1387, from L. abstractus "drawn away," pp. of abstrahere, from ab(s)- "away" + trahere "draw" (see tract (1)). Meaning "withdrawn or separated from material objects or practical matters" is from 1557; specifically in ref. to the arts, it dates from 1915; abstract expressionism from 1952. Meaning "summary of a document" is from 1528. The verb is first recorded 1542.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
This is only a glimpse of some of the fine paintings submitted to Abstract in 2007; an absolutely beautiful, grotesque, intriguing and thought-provoking gallery.
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Click it: Traditional Art > Paintings > Abstract
Special thanks to `arctoa for his help in finding these wonderful gems.