Recent investigations into both cognitive science and the functional derivation of the visual brain as well as evolutionary dynamics have led to new and exciting ways of interpreting art. Abstract art has often been regarded as beyond the purview of such interpretations because of the very fact that it is abstract. However, as a visually guided activity, abstraction is eminently suited to an analysis from this perspective. This essay will demonstrate how such an approach can reap rich rewards in the understanding of why and how art came to progress from an earlier representational phase to one of abstraction by examining some of the 20th century's most influential trends.

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