange: To Form (1914, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo)

Gino Severini (1883-1966) (Futurist)
- Bear Dance (1913, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) (Orphism: Cubist-inspired colourism)
- The Eiffel Tower (The Red Tower) (1909, Guggenheim Museum, New York)
- A Window (Study for the Three Windows) (1912, Centre Georges Pompidou)
- La Ville de Paris (1912, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris)
- Homage to Bleriot (1914, Kunstmuseum, Basel)
- Rythme 1 (1940, Musee National d'Art Moderne, George Pompidou Centre)

Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) (Futurist)
- Dynamism of a Cat (1912/13, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Sonia Delaunay-Turk (1885-1979) (Orphism: Cubist-inspired colourism)
- Prismes Electriques (1914, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Juan Gris (1887-1927) (Example of Synthetic Cubism)
- Violin and Guitar (1913, Private Collection)

Jean Arp (1887-1966)
- Teller, Gabel und Nabel (1923, Private Collection)

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) (Example of Analytical Cubism)
- Nude Descending a Staircase No.2 (1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
- Black Abstraction (1927, Metropolitan Museum)
- Jack-in-the-Pulpit No.V (1930, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)

Josef Albers (1888-1976) (Concretist painter)
- Fugue (1925, Kunstmuseum, Basel)
- Variation in Red (1948, Private Collection)
- Transformation of a Scheme (1952, Yale University Art Gallery)
- Homage to the Square (1964, Tate Collection, London)

Johannes Itten (1888-1967) (Geometric Abstraction)
- Benign Light (1920-21, Thyssen Collection, Lugano)

Lyubov Popova (1889-1924) (Geometric Abstraction)
- Still Life (1915-16, State Art Museum, Gorki)
- Painterly Architectonic (1918, Tretyakov Gallery)
- Spatial Force Construction (1921, Tretyakov Gallery)

Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943) (Dadaist, Abstract-Creation Group)
- Vertical Horizontal Composition (1927-8, Museo Civico Castello Visconti)

Paul Nash (1889-1946) (Fantasy/Surreal Imagery)
- Nocturnal Landscape (1938, Manchester Art Gallery)

Willi Baumeister (1889-1955) (Expressionist)
- Mortaruru with Red Overhead (1953, Private Collection)

El Lissitzky (1890-1941) (Geometric style, Non-Objective painter)
- Proun 19D (1922, MoMA, New York)
- Proun 12 Ec (1920, Busch Reisinger Museum, Harvard University)

David Bomberg (1890-1957) (Vorticist)
- In The Hold (1913-14, Tate Gallery, London)
- The Mudbath (1914, Tate, London)

Mark Tobey (1890-1976) (Noted for his Calligraphic gestural painting)
- Edge of August (1953, MoMA, NY)
- White Journey (1956, Beyeler Collection, Basel)

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) (Constructivism, Geometric Abstraction)
- Non-Objective Painting: Black on Black (1918, MoMA, New York)
- Composition (1918, MoMA, NY)
- Composition (Overcoming Red) (1918, Annely Juda Fine Art, London

Joan Miro (1893-1983) (Surrealism Imagery)
- The Birth of the World (1925)
- A Person Throwing a Stone at a Bird (1926, MoMA, NY)
- Painting (1933 Wadsworth Atheneum, Conn) Biomorphic/Organic Abstraction.
- Woman (1934, Private Collection)

Vladislav Strzeminski (1893-1952) (Founder of Constructivist group Blok)
- Unistic Composition 10 (1931, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz)

Stuart Davis (1894-1964) (Geometric Abstraction, showed at Armory Show)
- Swing Landscape (1938, Indiana University Art Museum)
- Egg Beater No.4 (1928, Phillips Collection, Washington DC)

 

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) (Concretist; ex-Bauhaus Design School)
- Black Quarter Circle With Red Stripes (1921, Private Collection)
- Yellow Cross Q.7 (1922, Gallery of Modern art, Rome)

Bram van Velde (1895-1981) (Existential Art)
- Untitled: Composition (1966, Musee National d'Art Moderne)

Andre Masson (1896-1987) (Surreal, Fantasy Imagery)
- Pasiphae (1945, MoMA, NY)

Jean Fautrier (1898-1964) (Intense, Private Expressionism)
- Hostage (series) (1945, Private Collection)
- The Jack of Clubs (1957, Private Collection)

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) (Gashed Monochrome Canvases)
- Spatial Concept - Attese (T 104) (1959, Galleria d'Arte del Naviglio, Milan)

Henri Michaux (1899-1984) (Art Informel; Existential Art)
- Untitled (1978, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York)

Yves Tanguy (1900-55) (Biomorphic Imagery)
- Infinite Divisibilty (1942, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo)

Mark Rothko (1903-70) (See: Mark Rothko's paintings, 1938-73)
- Yellow and Gold (1956, Philip Johnson Collection)

Arshile Gorky (1904-48) (Surreal, Fantasy Imagery)
- The Waterfall (1943, Tate Collection)
- The Liver is the Cock's Comb (1944, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo)

Clyfford Still (1904-80) (Abstract Expressionist Painting)
- Painting 1944 (1944, MoMA, NY)
- Painting 1951 (1951, Detroit Institute of Art)
- 1957-D no.1 (1957, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY)

Jean Helion (1904-87) (De Stijl, Geometric)
- Balance (1933, Hamburger Kunsthalle)
- Abstract Composition (1934, Private Collection)

Salvador Dali (1904-89) (Semi-Abstract Fantasy Imagery)
- The Persistence of Memory (1931, MoMA, NY)
- Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (1936, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Willem De Kooning (1904-97) (Member of the New York School)
- Seated Woman (1944, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
- Excavation (1950, Art Institute of Chicago)
- Woman 1 (1950-2) oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York
- Woman and Bicycle (1952-3, Whitney Museum of American Art)

Jean Bazaine (1904-2001) (Art Informel)
- Child and the Night (1949, Private Collection)

Maurice Esteve (1904-2001) (Art Informel)
- Friselune (1958, Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo)

Barnett Newman (1905-70) (Colour Field Painting)
- Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950-1, MoMA, NY)
- Adam (1951-2, Tate Gallery, London)
- Onement VI (1953, Private Collection)

Jiro Yoshihara (1905-72) (Gestural Expressionist, Founder Gutai Group, Japan)
- Painting (1959, Galerie Stadier, Paris)
- To Martha's Memory (1970, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo)

Serge Poliakoff (1906-69) (Art Informel)
- Composition (1959, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna)

Victor Vasarely (1906-97) (Op-Art, Geometric Abstraction)
- Untitled (1941, Israel Museum, Jerusalem)
- Capella 4B (1965, Museum of Modern Art, New York)
- Arny-C (1969, Artist's Private Collection)
- Pal-Ket (1973-4, Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao)

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-92) (Art Informel)
- Theatre de Gerard Philipe (1975, Unterlindenmuseum, Colmar)
- Summer (undated, Musee Fabre, Montpelier)

Max Bill (1908-94) (De Stijl, Elementarism)
- Rhythm in Four Squares (1943, Kunsthaus, Zurich)

Franz Kline (1910-1962) (Gestural Expressionist)
- Chief (1950, MoMA, NY)
- White Forms (1955, Museum of Modern Art, New York)
- King Oliver (1958, Private Collection)
- Orange and Black Wall (1959, Thyssen Collection, Amsterdam)

Alfred Manessier (1911-93) (Art Informel)
- Night in Gethsemane (1952, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen)

Matta (Roberto Matta Echaurren) (1911-2002) (Surrealist)
- Inscape: Psychological Morphology no 104 (1939, Private Collection)

 

Jackson Pollock (1912-56) (Action Painting)
- The She-Wolf (1943, MoMA, NY)
- Pasiphae (1943, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
- The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle (1943, Musee National d'Art Moderne)
- Number 4 (1950, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh)
- Number 6 (1948, Private Collection)
- Lavender Mist (Number 1) (1950, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)
- Blue Poles (Number 11) (1952, National Gallery of Australia)

Morris Louis (1912-62) (Washington Colour Painter)
- Saf Gimmel (1959, Andre Emmerich Gallery, NY)
- Gamma Zeta (1960, Andre Emmerich Gallery, NY)
- Alpha Phi (1961, Tate Collection)
- Sky Gamut (1961, Private Collection)

William Baziotes (1912-63) (Organic Abstraction)
- The Dwarf (1947, MoMA, NY)

Agnes Martin (1912-2004) (Minimalist Pencil Grids on Monochrome Canvases)
- Tremolo (1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (1913-51) (Art Informel)
- Composition V (1946, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)
- Yellow Composition (1947, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin)
- Composition (1950, Private Collection)
- The Windmill (1951, Westfalisches Landesmuseum, Munster)

Ad Reinhardt (1913-67) (Systemic Painting)
- Abstract Painting, Red (1952, MoMA, NY)
- Abstract Painting, Diptych (1959, Private Collection)
- Abstract Painting (one of his Black Paintings) (1966, Guggenheim, NY)

Philip Guston (1913-80)
- Dial (1956, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York)
- The Clock (1956-57 Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Asger Jorn (1914-73) (Cobra Group, Gesturalist)
- Loss of the Mean (1958, Stedelijk Museum)
- Dead Drunk Danes (1966, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek)

Tadeusz Kantor (1915-90) (Tachisme-influenced Polish painter, designer)
- Painting (1959, Nuzeum Narodowe, Warsaw)

Robert Motherwell (1915-91) (Gestural Expressionist)
- Elegy to the Spanish Republic 34 (1953-4, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo)
- Elegy to the Spanish Republic 70 (1961, Metropolitan Museum, NY)
- Pancho Villa, Dead and Alive (1943, MoMA, NY)

Pierre Soulages (b.1919) (Art Informel, Tachisme - Gesturalist)
- Painting 21 June 1953 (1953, Private Collection)

Patrick Heron (1920-99) (Lyrical Abstraction)
- Manganese in Deep Violet (Estate of the Artist)
- Cadmium with Violet, Scarlet, Emerald, Lemon and Venetian (1969, Tate)

Karel Appel (1921-2006) (Gesturalist, Member of Cobra Group)
- The Crying Crocodile Tries to Catch the Sun (1956, Guggenheim Venice)

Georges Mathieu (1921-2012) (The 'Salvador Dali of Art Informel')
- Capetians Everywhere (1954, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Jules Olitski (1922-2007) (Post-Painterly Abstraction)
- Green Jazz (1962, Private Collection)

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-93) (Californian Abstract Expressionist)
- Berkeley No.52 (1955, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)

Sam Francis (1923-94) (Tachisme)
- For Rudd (1963, MoMA, New York)

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97) (Pop-Art Abstraction)
- Great Painting No 6 (1965, Kunstsammlung, Nordrhein Westfalen)

Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) (Canada's leading abstract expressionist)
- Large Composition (1949-51, Private Collection)
- Painting (1951-52, Galerie Stadler, Paris)
- Abstraction Orange (1952, Private Collection)
- Pavane (1954, National Gallery, Ottawa)

Ellsworth Kelly (b.1923) (Hard-Edge Painting)
- Red, Blue, Green (1963, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego)
- Four Panels (1964, Gemini Gallery, Los Angeles)
- Blue, Red (1965, Private Collection)
- Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red (1966, Guggenheim Museum, New York)

Antoni Tapies (b.1923) (Mixed Media Abstraction)
- White and Orange (1967, Private Collection)

Kenneth Noland (b.1924) (Hard-Edge Painting)
- Gift (1962, Tate Collection, London)
- Drought (1962, Tate Modern, London)
- Another Time (1973, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)

Pierre Alechinsky (b.1927) (Member of Cobra Group: Art Informel)
- Octave (1983, Private Collection)
- The Large Transparent Things (1958, Private Collection)

Yves Klein (1928-62)
- IKB 79 (c.1959, Tate Gallery, London)

Fritz Hundertwasser (Friedensreich) (1928-2000) (Pioneer 'Green' Painter)
The Great Way (1955, Osterreichische Galerie im Belvedere, Vienna)

Cy Twombly (1928-2011) (Calligraphic Expressionism)
- Leda and the Swan (1962, MoMA, NY)

Helen Frankenthaler (b.1928) (Colour Stain Painting)
- Mountains and Sea (1952, on loan to National Gallery, Washington DC)
- Blue Territory (1955, Whitney Museum of American Art)
- Buzzards Bay ( 1959, Seattle Art Museum)
- Mother Goose Melody (1959, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
- The Other Side of the Moon (1995, Knoedier Gallery, New York)

Antonio Saura (1930-98) (Violent, Expressive, Semi-Abstraction)
- The Great Crucifixion (1963, Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam)

Robert Ryman (b.1930) (Minimalism)
- Courier (1982, Saatchi Gallery, London)
- Courier II (1985, Private Collection)

Gillian Ayres (b.1930) ("Action-Painting" style of Abstract Expressionism)
- Hinba (1977-8, Southampton City Art Gallery)

Richard Smith (b.1931) (Abstract Pop-Art)
- Quartet (1964, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis)

Bridget Riley (b.1931) (Op-Art)
- Fission (1963, MoMA, New York)
- Current (1964, MoMA, NY)
- Cataract 3 (1967, British Council, London)
- Sea Cloud (1981, Mayor Rowan Gallery)

Howard Hodgkin (b.1932) (Neo-Expressionist)
- Lovers (1984-9, Private Collection)

Gerhard Richter (b.1932) (Neo-Expressionist, multi-media artist)
- Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan) (1968, Private Collection)
- Abstraktes Bild (1994, Private Collection)

Frank Stella (b.1936) (Shaped Canvas)
- Tuxedo Junction (1960, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
- Delaware Crossing (1962, Brooklyn Museum of Art)
- Black Adder (1965, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York)

Brice Marden (b.1938) (Late Abstract Expressionism)
- Cold Mountain 6 (Bridge) (1989-91, Collection of the artist)

Anselm Kiefer (b.1945) (Dense, Historical, Neo-Expressionism)
- Song of the Wayland (1982, Private Collection)
- Die Meistersinger (1982, Saatchi Gallery, London)

Sean Scully (b.1945) (Elemental, Geometric Forms)
- Wall Of Light White (1998, Dublin Gallery, The Hugh Lane)
See also: Abstract Artists: Ireland.

Christopher Wool (b.1955) (Word art and text based painting)
- Apocalypse Now (1988, Private Collection)

• For dates and a chronolgical timeframe, see: History of Art Timeline.
• For more about abstraction in oils, see: Homepage.


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