Abstract art in its many forms has been a dominant mode in the visual arts for the better part of a century. Popular histories usually trace "abstraction" as a succession of style or "isms," each set within it particular art-historical context, assuming a general familiarity with this kind of critical narrative. The book addresses itself to the interested non-specialist who frequents galleries and reads art books, but who often feels mystified when confronted by abstract work. Abstract art by its nature demands an imaginative response, a personal constructon of meaning. Mel Gooding offers readings of specific paintings and sculptures--by artists such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Gabo and Polloc--treating them as exemplary of particular tendencies within the overlapping histories of abstraction. The book defines distinctions between types of abstract art that may seem similar and discoveries underlying correspondences between those that may seem different, enabling the reader to identify links between abstract works across traditional art-historical periods.