This lively introduction tells the ever-evolving story of abstract art, tracing its history from the early 1900s right up to the present day. Emerging out of western movements such as Cubism and Expressionism, abstract art quickly became a global phenomenon, changing the face of modern and contemporary art. Stephanie Straine weaves accounts of well-known pioneers with fascinating insights into lesser-known ground-breakers from across the world. Although abstraction in art is often associated with vagueness or the forbiddingly theoretical, for many artists the abstract represents pure simplicity. Straine's vivid discussion demystifies the work of over seventy innovative artists - from Wassily Kandinsky to Emma Kunz and Rana Begum - and develops our appreciation of their conceptual approach. A reference section includes a timeline of key exhibitions of abstract art, suggestions for further reading and a glossary of art terms.