Concrete art was an art movement with a strong emphasis on geometrical abstraction. The term was first formulated by Theo van Doesburg and was then used by him in 1930 to define the difference between his vision of art and that of other abstract artists of the time. After his death in 1931, the term was further defined and popularized by Max Bill, who organized the first international exhibition in 1944 and went on to help promote the style in Latin America. The term was taken up widely after World War 2 and promoted through a number of international exhibitions and art movements.
After the formal break up of De stijl , following the last issue of its magazine in 1928, van Doesburg began considering the creation of a new collective centered on a similar approach to abstraction. In 1929 he discussed his plans with Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres-García, with candidates for membership of this group including Georges Vantongerloo, Constantin Brâncuși, František Kupka, Piet Mondrian, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart and Antoine Pevsner, among others. However, van Doesburg divided the candidates between artists whose work was still not completely abstract and those free of referentiality. As this classification entailed the possibility of a disqualification of the first group, the discussions between the two soon broke down, prompting Torres-García to team up instead with Belgian critic Michel Seuphor and form the group Cercle et Carré . 
Following this, van Doesburg proceeded to propose a rival group, Art Concret , championing a geometrical abstract art closely related to the aesthetics of Neo-plasticism. In his opinion, the term 'abstract' as applied to art had negative connotations; in its place he preferred the more positive term ‘concrete’.  Van Doesburg was eventually joined by Otto G. Carlsund, Léon Arthur Tutundjian, Jean Hélion and his fellow lodger, the typographer Marcel Wantz (1911–79), who soon left to take up a political career.  In May 1930 they published a single issue of their own French-language magazine, Revue Art Concret, which featured a joint manifesto, positioning them as the more radical group of abstractionists.
"BASIS OF CONCRETE PAINTING
The group was short lived and only exhibited together on three occasions in 1930 as part of larger group exhibitions, the first being at the Salon des Surindépendents in June, followed by Production Paris 1930 in Zürich, and in August the exhibition AC: Internationell utställning av postkubistisk konst (International exhibition of post-cubist art) in Stockholm, curated by Carlsund. In the catalog to the latter, Carlsund states that the group's "programme is clear: absolute Purism. Neo-Plasticism, Purism and Constructivism combined".  Shortly before van Doesburg's death in 1931, the members of the Art Concret group still active in Paris united with the larger association Abstraction-Création.
In 1930, Michel Seuphor had defined the role of the abstract artist in the first issue of Cercle et Carré. It was "to establish, on the foundations of a structure that is simple, severe and unadorned in every part, and within a basis of unconcealed narrow unity with this structure, an architecture which, using the technical means available to its period, expresses in a clear language that which is truly immanent and immutable."  The art historian Werner Haftmann traces the development of the pure abstraction proposed by Seuphor to the synthesis of Russian Constructivism and Dutch Neo-Plasticism in the Bauhaus, where painting abandoned the artificiality of representation for technological authenticity. "In close connection with architecture and engineering, art should endeavour to give form to life itself … [The former] provided new sources of inspiration as well as new materials – steel, aluminium, glass, synthetic materials." 
As van Doesburg had pointed out in his manifesto, in order to be universal, art must abandon subjectivity and find impersonal inspiration purely in the elements of which it is constructed: line, plane and color. Some later artists associated with this tendency, such as Victor Vasarély, Jean Dewasne, Mario Negro and Richard Mortensen, only came to painting after first studying science.  Nevertheless, all theoretical advances seek justification in past practice, and in this case the mathematical proportions expressed in abstract form are to be identified in various art forms over millennia. Thus, argued Haftmann, "the elimination of representational images and the overt use of pure geometry do not imply a radical and definitive rejection of the great art of the past, but rather a reassertion of its eternal values stripped of their historical and social disguises." 
While Abstraction-Création was a grouping of all modernistic tendencies, there were those within it who carried the idea of mathematically inspired art and the term ‘concrete art’ to other countries when they moved elsewhere. A key figure among them was Joaquín Torres García, who returned to South America in 1934 and mentored artists there. Some of those went on to found the group Arte Concreto Invención in Buenos Aires in 1945.  Another was the designer Max Bill, who had studied at the Bauhaus in 1927–9. After returning to Switzerland, he helped organize the Allianz group to champion the ideals of Concrete Art. In 1944 he organized the first international exhibition in Basle and at the same time founded abstract-konkret, the monthly bulletin of the Gallerie des Eaux Vives in Zurich.  By 1960 Bill was organizing a large retrospective exhibition of Concrete Art in Zürich illustrating 50 years of its development.
Abstraction, which had been quietly gathering momentum in Italy between the world wars, emerged officially in the Movimento d'arte concreta (MAC) in 1948, whose foremost exponent, Alberto Magnelli, was another past member of Abstraction-Création and had been living in France for many years. However, some seventy native painters were represented in the Arte astratta e concreta in Italia exhibition held three years later at the National Gallery in Rome.  In Paris recognition of this approach resulted in several exhibitions of which the first was titled Art Concret and held at the Gallerie René Drouin during the summer of 1945. Described as "the first major post-World War 2 exhibition of abstract art",  the artists exhibited there included the older generation of abstractionists: Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Sonia Delaunay, César Domela, Otto Freundlich, Jean Gorin, Auguste Herbin, Wassily Kandinsky, Alberto Magnelli, Piet Mondrian, Antoine Pevsner and van Doesburg. In the following year a series of annual exhibitions began in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, which included some of these artists and were devoted, according to its articles of association, to "works of art commonly called: concrete art, non-figurative or abstract art". 
In 1951 Groupe Espace was founded in France to harmonize painting, sculpture and architecture as a single discipline. This grouped sculptors and architects with old established artists such as Sonia Delaunay and Jean Gorin and the newly emergent Jean Dewasne and Victor Vasarély. Its manifesto was published in L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui that year and placarded on the streets of Paris, championing the fundamental presence of the plastic arts in all aspects of life for the harmonious development of all human activities. It extended beside into practical politics, having elected as its honorary president the Minister for Reconstruction and Urban Development, Eugène Claudius-Petit. 
As time progressed, a distinction began to be made between 'cold abstraction', which was identified with geometric Concrete Art, and 'warm abstraction', which, as it moved towards the various kinds of Lyrical abstraction, reintroduced personality into art.  The former eventually fed into international movements building on technological aspects championed by the pioneers of Concrete Art, emerging as optical art, kinetic art and programmatic art.  The term Concrete also began to be extended to other disciplines than painting, including sculpture, photography and poetry. Justification for this was theorized in South America in the 1959 Neo-Concrete Manifesto, written by a group of artists in Rio de Janeiro who included Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape. 
|Zurich||Die Zürcher Schule der Konkreten||1944||Max Bill, Richard Paul Lohse, Camille Graeser, Verena Loewensberg, Hans Coray, Johannes Itten, Leo Leuppi, Anton Stankowski, Carlo Vivarelli, André Evard|
|Buenos Aires||Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención||1945||Tomás Maldonado, Lidy Prati, Alfredo Hlito, Raúl Lozza, Enio Lommi, Manuel Espinoza, Juan Melé|
|Buenos Aires||Movimento Madi||1946||Carmelo Arden Quin, Gyula Kosice, Rhod Rothfuss, Martín Blaszko, Diyi Laañ, Elizabeth Steiner, Juan Bay|
|Copenhagen||Linien II||1947||Ib Geertsen, Bamse Kragh-Jacobsen, Niels Macholm, Albert Mertz, Richard Winther, Helge Jacobsen|
|Milan||Movimento Arte Concreta (MAC)||1948||Atanasio Soldati, Gillo Dorfles, Bruno Munari, Gianni Monnet, Augusto Garau, Ettore Sottsass|
|Zagreb||Group Exat 51||1951||Ivan Picelj, Vjenceslav Richter, Vlado Kristl, Aleksandar Srnec, Bernardo Bernardi|
|Montevideo||Grupo de Arte No Figurativo||1952||José Pedro Costigliolo, María Freire, Antonio Llorens|
|Rio de Janeiro||Grupo Frente||1952||Aluísio Carvão, Carlos Val, Décio Vieira, Ivan Serpa, João José da Silva Costa, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Vicent Ibberson|
|São Paulo||Grupo Ruptura||1952||Waldemar Cordeiro, Geraldo de Barros, Luis Sacilotto, Lothar Charroux, Kazmer Fejer, Anatol Wladslaw, Leopoldo Haar|
|Ulm||Hochschule für Gestaltung||1953|
|Cordoba||Equipo 57||1957||Jorge Oteiza, Luis Aguilera, Ángel Duarte, José Duarte, Juan Serrano, Agustín Ibarrola|
|Havana||Los Diez Pintores Concretos||1957-1961||Pedro de Oraá, Loló Soldevilla, Sandú Darié, Pedro Carmelo Álvarez López, Wifredo Arrcay Ochandarena, Salvador Zacarías Corratgé Ferrera, Luis Darío Martínez Pedro, José María Mijares, Rafael Soriano López, and José Ángel Rosabal Fajardo|
|Padua||Gruppo N||1959||Alberto Biasi, Ennio Chiggio, Toni Costa, Edoardo Landi, Manfredo Massironi.|
|Milan||Gruppo T||1959||Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Gabriele De Vecchi, Gianni Colombo, Grazia Varisco|
|Paris||Motus/GRAV||1960||Horacio Garcia Rossi, Julio Le Parc, Francois Morellet, Francisco Sobrino, Yvaral (Jean Pierre Vasarely), Joël Stein, and at the beginning also Hugo Demarco, Francisco García Miranda, Vera Molnàr, François Molnàr, Sergio Moyano Servanes, |
|Rome||Gruppo Uno||1962||Gastone Biggi, Nicola Carrino, Nato Frascà, Achille Pace, Pasquale Santoro, Giuseppe Uncini|
|Prague||Klub konkrétistů||1967||Eduard Antal, Juraj Bartusz, Václav Cigler, František Dörfl, Jiří Hampl, Radoslav Kratina, František Kyncl, Jaroslav Malina, Eduard Ovčáček, Arsén Pohribný, Lubomír Přibyl, Tomáš Rajlich, Vladimíra Sedláková, Zdeněk Šplíchal, Karel Trinkewitz, Jiří Valoch, Miroslav Vystrčil|
Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.
De Stijl, Dutch for "The Style", also known as Neoplasticism, was a Dutch art movement founded in 1917 in Leiden. De Stijl consisted of artists and architects. In a more narrow sense, the term De Stijl is used to refer to a body of work from 1917 to 1931 founded in the Netherlands. Proponents of De Stijl advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to vertical and horizontal, using only black, white and primary colors.
Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, who practiced painting, writing, poetry and architecture. He is best known as the founder and leader of De Stijl. He was married to artist, pianist and choreographer Nelly van Doesburg.
Hard-edge painting is painting in which abrupt transitions are found between color areas. Color areas are often of one unvarying color. The Hard-edge painting style is related to Geometric abstraction, Op Art, Post-painterly Abstraction, and Color Field painting.
Neoplasticism, known in Dutch as Nieuwe Beelding or the new image, is an avant-garde art theory that arose in 1917 and was employed mainly by Dutch De Stijl artists. The most notable advocates of the theory were the painters Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondriaan. Neoplasticism advocated for an abstract art that had been purified by applying the most elementary principles through plainly rational means. Thus, a painting that adhered to neoplastic theory would typically consist of only simple shapes and primary colors.
Geometric abstraction is a form of abstract art based on the use of geometric forms sometimes, though not always, placed in non-illusionistic space and combined into non-objective (non-representational) compositions. Although the genre was popularized by avant-garde artists in the early twentieth century, similar motifs have been used in art since ancient times.
Sophie Henriette Gertrud Taeuber-Arp was a Swiss artist, painter, sculptor, textile designer, furniture and interior designer, architect, and dancer.
Bart van der Leck was a Dutch painter, designer, and ceramicist. With Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian he founded the De Stijl art movement.
Fernand Berckelaers, pseudonym Michel Seuphor, was a Belgian painter.
Art Concret was a single-issue French-language art magazine published in Paris in 1930. It was the vehicle for a group of abstract artists who wished to differentiate themselves from others gathered around the magazine Cercle et Carré. Eventually most in both groups fused in the wider association of non-figurative artists, Abstraction-Création. Articles in Art Concret championed strictly geometrical art, free of personal interpretation and based on mathematics. It also ridiculed the sloppy and imprecise vocabulary of contemporary art criticism. The concept of Concrete Art championed by the magazine was thereafter taken up by other artists and became influential internationally.
Alberto Magnelli was an Italian modern painter who was a significant figure in the post war Concrete art movement.
Linien was an artists' association in Denmark in the 1930s and 1940s focusing on Abstraction and Symbolism. The group's exhibitions in Copenhagen created wide international participation. After the Second World War, the association was revived as Linien II with an emphasis on Concrete art.
Otto Gustaf Carlsund was a Swedish avant-garde artist and art critic, connected to Cubism, Purism, Neo-Plasticism, and Concrete art.
Albert Jean Gorin was a French neoplastic painter and constructive sculptor. He was a disciple of Piet Mondrian, and remained true to the concept of rigid geometricism and use of primary colors, but pushed the limits of neoplasticism by introducing circles and diagonals. He was known for his three-dimensional reliefs.
Lidia "Lidy" Elena Prati (1921–2008) was an Argentine painter who was known for her abstract, geometric paintings. Her artwork called into question representational art and was influential in defining the concrete art movement in Latin America. Prati contributed to the publication of Arturo magazine and during the 1940s, was one of the founding members of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención (AACI) art movement along with Enio Iommi and Tomás Maldonado. While she is primarily known for her concrete art paintings, Prati also worked in graphic and layout design and worked with textiles and jewelry.
The Neo-Concrete Movement (1959–61) was a Brazilian art movement, a group that splintered off from the larger Concrete Art movement prevalent in Latin America and in other parts of the world. The Neo-Concretes emerged from Rio de Janeiro’s Grupo Frente. They rejected the pure rationalist approach of concrete art and embraced a more phenomenological and less scientific art. Ferreira Gullar inspired Neo-Concrete philosophy through his essay “Theory of the Non-Object” (1959) and wrote the “Neo-Concrete Manifesto” (1959) which outlines what Neo-Concrete art should be. Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Lygia Pape were among the primary leaders of this movement.
Carlos María "Rhod" Rothfuss was a Uruguayan-Argentine artist who specialized in painting and sculpture. He was considered a key theoretician for the development of the concrete art movement in Argentina in the 1940s and was a founding member of the international Latin American abstract art movement, Grupo Madí.
The Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención (AACI) is an Argentinian art movement that focuses on Concrete Art. Following WWII, numerous pieces Latin American art as well as several Latin American artists used themes regarding Socialism and Reconstruction. Artists from the AACI proposed, for the first time in the history of Argentina, the necessity for an art that was different from symbolic, representational, and expressionistic art. They believed that their artwork, or "inventions" could harbor social change in their current Argentinian political climate. The founders of the AACI showed similar themes throughout their artworks, such as a desire to appear with universality, objectivity, and lack any sort of representativeness.
Walmar Wladimir Schwab was born in Moscow on 1 September 1902 and died in Onex, Switzerland, on 19 August 2000. A painter and print-maker in Paris during the 1920s, he later abandoned this for a career in chemistry and took Swiss nationality.
Dolores "Loló" Soldevilla Nieto (1901–1971) was a Cuban visual artist primarily known for her role in concrete art.