Abstract Art - Connecting to the Soul

Abstract Art - Connecting to the Soul

One who is not attuned with fine art may think that abstract art is only a jumble of colors, lines, and shapes. However, this is far from the truth. By definition, an abstract composition is unique in the absolute abandonment of representational intentions. On the other hand, representational or figurative art can be described as requiring mild interpretation or unambiguous. The meaning of this art form is best described by the artist himself.

Viewers of abstract works may interpret the work in their own way, even if their interpretation is different from the artist’s. Or, we we can choose to relate to the perspective of Mark Rothko; "It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academic painting. However, there is no such thing as good painting about nothing."

To further expand and perhaps deepen our perspective, we can look at a quote from 'The Art Story'; 
"Abstract Expressionism" was never an ideal label for the movement, which developed in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. It was somehow meant to encompass not only the work of painters who filled their canvases with fields of color and abstract forms, but also those who attacked their canvases with a vigorous gestural expressionism. Still Abstract Expressionism has become the most accepted term for a group of artists who held much in common." (The Art Story, 2019). 

Let's find out more about these historically evolving progress about; - "When was the abstract art movement?"

This form of art is almost always an expression of an artist’s soul. This artistic style can be considered contemporary or art modern because of its origins in the 19th century. It is an answer to the neoclassicist style, which was renewed during the 18th century. Non-representational art is synonymous to the Avant-Garde. Its many derivatives include Impressionism, Romanticism, Expressionism, and Post-Impressionism during the 19th century and Cubism, Fauvism, and Surrealism during the 20th century.

Emotions aside, several abstract paintings by a particular artist may hold common characteristics. Pablo Picasso’s Cubist paintings have similar characteristics, yet his Cubist paintings are different from those of other artists. Gustav Klimt’s abstraction styles are characterized by bold colors and distorted representations of the female form. Other artists also have their own abstraction styles, which are unique only to them. Perhaps the similarity among most abstract works is that these works stem from the artist’s emotions, which are laid out for the world to see. Seeing, of course, also invites to the question; Who is buying art right now?

Many abstract works are geometric experiments done by the artists, who use the principles of art like shape, line, color, and space to express meaning and mood. Figurative and non-representational art both speak to the viewer. Non-representational art is also a conversation between the artist and the viewer. The artist, through the abstract composition, may speak volumes to a viewer with his interpretation of the artwork. On the other hand, a viewer may have his or her own interpretation of the artwork. It is an exchange of ideas between both parties.

Or in the Picasso perspective; "
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."

Abstract artists simply create their works to express their emotions and perceptions, and they present their perceptions to viewer. Abstraction is also another way for an artist to connect with his soul to derive inspiration. Artists may also conceptualize to deliberately attempt to sway the viewer’s emotions or thoughts. An abstract work with splashes of red may incite anger or agitation from the viewer. An abstract work with a soft geometrical composition or shades of blue may remind viewers of tranquility or peace. 
Here we have another digging path to what is considered abstract.

Art appreciation is an education for one’s soul. People feed their souls whenever they permit any kind of art to enter their range of perception. This is because people are open to new ideas, deepening or changing of emotions and a connection to humanity’s most exalted facets. Abstract art is not merely composition or the integration of colors and lines. Like any language, it is a form of communication that involves color and composition. It speaks to our soul, as a doorway, just like poetry, far and near music.

Many people feel uneasy when confronted with abstract fine art.  "My five year old could do better than that," or, "What's it supposed to be?" are still common responses to contemporary art.  It is a reflection on the pitiful state of art education in our schools that people are still so locked out from the appreciation of some of the most beautiful and meaningful art of our times. 

This art form is available for all to enjoy in museums and galleries in most major cities around the world, in particular, in private galleries.  A Sunday afternoon spent at say, Tate Modern, of New York's MOMA, just absorbing the sights, the colors, the shapes, without trying to interpret or "understand" them, will start to unlock contemporary art for you. A good question might confirm what we are looking for; Who is famous for abstract art?

Much contemporary art is abstract, but some is figurative.  For example, Rosie Snell, who is Professor of Painting at Bristol University, takes modern industrial landscapes and war machines, and depicts them in stark, almost abstract detail.  Her output is small, and her work may take some tracking down, but her use of shape and color to almost denature her subject matter is very abstract in feeling, and well worth seeking out. 

Much has been written about this kind of art, and to be honest, a lot of what is written is fairly incomprehensible.  So how can you approach an abstract painting if you are more used to looking at portraits, landscapes and the like?  It may help to think of natural things like a sunset.  A sunset is simply a collection of colors and textures, and yet it is one of the most beautiful and frequently admired sights in nature.  Or a stormy sea - again, a collection of colors and shapes which please us and stir our emotions - in fact, just like an abstract picture. 

Yes, an abstract picture works in the same way.  Look at a piece of contemporary abstract art as you would look at a sky, or the sea.  Allow yourself to fall into the picture.  Don't look at it with your intellect, look at it with your eyes and your heart.  Feel how you respond to the beauty of line and color.  Of course, not every piece of abstract fine art will appeal to every person - we all have different tastes.  But, seek, and you will found pieces which speak to you, and which you will enjoy, and which will lead to other pieces in their turn.  
Abstract art is for everybody to enjoy, and it's well worth making the effort to take it to your heart.


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