The concept of abstract art as “world language” became famous after documenta II (1959). Abstract art was considered as universally comprehensible and independent of cultural, political or historical contexts. However, this was never explicitly tested empirically. If these assumptions were true, there should be higher intersubjective coherence in perceiving abstract paintings compared to representational art. In order to test this hypothesis, the authors recorded the eye-movements of 38 participants and collected information on their cognitive and emotional evaluations. The results suggest that the concept of abstract art as a universal language was not confirmed and needs to be revised.
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