The term was first used in 1936, by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Biomorphist art focuses on the power of natural life and uses organic shapes, with shapeless and vaguely spherical hints of the forms of biology. Biomorphism has connections with Surrealism and Art Nouveau.
The Tate Gallery's online glossary article on biomorphic form specifies that while these forms are abstract, they "refer to, or evoke, living forms...". The article goes on to list Joan Miró, Jean Arp, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth as examples of artists whose work epitomizes the use of biomorphic form.
Biomorphism is also seen in modern industrial design, such as the work of Alvar Aalto. Presently, the effect of the influence of nature is less obvious: instead of designed objects looking exactly like the natural form, they use only slight characteristics to remind us of nature.
Desmond Morris is a biomorphic painter of note.