What Picasso says about understanding art is quite relevant to the way we approach abstract paintings. Lots of people think that abstract paintings should have a particular concept of some type, which may 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 if they are being excluded from sharing in some secret knowledge, or alternatively conclude that Extra Large Paintings is actually 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 very own paintings are involved. If I enjoyed a specific message or a meaning that I was able to articulate in words, i would articulate it in words – the painting could have no purpose. The whole point of creating an abstract painting is that it embodies something which only it can, in a way in which cannot be placed into words. It is not an essay it really is a painting – it encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique towards 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 in order to.
The viewer should not choose a clear narrative in an abstract painting – it is really not planning to tell a narrative, or make reference to an external ‘subject’ in a similar manner that the figurative painting will. But that does not necessarily mean there is absolutely no meaning or no subject, or that abstract paintings cannot communicate with and move people. When asked about subject material, the Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock said, “I am just the topic”. Pollock’s statement is not only true, it really is inevitable.
The experiences, personality, memories and mood from the abstract artist cannot help but be fed in to the painting when the artist approaches the work within an open and honest way. I do not need another subject or idea before I can create Abstract Art Paintings – I simply begin. The truth that I am just me without any-one else is the reason why 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 go out of, or obliterate, they are things that I choose because of who I am.
If you decide to present a number of different artists with similar basic design over a canvas and ask them to pick-up a brush and develop the painting, the variations in whatever they would decide to do would be enormous. I have watched other abstract artists at the job on paintings and thought “I might never in a million years have selected that colour and put it there.” Not because I think it is wrong or bad, but because they are who they are and (to quote that other leading artist, Morrisey!) “only I am just I”.
Abstract paintings – There are lots of great types of painting on the market, arising from a rich art history that has seen movement after movement. The term abstract art is usually used a blanket term to describe non-representational art – that is the lack of recognisable subjects. Abstract art was linked to the rise of modernism over the past century, coming into the mainstream with abstract expressionism in post-war art yet still continuing to influence artists today.
What brought regarding the qualities we have seen in abstract art? The flattening from the artist’s canvas surface is certainly one major quality, as artists moved far 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 being an object in its own right, with all the canvas being a single, flat expansive surface. Paint ‘acted’ and affected the flat surface and started to form its kfkymg qualities in accordance with the way it was handled. The paint could exhibit ‘personality’, it had its very own dimensions and opened a multitude of different techniques we see in artwork from the last century. One of the main reasons artists began Navy Blue Minimalist Art in an abstract way was the opportunities for greater creativity. It allowed for a greater selection of expression and the growth of ideas which were not dependent on representing reality anymore.