“We all want to know art. Why not make an effort to be aware of the song of the bird?…individuals who try to explain pictures are often barking in the wrong tree.” – Pablo Picasso
What Picasso says about understanding art is very highly relevant to how you approach Abstract Painting. Many people feel that abstract paintings will need to have a certain concept of some type, which may be clearly understood and articulated if perhaps they knew how. This misconception is not helped through the endless flow of people ready to spout nonsense as to what believe that the artist was seeking to say. The almost inevitable results of this situation is that people can either feel as if these are being excluded from sharing in a few secret knowledge, or alternatively conclude that abstract painting is actually all a sham. In either case, the end result is the fact that many people do not feel well-disposed towards modern art or abstract paintings.
I certainly identify with Picasso’s remark so far as my own paintings are involved. Basically If I enjoyed a specific message or perhaps a which means that I was able to articulate in words, i then would articulate it in words – the painting would have no purpose. The entire reason for creating an abstract painting is that it embodies something which only it could, in a way in which should not be put in words. It is not an essay this is a painting – it encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique towards the medium of paint. That is why we must not try to ‘understand’ abstract paintings in the manner people sometimes feel they ought in order to.
The viewer should never look for a clear narrative within an abstract painting – it is far from planning to tell a narrative, or reference another ‘subject’ in the same manner that a figurative painting will. But that does not mean there is absolutely no meaning or no subject, or that abstract paintings cannot contact and move people. When asked about subject material, the Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock said, “I am just the subject”. Pollock’s statement is not just true, it really is inevitable.
The experiences, personality, memories and mood of the black and white abstract art cannot help but be fed into the painting in the event the artist approaches the work within an open and honest way. I do not need an external subject or idea before I can produce a painting – I simply begin. The fact that I am me and no-one else is the reason why my work different to anyone else’s, and this is also true of all the artists. The colours I select, the marks a make, the accidents I choose to depart, or even to obliterate, these are things that I choose due to who I am.
If you were to present a number of different artists with the exact same basic design on the canvas and make them pick up a brush and develop the painting, the differences in what they would decide to do would be enormous. I actually have watched other abstract artists at the office on paintings and thought “I would personally never in a million years have selected that colour and set it there.” Not because I believe it is wrong or bad, but because they are who they really are and (to quote that other leading artist, Morrisey!) “only I am just I”.
Abstract paintings – There are lots of great types of painting available, arising from a wealthy art history that has seen movement after movement. The phrase abstract art is frequently used a blanket term to describe non-representational art – this is the lack of recognisable subjects. Abstract art was linked to the rise of modernism over the last century, getting into the mainstream with abstract expressionism in post-war art but still continuing to influence artists today.
What brought regarding the qualities we percieve in abstract art? The flattening in the artist’s canvas surface is just one major quality, as artists moved from a convincing illusionism towards broader-minded thinking. With the invention of photography releasing the artist from painting as a way of recording reality, they began seeing the canvas surface being an object in their own right, with all the canvas becoming a single, flat expansive surface. Paint ‘acted’ and affected the flat surface and started to form its ignqsj qualities according to the way it was handled. The paint could exhibit ‘personality’, it had its very own dimensions and exposed an array of different techniques we see in artwork through the last century. One of the primary reasons artists began painting in Large Contemporary Painting was the opportunities for greater creativity. It allowed for a greater selection of expression and the creation of ideas which were not reliant on representing reality anymore.