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Abstract Line Art

on March 25, 2024

Abstract line art is a form of artistic expression that uses lines, shapes, and patterns to create compositions that are open to interpretation. In this genre, artists often explore the fundamental qualities of line and form. This allows the artist to focus on the essence of their subject rather than its actual representation.

Cubism pablo picasso and georges braque

Left: 'Seated nude' by Pablo Picasso, 1909-10. Right: 'Bottle and fishes' by Georges Braque, 1910-12.

The history of abstract line art traces back to early 20th-century art movements, like Cubism and Futurism. That's when artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque began experimenting with fragmented forms and geometric shapes. 

Abstract Expressionist line art Franz Kline

But it was the work of artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian that really established abstract line art as a sub-genre of Abstract Expressionism. The paintings of Kandinsky and Mondrian (among others, like Franz Kline [above]) emphasized the power of lines both express and evoke emotion and meaning.

In contemporary art, abstract line art continues to evolve with artists like Sol LeWitt (below) and Bridget Riley pushing boundaries with their innovative use of lines and optical effects. 

Sol LeWitt abstract line art

'Wall Drawing #1131, Whirls and Twirls,' by Sol LeWitt, 2004. At the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT.

But it's the contemporary Abstract Expressionist line art that I'm most excited about—the visual experience of contemporary Abstract Expressionist art is about personal interpretation, which is why collecting this style of modern art is so valuable. The work of our gallery's featured Abstract Expressionist artist, Vancouver-based Beth W. Stewart, is an example of this:

Vancouver abstract artist Beth W. Stewart abstract expressionist

'A place for stories III' by our featured artist from Vancouver, Abstract Expressionist Beth W. Stewart. This painting is available as a limited edition print.

Whether bold and dynamic or delicate and intricate, abstract line art was and is a powerful genre of artistic expression that challenges conventional expectations of representation and invites us to engage on a purely sensory and emotional level.


Pete Stein
Founder, Galerie Stein

Galerie Stein will be presenting several contemporary Abstract Expressionist artists both virtually at and in our gallery in Montreal in 2024.
Contact: Pete Stein at