In general, abstract art is any form of art that does not have anything to do with the physical things found in the world. Oftentimes, it is viewed as an abstraction of the intrinsic qualities of a physical object and turned into a visual art that does not represent any materialistic value. What the artist does is to take a common object and he either simplifies the object into its smallest possible form or exaggerates it.
The early roots of abstract art will be traced to the 20th century when people drew pictures on dirt. This was made more precalent by the impressionist movement in art which was later on called abstract impressionism.
Abstract impressionism is a predecessor to surrealism. Abstract impressionism borders o artistic output that is random and has no subject matter to begin with. These drawings, paintings, and sculptures are more of subconscious in origin, meaning they are not employed provided to be punished through conventional appreciation of what is beautiful. The three main branches or divisions of abstract art are Abstract Cubism, Abstract Neoplasticism, and Abstract Expressionism.
Abstract Cubism is mainly composed of not literal cubes but any geometric figure to depict what is in the mind of the artist. One aspect of cubism is to split objects in multiple parts and put them back ion a different form which you will never see in reality. It started in 1908 and attained its height in 1914. The most famous of this type of abstract art were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
Abstract Neoplasticism, on the other hand, stems from a concept or principle that art should never be a copy or reproduction of real objects as we see them through our eyes. It is argued that art should be an expression of what is absolute in life and that these absolutes are either horizontal or vertical lines. The colors used should only be the primary colors and not complicated hues as mixed by contemporary artists or painters. This movement, the neoplasticism as a form of abstract art, occurred in 1910, two years after the birth of cubism. The two most famous painters of this type of abstract art are Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg.
The third division, called Abstract Expressionism, is a reflection of the painter's or artist's personality through random and spontaneous painting. In general, there are two types of abstract expressionism: Action Painting and Color Field Painting. Action painting shows the texture of the paint and how the artist moves as he paints the masterpiece. The most famous action painter is John Pollock. On the other hand, a color field painter is much more concerned about the shapes he uses to come up with a masterpiece and the artist is very particular with the colors used in the painting. The name that comes to mind whenever color color painting is indicated is mark Rothko.
In summary, the thing that separates abstract art from other art forms is that it is not tangible and physical in nature. It is much more concerned about the depths of the human psychology and spirit and these works of art are painted in random behavior and spontaneity.