Definition:(noun) - Abstract art can be a painting or sculpture (including assemblage) that does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world -- even in an extremely distorted or exaggerated way. Therefore, the subject of the work is based on what you see: color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale and, in some cases, the process (see action painting). Abstract art began in 1911 with such works as Picture with a Circle (1911) by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).
Kandinsky believed that colors provoke emotions. Red was lively and confident; Green was peaceful with inner strength; Blue was deep and supernatural; Yellow could be warm, exciting, disturbing or totally bonkers; and White seemed silent but full of possibilities. He also assigned instrument tones to go with each color: Red sounded like a trumpet; Green sounded like a middle-position violin; Light Blue sounded like flute; Dark Blue sounded like a cello, Yellow sounded like a fanfare of trumpets; and White sounded like the pause in a harmonious melody.
These analogies to sounds came from Kandinsky's appreciation for music, especially that by the contemporary Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). Kandinsky's titles often refer to the colors in the composition or to music, for example "improvisation."The French artist Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) belonged to Kandinsky's Blue Rider (Die Blaue Reiter) group, and with his wife, Russian-born Sonia Delaunay-Turk (1885-1979), they both gravitated toward abstraction in their own movement Orphism or Orphic Cubism.
Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (Über das Geistige in der Kunst), 1911.