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Abstract Art

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What is it? I just saw some of the abstract art paintings and they are just like a weird mixture of line strokes and colours. How is it so famous? Is it a type of relativism of art as one website said that it is non-objective and does not refer to reality.

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I will admit to finding some abstract art visually and decoratively appealing. If a piece's concept is well though out and well translated onto canvas I may even be able to appreciate it intellectually. But I can't say that I have ever felt an emotional connection to even the best of such art and at best it can be nothing more than a curiosity or puzzle to be work. At worst abstract art is nothing more than a waste of time and materials. Given this view I tend to view abstract art, not as art at all, but as decoration.

As an example, I can appreciate Piet Mondrian's work on some level, while someone like Jackson Pollock represents anti-art.

I'm not an art expert so I'm not sure I could accurately define when art becomes "abstract" but I think that it describes art in which no attempt to recreate the real is made.

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Two reasons, I believe.

1.) Abstract art requires not knowing. Meaning that-you are supposed to look at the picture and say "It is great-because I don't understand it."

2.) Abstract art is an emotional response. Because you are not supposed to understand it, you are supposed to look at it and judge it based upon how it makes you feel.

I am sure there are other minor things, but I think these two are the key issues to why it is so popular. They correspond with the dominant philosophy of today.

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How is it so famous? Is it a type of relativism of art as one website said that it is non-objective and does not refer to reality.

Abstract art today is like the king with no clothes. No longer, the novelty it once was, it has run out of “original” variations, and reverted to random blotches and colorful decorations. It is around mostly because of pretentious pseudo-intellectuals who peddle funds from the NEA and shield themselves from judgment behind subjectivism and multiculturalism as well as wannabe enthusiasts afraid to think for themselves.

The consumers however, have seen through the illusions. While the art museums are still full of garbage, today’s most popular artists come from the realist tradition, and it’s possible to find many artists producing great works today. For some links, check out my gallery.

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The consumers however, have seen through the illusions.

Seen through the illusions? The last time I heard, a Picasso painting was sold for a few million dollars.

While the art museums are still full or garbage, today’s most popular artists come from the realist tradition, and it’s possible to find many artists producing great works today.  For some links, check out my gallery.

Those were some nice works :P .

P.S. Do you know links to some romantic idealistic works?

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Seen through the illusions? The last time I heard, a Picasso painting was sold for a few million dollars.

I am refering to the popular demand for the works of realist artists who are rejected by art galleries and other "experts" but sell millions of copies and prints. For ex, check out this story on Jack Vettriano:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/...1120728,00.html

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Abtract artists consist mostly of people with no talent making a big break. But I don't think I can discredit all absrtact art because some of it does achieve the objective of art. Those peices that have a definate meaning, or magnify or exempt and aspect of an object found in reality to make a philosophic point.

Also, some modern artists represent the same reality differently and very skillfully. For example: Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase makes quite an impression in that in the midst of lines and colors you see a nude figure moving down a staircase.

see: http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/mod...50-134-59.shtml

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But I don't think I can discredit all absrtact art because some of it does achieve the objective of art.

Abstract painting is generally defined as being non-representational, which disqualifies it as art according to Objectivist esthetics.

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Personally, I'd take a Vettriano over a Picasso any day. I used to be the type who was never into paintings. The ones that were adored by most like Picasso and Dali gave me headaches just to look at. :confused: Why anyone would want to look at distorted figures is still beyond my comprehension. I was more into photography as at least that captured human essence and emotion. It wasn't until I saw Vettriano's The Singing Butler that I became interested in art and have since then had the pleasure of finding other great artists (like Brian Larsen) :D . I can sympathize with the originator of this thread....I never "got" abstract art either.

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Actually, what is being described in this thread is "non-objective art"- not abstract art. An abstract art piece depicts figures and objects from the real world, but simplifies or distorts them. In abstract art, attention is placed on the lines and color of the figures instead of attempting to make them look as closely to how they actually look in the real word. Non-objective art, the type that is being discussed in this thread, does not represent anything from the real world. This is the "smears and lines" art that you're all familar with, which is built upon on the flawed philosophy that there is "spiritual" existance beyond human perception.

Here are some examples of three types of art:

Super-Naturalism (Representational)

Abstract (Representational)

Non-Objective (Non-Representational)

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I took my niece to the Dallas Museum of Art soon after it opened. She was five.

She was fascinated as we moved from room to room. Her face lit up, however, as we entered the vast gallery containing the smears and bloches of modern art. She clasped her hands together in glee as she exclaimed, "Oh! The children's room!"

I've never heard a better, or more succinct, critique.

There is a Doctor of Neurology teaching here in San Diego (SDSU) who claims to have found why people respond to Picasso (and by extension, to other primative [my term, not his] art-forms as well, such as multi-limbed goddesses from the Hindus). He says that the mind is possessed of certain patterns, especially face recognition patterns, which is what the viewer of Picasso responds to emotionally; specifically with the innocent emotions of a small child. I take it to mean, primative art elicits primative emotions in the viewer. To do this, the "art" must be non-conceptual. How any of this explains the anti-conceptual "art" of today, I don't know.

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It wasn't until I saw Vettriano's The Singing Butler that I became interested in art and have since then had the pleasure of finding other great artists (like Brian Larsen) :) . I can sympathize with the originator of this thread....I never "got" abstract art either.

Art that celebrates Man's mind and ability, such as that by Bryan Larsen can be seen here. http://www.cordair.com/larsen/index.aspx and here http://www.cordair.com

Mr Larsen is being honored with a reception at Quent Cordair Fine Art in Burlingame, Ca, just South of San Francisco, on Saturday, Nov 6. For details http://www.cordair.com/news.aspx

post-658-1098389149_thumb.jpg

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Abstract art today is like the king with no clothes.  No longer, the novelty it once was, it has run out of “original” variations, and reverted to random blotches and colorful decorations.  It is around mostly because of pretentious pseudo-intellectuals who peddle funds from the NEA and shield themselves from judgment behind subjectivism and multiculturalism as well as wannabe enthusiasts afraid to think for themselves.

Efrayim Kishont, a famous Israeli satirist, wrote lately that the Moderm Art movement is like the story of the King's New Clothes, except in real life the boy grew up and the king's advisors made him appologize for his youthful mischief.

I think that's a pretty accurate description, wouldn't you say? :)

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Well, the only thing I have to say about surreal and 'abstract' art, is that some of it seems to find a true artistic beauty. Like, some paintings are just beautiful in themselves, without requiring a higher 'meaning' then the interactions of the lines, colours, and shapes. I'v looked at art that held no realistic shapes whatsoever, but still managed to make me think very specific thoughts, and feel a very specific emotion. That impresses me. Not to say alot of it isn't pure crud, a random collection of lines and colours without vision or direction. Like that guy who vomits paint onto a canvas and sells it as art.

I will say I love Dali's "Geopoliticus". It seems to use realistic figures in a non-realisitc world, and just looking at it sends me on a philosophical hike. Not saying I like it more then my photos of NYC skyline, just saying it's a darn good painting :D

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Opening tomorrow and running through 23 February 2014:

The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution

The Armory Show at 100 features approximately 100 masterworks from the 1913 Armory Show that powerfully impacted American audiences. The exhibition includes American and European paintings and sculpture that will represent the scandalous avant-garde and the range of early twentieth-century American art. It will also include historical works (dating through the nineteenth century) that the original organizers gathered in an effort to show the progression of modern art leading up to the controversial abstract works that have become the Armory Show’s hallmark.

 

The 2013 exhibition revisits the Armory Show from an art-historical point of view, shedding new light on the artists represented and how New Yorkers responded. It will also place this now-legendary event within the context of its historical moment in the United States and the milieu of New York City in ca. 1911–1913. To that end, music, literature and early film will be considered, as well as the political and economic climate.

 

The exhibition “will be accompanied by a substantial catalogue with thirty-one essays by prominent scholars from a variety of fields to re-examine the 1913 exhibition and its historical and cultural context.”

 

A related text from MoMA (2013):

Inventing Abstraction 1910–1925

How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art

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The centennial exhibition drawn from the Armory show by the New York Historical Society proved worthwhile. There is a bonus worth on the same floor down the hallway, showing works of contemporary painter Clarice Smith.

 

Smith says her painting is not realist; rather, it is representationalist. The subjects of her exquisite paintings are recognizable objects whose forms and other spatial relations are depicted on the plane of the picture by the means one can learn to discriminate with help from Joan Mitchell Blumenthal’s The Ways and Means of Painting or E. H. Gombrich’s Art and Illusion. Awareness of those perceptual means making possible one’s esthetic experience is fun, but the main thing is one’s experience itself, tuned to the total painting itself.*

 

The Armory show of 1913, whose title was International Exhibition of Modern Art, included paintings representational, less representational, and even less so, that is, paintings fairly abstract. Some paintings and one sculpture I liked in the centennial exhibit are the following:

 

Cézanne – View of Domaine Saint-Joseph*

 

Puvis – The Beheading of John the Baptist*

 

Renoir – Algerian Girl*

 

Robinson – In the Orchard*

 

Hopkinson – Three Girls*

 

Brancusi – Mlle. Pogany 1*

 

Kuhn – Morning*

 

Weir – The Factory Village*

 

Munch – Madonna*

 

Villon – Young Girl*

 

Duchamp – Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) – *

 

Manguin – La Naïade, Cavalière*

 

From the catalogue The Armory Show at 100:


Part of the reason that the Armory Show has evoked enduring interest is its seeming centrality in transforming the American art world. Analysts have pointed to its profound effect in making modernism acceptable and in breaking the near monopoly that the established National Academy of Design had in setting aesthetic standards. As a number of contributors to this book indicate in their essays, the story is more complicated. Nonetheless, one hundred years after the doors closed on the exhibition, it remains a landmark event in American art history.

 

It also remains a landmark event in American intellectual and cultural life regardless of its impact on painting and sculpture. For nearly a century, historians and cultural critics have connected the Armory Show to a decades-long effort to remake American thought and culture. . . . (113)

 

People at that time certainly believed that more was at stake than notions of beauty, aesthetic technique, and proper subject matter—which was one reason that both criticism and praise for the show envisioned it as a harbinger of dramatic social and cultural transformation.

. . .

Although the show’s anti-bourgeois, rebellious spirit garnered the most attention, the roots of the cultural and intellectual challenge underlying it ran deeper. What set the tone for the disparate initiatives in the early twentieth century was an increasing dismissal of a central building block of the dominant American cultural formation of the nineteenth century: the assumption of unity. . . . (114, D. H. Borus, “The Armory Show and the Transformation of American Culture.”)

 

One of the founding myths of modern American art is that the Armory Show’s impact was most strongly felt via Cubist formalism and its drive to abstraction—a notion that does not hold up under a close analysis of the reception and historical impact of the Armory Show. Rather, it is based on an incomplete understanding of the complex circumstances informing the works that Americans saw there. In fact, the proper conclusion to be drawn from the most innovative works that contributed to the show’s success (even if de scandale) is that the 1913 exhibition established the “triumph” of Cubo-Futurism, born of a dialogue between Parisian and Italian painters in the avant-garde crucible that Paris represented at the time. Despite its rapid international propagation, the momentum of Cubo-Futurism would crash to a halt against the reality of Worlds War I. Its Futurist component implied an embrace of technological progress, which itself was then called into question by the conflagration that destroyed half of Europe, with technology being used against the very humanity it was met to serve. . . . Duchamp and Picabia, the most brilliant of the prewar Cubo-Futurists, would themselves fall prey to the nihilism inspired by the moral disaster that the conflict produced. (200, D. Ottinger, “Off to See the Armory Show.”)

 

 

Early twentieth-century, modern works—many I found salutary*—are exhibited at Neue Galerie near the Met.

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