Framed Abstract Art DefinitionSource(Google.com.pk)
A definition of abstract art:
In abstract art, the artist uses a visual language of shapes, forms, lines and colors to interpret a subject-matter, without necessarily providing the viewer with a recognisable visual reference point.
This contrasts dramatically with more traditional forms of art which set out to achieve a literal and more representational interpretation of a subject and communcate a ‘reality’ to the viewer.
For many, understanding abstract art and addressing the question ‘what is abstract art’ get in the way of appreciating the art itself. The magic happens when we let go of this need to know.
Abstract art engages and challenges the intellect but it also engages and challenges the emotions and to fully appreciate it 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. That’s the important connection.
What is abstract art? - The birth of abstract art
Artists have always sought new ways to express their changing world but the arrival of the twentieth century brought with it unprecedented scientific and technological developments that demanded an even bigger response. New ideas and more progressive thinking had to be reflected in art. Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso had already begun to move away from more traditional painting techniques and were moving towards abstraction in their work.
What is abstract art? - The Abstract Expressionists
It is not surprising then that following the Great Depression of the 1930s and the onset of the Second World War, artists again searched for a visual language that would express the difficult, dangerous and changing world around them. The language of abstract art enabled artists to discover a diverse range of new voices which communicated emotion, memory, inner strength, spiritual beliefs and provided a dramatic platform for them to have their say.
New York was the centre of this important phase in the development of abstract art and a whole new generation known as the Abstract Expressionists of the New York School (artists such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, among others) embraced it to spectacular effect.
Artists who had grown up in America met, worked and socialised with artists who had fled persecution in Europe, bringing together the two traditions of the abstract art movement and paving the way for yet another ‘second generation’ of abstract artists (artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell).
The Power of Abstract Art
All aspects of life lend themselves to interpretation through abstract art – beliefs, fears, passions, a response to music or to nature, scientific and mathematical complexity, to name but a few, can all be used as subject matter and expressed freely and uniquely.
The abstract artist communicates with us in a way that allows us to find our own personal response to the work. Anyone who has stood before a Mark Rothko for the first time will recognise this feeling. A Rothko painting commands respect from the outset – you know immediately that it has something important to convey to you. As you stand before it, you feel yourself drawn in, surrounded by it and brought to a place of stillness, both in the painting and in yourself. It’s a feeling you might experience in meditation and it’s wonderful. You are there with the painting, with yourself and with all the emotion and spiritual energy Mark Rothko felt as he was making the piece. It is a humbling experience.