The Research Paper

Here are details, and a download link, to the research paper that I wrote for my MA in Visual Art.

To Download my Research Paper

It is available here as a PDF download.


Somers, D. (2016) Motivation in Abstract Art. Available at:


Motivation in Abstract Art


The beginning of the 20th century was one where visual art underwent a major change in practice with the creation of abstract art. The canon of abstract art subsequently progressed vis-à-vis the Zeitgeist, the underlying philosophical foundations, and modernist theory. Modernist theory, tending towards reductionism per Hegelianism, has gone from an epistemological model to one of ontological reduction. As the underlying philosophical foundations changed this affected a progression in the motivation but with consistency in the visual language across the canon. To understand abstract art, it is necessary to look beyond the visual language and aesthetic and examine the motivation as this is the key variable occurring across the canon bringing new perspectives and providing an instrument though which new possibilities can be discovered. Motivation is the subject of this research paper.


Abstract Art; Modernism; Motivation; Rationalism; Reductionism; Reoccurrence


The research paper contains a list of works directly cited. The research paper bibliography details all works that were consulted during the research.