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Abstract landscape painting

Abstract landscape is a relatively recent art movement. Landscape art itself has existed for more than a thousand years in both western and Chinese art traditions. The word "landscape" itself was first used (around the beginning of the 17th century) to refer to works of art, and was only later used in reference to the objective world.

While landscape art and abstract art might be seen as originally being two separate art movements, with abstract art developing by around 1915 from roots in earlier traditions of impressionism, romantic art, and expressionism, many abstract (and partially abstract) artworks are to some degree landscape in nature. A lot of the semi-abstract works which led eventually to fully abstract art are obviously landscape in nature, although the main emphasis might be on something other than the depiction of landscape, as with the prime significance of emotional symbolism in romantic art, or the concepts of light and space in impressionist art.

In some ways it might be considered that the phrase "abstract landscape" is a contradiction in terms, as the concept of abstraction means artwork which does not refer to any objective reality, so abstract landscape art is, in precise terms, never fully abstract.

On the other hand, some of the most famous artworks which are agreed by fine art experts to be abstract landscapes, such as Rothko's famous color-field paintings, do not represent any objective landscape, but are "landscape art" because they use abstract tools to convey concepts of space and the contrast between a defined area and the space it is in.

Landscape art refers to art which depicts elements such as mountains, sky, rivers, and forests, usually with a wide view, with the elements organized in a coherent composition overall. As such, this definition does not exclude a degree of abstraction in the work, because it does not specify that the whole composition is a representation of one objective landscape from the real world. Landscape art tends to develop where an artistic tradition has already matured in its exploration of other art forms.

It is interesting to note that the majority of early landscape paintings were of imaginary landscapes, so are in a sense somewhat abstract rather than a depiction of objective reality. Later landscape art moved towards depictions of mostly objective scenes (although often with modification and addition), before some artistic movements departed from this realism as other concepts were explored.

Land art is mostly abstract in the concepts it presents. It was a reaction to the perception of artificiality and commercialization of art, and is an interesting reversal in the roles of abstraction and objectivity, where in land art, the artwork itself is a part of the objective reality of planet earth, yet the concepts it presents are almost entirely abstract concepts.

Some land art can be presented as traditional canvas or paper surface, such as a work entitled " Museum paper board left on the bank of the river for 4 days. By Jacek Tylicki". In this case, the land itself can be considered as the "artist", as well as the named artist who chose this specific action.

A Japanese garden might be considered landscape art, in a general sense, as it is abstract, and a recognized artform, and fundamentally about landscape.

Abstract landscape art is a popular and fascinating area of the art world today, and will no doubt continue to be so.
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