When looking at any artwork, most people’s first thought or question may be, “What is this about?” That’s a good place to start, but it won’t take us very far when looking at an abstract work—unless we are willing to think more creatively. With abstract painting, sculpture, and photography the piece can be about the using particular materials, mood, emotion, color, shape, to name only a few examples.
In abstract art, the artist frequently uses a visual language of shapes, forms, lines and colors to interpret a subject, without necessarily providing the viewer with an unidentifiable visual image.
This is very different than traditional forms of art which set out to present a literal and more representational view of a subject and which relates to reality in some way.
Some say that abstract art engages and challenges the mind but it can also engage and challenge the emotions. To fully appreciate it, most of the time the viewer has to let go of a need to understand what the artist is trying to say and instead tune into their own feeling response to the piece.
The beginning of abstract art is usually assigned to the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).
Kandinsky believed that colors provoke emotions. Red was lively and confident; Green was peaceful with inner strength; Blue was deep and supernatural; Yellow could be warm, exciting, disturbing.
If you have not spent time with the art of abstraction, investigate a little a see what you think. I have not spent a lot of time with abstract art. I have done a few pieces and found the process to be very interesting and somewhat intriguing.
How about you?