We are tackling a doozy of a topic today: abstract art! This sort of thing requires more than just table talk! We recruited Jenny Gray, UGallery’s abstract aficionado, to help us define this artistic style. We got right to the point…
Me: What is abstract art?
Jenny Gray: Non representational, not trying to clearly reproduce the true look of an object or scene. Even though you might recognize the object, the artist was adding or subtracting and not trying to truly represent what the eye sees.
Jenny Gray’s paintings are a perfect example of adding and subtracting. Check out her painting Test Strip above. Even though her abstractions have recognizable shapes, her paintings are more than meets the eye. What Jenny says reiterates what Pablo Picasso said, ”There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” So I asked Jenny and the team what they thought about Picasso’s definition.
Me: Do you agree with Pablo Picasso?
Jenny Gray: I agree that I usually start with something, it might be an emotion, a memory or a landscape. But I am not sure that is true for all artists and I don’t think you have to remove all traces of reality.
Samantha: Abstract art is really difficult to define. I agree with Picasso in the sense that every artist has to begin with something, and then abstract upon it. I think that constitutes part of the definition of abstract art.
Me: What are the important things to know about abstract art?
Jenny Gray: When looking at abstract art, go with your gut. Try to pick up on the emotions that you might feel from it. Trying to figure out “what it is” can be fun, but try to feel it, too. I like my paintings to keep giving more information the more you look at them. There are layers of marks and meaning.
No wonder abstract art is so popular. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! And it takes a leap of courage and commitment to contemplate it. If you like abstract art, you are not alone:
Annie: I feel that abstract art is one of the most unique forms of art as it taps into an individual’s soul and can be transcribed in an infinite number of ways.
Stephen: Abstract art really allows the viewer’s imagination to be set free. Many abstract works can derive different meanings for each individual. It’s fun to view and discuss various works.
Maybe we should worry less about defining abstract art and just feel it! I’m going with Alex on the final “definition” of abstract art.
Alex:Drips, scribbles, strokes, spills, lines, blobs, splotches, shapes, expression, meditation, personal interpretation, and a few other things.
Noteworthy Abstract Artists: