What Picasso says about understanding art is quite relevant to the way we approach abstract paintings. Many people believe that abstract paintings will need to have a certain meaning of some sort, that could be clearly understood and articulated if only they knew how. This misconception is not helped by the endless supply of people prepared to spout nonsense about what they think the artist was trying to say. The almost inevitable consequence of this situation is that people can either feel as though they are being excluded from sharing in some secret knowledge, or alternatively conclude that Contemporary Abstract Painting is in fact all a sham. In any event, the result is that many individuals do not feel well-disposed towards modern art or abstract paintings.
I certainly identify with Picasso’s remark as far as my own, personal paintings are concerned. If I experienced a specific message or perhaps a which means that I could 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 that only it could, in a manner in which cannot be placed into words. It is far from 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 should not try to ‘understand’ abstract paintings in the way people sometimes feel they ought to be able to.
The viewer should not look for a clear narrative in an abstract painting – it is really not likely to tell a narrative, or reference another ‘subject’ in the same manner that the figurative painting will. But that does not mean there is not any meaning or no subject, or that abstract paintings cannot communicate with and move people. When asked about subject matter, the Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock said, “I am the topic”. Pollock’s statement is not just true, it really is inevitable.
The experiences, personality, memories and mood of the abstract artist cannot help but be fed into the painting in the event the artist approaches the task in an open and honest way. I do not require an outside subject or idea before I can create Black And White Paintings – 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 artists. The colours I select, the marks a make, the accidents I select to leave, or obliterate, they are all things that I choose because of who I am just.
If you decide to present a number of different artists with similar basic design on the canvas and make them pick up a brush and develop the painting, the differences in the things they would decide to do would be enormous. I have watched other abstract artists at the office on paintings and thought “I would personally never in a million years have chosen that colour and put it there.” Not because I believe that it is wrong or bad, but because they are who they are and (to quote that other leading artist, Morrisey!) “only I am I”.
Abstract paintings – There are numerous great types of painting on the market, arising from a rich art history which includes seen movement after movement. The term abstract art is frequently used a blanket term to describe non-representational art – which is the deficiency of recognisable subjects. Abstract art was connected to the rise of modernism over the past century, getting into the mainstream with abstract expressionism in post-war art yet still continuing to influence artists today.
What brought concerning the qualities we percieve in abstract art? The flattening from the artist’s canvas surface is certainly one major quality, as artists moved away from a convincing illusionism towards broader-minded thinking. With the invention of photography releasing the artist from painting as a method of recording reality, they began seeing the canvas surface as an object in the own right, using the canvas being a single, flat expansive surface. Paint ‘acted’ and affected the flat surface and begun to form its kfkymg qualities according to the way it was handled. The paint could exhibit ‘personality’, it had its own dimensions and opened up an array of different techniques we have seen in artwork from the last century. One of the primary reasons artists began Hand Painted Oil Paintings inside an abstract way was the opportunities for greater creativity. It allowed to get a greater selection of expression and the growth of ideas that had been not reliant on representing reality anymore.