Abstract Art
The above painting is by Wassily Kandinsky.

Abstract Art

This quiz addresses the requirements of the National Curriculum KS3 in Art and Design for children aged 11 to 14 in years 7 to 9. Specifically this quiz is aimed at the section dealing with understanding art movements and their influence on the world, and it focusses in particular on the Abstract Art Movement.

KS3 children will learn how to critically appraise works of art, using the correct terminology and drawing on their own opinions. The judgements they make will help to inform their own work, as will what they learn about the styles and techniques used by the artists they study.

The Abstract Art Movement is one that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality in its work, but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. This kind of art may be based on a particular study or subject, but it may not be obvious what this starting point was or what the work is intended to portray as the forms have been simplified or changed in some way in order to create an abstracted version of it. This type of art is not to everyone's taste, nevertheless it has had a great influence on the modern art world.

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There are many theories and ideas behind abstract art. Some people think that art should be created for it's own sake - in other words it does not serve a certain purpose or realistically portray the subject. Others think that art should be like music - a collection of colours, shapes and patterns which fit together to create an overall piece. Quite a lot of people find abstract art confusing or even annoying as its meaning is not always immediately apparent!

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  1. Which of the following would you not expect to find in abstract art?
    Abstract art, by its very nature, has some degree of separation from realistic visual references
  2. Which of the following movements did not contribute to early abstract art?
    These three movements were the first to 'break away' from patronage from the church and rely instead on private patrons for funding
  3. Which Eastern European religious philosophy had a profound impact on emerging abstract artists?
    Mysticism is a belief that deep contemplation may result in a better union with a deity
  4. Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne had what in common?
    These four men had an enormous impact on 20th-century art that ultimately led to the advent of 20th-century abstraction
  5. How did the the pre-cubists, Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck, revolutionise the Paris art world?
    Art critics called this Fauvism, but the movement as such lasted only a few years and only had three exhibitions
  6. Pablo Picasso made his first cubist paintings based on whose idea that all depiction of nature can be reduced to three solid shapes?
    Cézanne said these three shapes were the cube, sphere and cone
  7. When Cubism emerged, it changed from one form to another. What were these forms called?
    Synthetic cubism was distinctive due to the introduction of different textures, surfaces, collage elements, and a large variety of merged subject matter
  8. The Bauhaus in Germany was a college created to bring unity to all art forms. What closed it?
    The school was closed in 1933 after pressure from the Nazi government which claimed the Bauhaus was a centre of communist intellectualism
  9. What other effect did the rise of the Nazi Party have on the main art movements at the time?
    Many European artists fled to America and many art movements continued to develop and grow there
  10. Which abstract artist was best known for his explosive, active painting and use of vibrant colour?
    Franz Kline was also a renowned 'Action Painter'

Author: Angela Smith

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