The first examples of abstract art came from Europe during the early 1900s. Abstract artists use geometric shapes, bold colors and distorted images to represent the concepts behind concrete objects.
Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky's 1911 painting, "Picture with a Circle" is one of the earliest examples of abstract art. Kandinsky expressed emotions and instrument tones through colors. Red, for example, expressed confidence and trumpet sounds. Dutch painter Piet Mondrian developed a much more rigorous style that led to the De Stijl movement. De Stijl artists and architects attempt to reveal the underlying spirituality of their subjects through radically simplified images.