Many people feel uneasy when confronted. "My five year old could do better than that," or, "What's it supposed to be?"
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.
contemporary art is abstract, but some is figurative. For example, a favorite artist of mine, 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.
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
Abstract art is for everybody to enjoy, and it's well worth making the effort to take it to your heart.
Heritage & Future