“Everybody wants to understand art. Why not make an effort to comprehend the song of a bird?…people who try to explain pictures are generally barking the wrong tree.” – Pablo Picasso
What Picasso says about understanding art is quite relevant to how you approach Abstract Painting. Many people believe that abstract paintings must have a specific concept of some sort, which could be clearly understood and articulated if only they knew how. This misconception will not be helped by the endless flow of people prepared to spout nonsense in regards to what believe that the artist was trying to say. The almost inevitable results of this case is that people can either feel as though they may be being excluded from sharing in a few secret knowledge, or alternatively conclude that abstract painting is actually all a sham. In either case, the effect is the fact many people usually do not feel well-disposed towards modern art or abstract paintings.
I certainly identify with Picasso’s remark in terms of my very own paintings are worried. Basically If I enjoyed a specific message or even a which means I was able to articulate in words, i would articulate it in words – the painting would have no purpose. The complete reason for creating an abstract painting is that it embodies a thing that only it could, in a way that can not be put in words. It is not an essay it is a painting – it encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique to the medium of paint. That is why we need to not make an effort to ‘understand’ abstract paintings in how people sometimes feel they ought to be able to.
The viewer must not choose a clear narrative within an abstract painting – it is not going to tell a narrative, or make reference to an outside ‘subject’ in a similar manner that a figurative painting will. But that does not always mean there is not any meaning or no subject, or that abstract paintings cannot communicate with and move people. When asked about material, the Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock said, “I am just the niche”. Pollock’s statement is not just true, it is inevitable.
The experiences, personality, memories and mood from the Black And White Painting cannot help but be fed in to the painting if the artist approaches the job within an open and honest way. I do not need another subject or idea before I can produce a painting – I simply begin. The truth that I am me with no-one else is what makes my work different to anyone else’s, and this is also true of all artists. The colours I select, the marks a make, the accidents I select to leave, or to obliterate, these are generally things that I choose due to who I am.
Should you present many different artists with similar basic design over a canvas and make them pick up a brush and develop the painting, the differences in what they would elect to do will be enormous. I have watched other abstract artists at work on paintings and thought “I would never in a million years have chosen that colour and set it there.” Not because I believe that it is wrong or bad, but since they are who they are and (to quote that other leading artist, Morrisey!) “only I am I”.
Abstract paintings – There are many great types of painting available, arising from a wealthy art history which includes seen movement after movement. The term abstract art is usually used a blanket term to illustrate non-representational art – that is the absence of recognisable subjects. Abstract art was linked to the rise of modernism over the last century, coming into the mainstream with abstract expressionism in post-war art yet still continuing to influence artists today.
What brought about the qualities we see in abstract art? The flattening in the artist’s canvas surface is one major quality, as artists moved far from a convincing illusionism towards broader-minded thinking. Using the invention of photography releasing the artist from painting as a method of recording reality, they began seeing the canvas surface as being an object in their own right, with the canvas being a single, flat expansive surface. Paint ‘acted’ and affected the flat surface and begun to form its ignqsj qualities in accordance with how it was handled. The paint could exhibit ‘personality’, it had their own dimensions and exposed a range of different techniques we percieve in artwork from the last century. One of the primary reasons artists began painting in Abstract Canvas Art was the opportunities for greater creativity. It allowed for a greater variety of expression and the growth of ideas that were not dependent on representing reality any more.