Singapore University of Social Sciences

Abstract Art Appreciation

Abstract Art Appreciation (GSP179)


From the crude distortion of Picasso, the simple lines and squares of Mondrian, to the drips and drops of Jackson Pollock, abstract art has fascinated and baffled many people. While some regard it as a scam because of its often simplistic or chaotic non-figurative appearance, some argue that it has redefined the way we perceive the world and the ways artists represent it. Regardless of the debates, abstract art movement is a vital period in modern western art history. Understanding its concept is crucial in our appreciation of modern paintings and sculptures today. This course will bring students through the birth and evolution of abstract art as a means of expression, ideology, and aesthetics for artists. We will also discuss its impact on the “second generation artists” of the local art scene.In this course, students are required to create an abstract painting which will be graded.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester


  • Who’s Afraid of Abstract Art? (How abstract art began)
  • Basic Art Elements & Masterpieces in Focus I (Basic Colour Theory)
  • Basic Art Elements & Masterpiece in Focus II (Lines, Shapes, Forms, Textures)
  • The Second Generation Artists of Singapore

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the basic stylistic elements that define ‘abstract art’
  • List the various movements and subgenres that make up abstract art
  • Comment on the aesthetic merits of works of abstract art
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions that abstract art makes to world culture
  • Interpret specific examples of abstract art
  • Recognize the differences and similarities between abstract art and art from other traditions
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