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ashakarc
07-28-2005, 05:27 PM
Here is a question for you. Why do you think Abstract Art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_art) is not popular on these forums? Is this a generational preference? Is it the influence of realism in games and technology? or is it misconceptions about what Abstract Art is? or may be other reasons !!

Just curious :)

SpeccySteve
07-28-2005, 05:46 PM
Another question- Do you think it should be more popular? If so, why?

Renzsu
07-28-2005, 06:00 PM
Well perhaps that it seems to take a PHD degree to distinguish good abstract art from the bad.. what does the artist mean? Is he just messing around with the viewer? etc. etc.
Figurative art is much more accesible, yet can take more than a lifetime to master (how many true great masters do we have?). Anybody can understand figurative art instantly (well maybe not the finer details or symbolism) or at least appreciate its decorative merits..
I think that's some of the reasons why abstract art isn't quite popular here (deviantart anybody? hmm).

John Keates
07-28-2005, 06:17 PM
If I am going to produce an "image" for people to look at for a bit and think "Oooh.. look at that" then I make it figurative and let it be as ugly as is needed.

However, when I think about putting it on the wall, I may decide that people will think I am a bit odd.

Abstract paintings, contrary to popular opinion, are not really for thinking about but are more for putting on the wall to brigten the place up a bit - or maby for gazing at whilst you contemplate something else.

It is odd that one of the figureheads of modernism, Clement Greenberg, decided that modern painting should not be a form of entertainment but should be intelectual. He then said that he was the guy to say what modernist paintings should look like. (or at least that is what my art history tutor told me.. a quick google shows that he may have been talking out of his arse)

As far as I can see, his comments were mostly "don't do this, don't do that" Rather than anything positive so the art ended up a bit bland in intellectual terms.

The fact is that the majority of important subjects which artists paint about are to do with the way that rich people shaft the poor and take where they can. They obviously don't want to buy those kinds of paintings. They would prefer something that looks "quite nice".

Don't get me wrong... I like abstract paintings and have done some myself (just look at the gallery animation on my website) www.johnkeatesart.com (http://www.johnkeatesart.com) . But they are best suited to peoples' walls.

jmBoekestein
07-28-2005, 06:43 PM
I'm guessing since this is a relatively 'tech head' branch of the arts, a lot might want the rational readable path as stated.

And I think taking the time to understand abstract art is not something usually done when point-and-clicking around for a quick tutorial or answer, or a movie site or whatever it could be. Thereby decreasing exposure to it, and also creating the room for misunderstandings about abstract art.

Most branches of the industry have little or no use for abstract arts I guess, so there's another problem. And 3D doesn't seem to be well geared for controlled abstract compositions, with it's simulations of real world phenomenon.

That's my 2 cents.

Imagus
07-28-2005, 06:44 PM
Most professional CG work is representative in nature. Concept art, matte painting, game art, 3D modeling... all require that the artist (for the most part) produce graphical assets that are instantly recognizable. As such, anyone looking to get a 2D or 3D CG job usually focuses on this kind of work, as it is what companies are looking for, and the kind of work that can be most easily used to gauge the skill level of a CG artist.

When learning art in general, it's common practice to start by studying and trying to recreate things that already exist (people, nature, objects, etc.) The reason for this is that there is something to compare the final work to, and a goal to strive for (accurate re-creation of the subject matter). Eventually, the artist may choose to explore abstract art, but having a solid understanding of the artistic process through representative studies helps that exploration on its way.

The early work of Pablo Picasso was representative.... this self-portrait (http://deokjin.ms.kr/jart/picasso/images/self1.jpg), for example. His later work (http://www.clevelandart.org/exhibcef/PicassoAS/illusmag/(56)atwork.jpg), despite its far more abstract nature, still relies heavily on his foundational knowledge of form, shape and craft.

There are exceptions to the rule of CG art being representational, of course. My first (and, thus far, only) job as a professional (Lead) 3D CG artist/animator primarily involved designing, modeling and animating abstract interstatial scenes. However, even then, there were representational 3D scenes to create as well.

There was one abstract asset that I was originally slated to produce that just didn't work in 3D: comic book-style motion lines. After about 5 failed tests, I suggested that they simply draw them in 2D. A couple of interns, pencils, rulers, and sheets of animation paper later, the effect was complete. :)

The scene I initially created as an intern that caused the studio to give me a chance was representative (albeit simple) in nature. And, after the contract ended, I found that the footage on my reel did not open many doors to further 3D work, due to its abstract nature.

If these were forums primarily dedicated to painting or the fine arts, then there would most likely be a great deal more abstract art. However, being a CG forum, the above is (most likely) at least part of the reason you don't see it as much as representative art.

Ghostscape
07-28-2005, 07:24 PM
It's pretty much because a lot of the stuff on www.depthcore.com and other "abstract" sites is a lot of kids making things that look nice but don't mean anything. I'm guilty of doing this, myself, but basically, people who want to spend time in CG want to create things, not just make wallpapers for their computer. It takes more skill to cross the line from "here is some lines and blobs" to "here is a human figure" and most people, as they evolve, want to bridge that gap.

ashakarc
07-29-2005, 02:04 AM
Thanks for your remarks folks,

Another question- Do you think it should be more popular? If so, why?
It would be good to be open minded about other forms of visual expression, but I won't use the word "should"

Figurative art is much more accesible, yet can take more than a lifetime to master (how many true great masters do we have?). Anybody can understand figurative art instantly (well maybe not the finer details or symbolism) or at least appreciate its decorative merits..

What is it that need to be understood in figurative art? it could tell an action, story, interaction, event, etc..These things do not need to be understood, they need to be comprehended and recognized. Well, in saying everybody could tell what a piece of figurative art is, is not true. There are millions of people who see the Mona Lisa every year and very few could appreciate it. Figurative art could be very meaningful and deep, and in that case, few people will be able to enjoy it fully. Similarly, with Abstract Arts, it could be very meaningful and deep and few people would enjoy it. Similarly, the level of difficulty in abstract art is quite high to master and it could take a lifetime to be fully rewarded with a distinguished style. There is a lot of garbage abstract art out there, similarly there are tons of garbage figurative art. I don't see your comparison being objective. However, I fully agree with you that it is more accessible, yet for the majority of people, since it has a comparable language to the ordinary.

John Keates: Your abstract work is awesome. It's a great compliment to art if it is able to stand in an architectural space and be part of the social event in that space, better than a harddrive for sure ;)

jmBoekestein: I would definitely take your 2 cents, they are worth more than that :) I do also think that there is a lack of exposure to good abstract art, and many seem to look at it as visual jargon that anybody could do it, while in fact it is extremely difficult form of art to create and make it comprehendable at some conscious level to the audience.

Imagus: Thanks for your comments, I see your point of reasoning and I think it is absolutely true. On the other hand, I anticipate in the future that current directions will move closer to abstraction, as a necessary evolution stage in the maturity of CG culture. . . Why? I won't tell you :]

Ghostscape: Interesting site you are referring to. Well, I don't see any guilt in experimenting and taking risks. It will be really stupid not to take chances and try different possibilities. If those kids do not know what they are doing and it is meaningless, it doesn't necessarily mean it's "bad art". If it inspires motivates and moves, then it doesn't really matter whether it is figurative or abstract, or does it?

DimensionalPunk
07-29-2005, 02:59 AM
For me abstract art is all about the atmosphere it creates, whether it's sculpture or painting. I think most CG art is inspire driven and there isn't a lot of art to inspire CG artists to create abstracts right now.

Stahlberg
07-29-2005, 05:46 AM
I guess the reason is exactly what you said - it's very hard to create abstract art. Or any art for that matter.
So what we mostly get in abstract cg now is 'kitsch' or whatever you want to call it - for instance, teenagers with no talent, schooling or experience, following tutorials on how to make a cool wallpaper in Max and Photoshop ("make a simple spikey shape, copy it a hundred times using some script or deformer combo, make it glass and raytrace, add some grunge in Photoshop"). I suppose the principle of 0.001% really good stuff versus 99% really bad stuff goes for all media, it's just that with abstract art it's easier for the average viewer to lump all 100% into a single category of "I don't like it".

ashakarc
07-29-2005, 04:34 PM
Stahlberg: I am glad that you acknowledge the common grounds between different media in terms of what it takes, and I am not surprised. I say this, but at the same time it amazes me that there are some really talented artists around here with great skills and knowledge as you are yet sticking to fewer styles. The primary thing about abstraction is that it engages both the mind of the artist and the audience at a different level where imagination is supreme.

Personally when I encounter an abstract painting I don't look for things to understand, rather for structural relations suggested to have an open meaning yet inclusive. What I mean by that, is like the difference between centrifugal force and the centripetal force (sorry some physics). The first pushes the subject out of the canvas into a story outside, while the second one pulls the subject(s) into the canvas, diving towards its centre. Both cases require great deal of mastery in technique but in a different way. I still think that the world have not seen it all regarding abstract art, and it is a matter of time until some talented CG artist adopt that form of expression to rock the world of art.

dbclemons
07-29-2005, 05:05 PM
One of the main reasons folks post art up here is for comments and critiques. I'm not sure how comfortable someone would feel posting artwork of an abstract nature. Not that it might get heavily dissed or doesn't belong or even wouldn't be welcome, but there's not much to compare it to that's already here. Like walking into a gallery that favors figurative artwork, and your portfolio is all color-field paintings.

I remember a company a few years ago called Xaos that had a program called Pandemonium which seemed to excell at creating very unique 2D art effects. I enjoy seeing artwork of that nature, but sometimes giving a useful critique of it is difficult, as if using a critique formula on something abstract is at odds with the whole concept, if that makes any sense. Most of our critiques here for instance rely on if the object looks correct. With abstraction, the process is the thing, not so much the subject matter.

-David

ashakarc
07-29-2005, 05:17 PM
With abstraction, the process is the thing, not so much the subject matter.


Bang ! nail on the head. Process Critique is partly trying to rationalize occurrences, and partly a wine tasting party. What's more fun than that ?! :)

Stahlberg
07-29-2005, 06:55 PM
at the same time it amazes me that there are some really talented artists around here with great skills and knowledge as you are yet sticking to fewer styles.
I really like the first part, thanks! :) But if by the second part you mean that you think I should try abstract art, well that'll never happen. I make images with my feelings, not my brain - I use my brain ONLY as a tool for my feelings to express themselves as well as I can. I guess I'm just not smart or educated or discerning enough for abstract art.

You used wine-tasting as an example - good example. That's pretty much how I feel about the 0.001% of abstract art that's actually good - over my head. I can drink wine and I can like it (in very small doses, at the right occasion), but I can't love it and I can't critique it and I can't make it.

GeoGraphiX
07-31-2005, 02:35 AM
I can drink wine and I can like it (in very small doses, at the right occasion), but I can't love it and I can't critique it and I can't make it.


Very nice sayt,i think its something you need adleast art schooling for or something,
i think 99% would simply stare and ad the end say:"nice colours,what is it?"

like some ppl that are not formiluer to 3d and see a wireframe,would be excact or coming close to be the same adleast you can make out the forms in 3d,but in abstract its totaly diffrend.

this guy his abstract seems to vage,wail if seen some other abstract that i could really say,hey thats a chicken and thats a house.


Its ok to look ad abstract paintings for a wail,but i wouldn't make it my hobby,

plus ppl mixt in bad things could get a trip by allthose colourse :scream:

jamesdansereau
07-31-2005, 04:38 PM
There are alot of good points raised but heres my example. If you look at the meet the artist thread for Linda Bergkvist on page 5 she has some abstract visulations of 4 of her best friends. Now on there own you could make 5foot by 5 foot prints of theese and title them fred,joe,lori and samantha put Linda's signature on them and the would pass for abstract art and probally sell.

Or you could post them anonynouslmly and not in context and be mistaken for an untalented 12 year old.

The problem in general with abstract art alot of the times is that if it's not taken in context or explained its very hard for the viewer to understand what the artist is trying to evoke as an emotional response.

But art in general can be this way also. In the Van Gogh museum in amsterdam there is a small van gogh self portrait cant be bigger then like 6 by 6 inches. A floor up is another self portrait by another artist about the same size. If you take them seperately you say oh another self portrait by van gogh and upstairs oh a small self portrait. But if you knopw the story behind the pictures. That van gogh painted his self portrait and sent it to a friend as a gift to try and get his artist friend to come to this small village that he was painting at. And later the frieind came and painted a self portrait and gave it to Van Gogh as a return gift it takes what would otherwise be not so interesting art works and makes them fascinating.

I think this more so apply's to abstract art. And why at times it can be unpopular or over looked

ashakarc
07-31-2005, 04:43 PM
I make images with my feelings, not my brain - I use my brain ONLY as a tool for my feelings to express themselves as well as I can.

Feeling is a mind activity that calls the brain home ;)

I guess I'm just not smart or educated or discerning enough for abstract art.

I'm not sure what to make of that !! You and I know that this is far from being true. However, Abstract Art has less to do with education and intellectualism, rather with the desire to connect with abstract thoughts in the absence of meaning. In architecture, it is a Must to be able to connect with abstract ideas, and I think all other disciplines are the same. Math is an extreme example of that narrative.

You used wine-tasting as an example - good example. That's pretty much how I feel about the 0.001% of abstract art that's actually good - over my head. I can drink wine and I can like it (in very small doses, at the right occasion), but I can't love it and I can't critique it and I can't make it

0.001% is one in one hundred thousands ?!!
In anyway, every artist is free to do what they desire, I was just curious, and am still..

Stahlberg
07-31-2005, 06:07 PM
Feeling is a mind activity that calls the brain home
I'm sure you realise I mean different areas and different functions of the brain. Cogitation versus Sensation. Bach versus Beethoven perhaps (but I don't know that much about music either). Theroetical mathematics versus... I don't know, gourmet cooking?

Math is an extreme example of that narrative.
Yes, exactly, again a very good example. I suck so badly at math and abstract constructs that programmers would be excused for thinking I'm handicapped, or showing early signs of Alzheimers. But I've always been this way. I'm okay with "merchant's math", but you loose me with trig - and I've gone through periods of my life when I REALLY tried getting it too. Never mind trying to follow Sartre and Wittgenstein.

0.001% is one in one hundred thousands ?!!
See what I mean about me and math?
OTOH I expect I'd see about 1000 or so mediocre to terrible works for every good work of abstract art, if I spent a few weeks searching for it on the internet.

In anyway, every artist is free to do what they desire, I was just curious
Sure. I just answered for myself, not speaking for anyone else. :)

PerfectBlue
07-31-2005, 06:25 PM
Here is a question for you. Why do you think Abstract Art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_art) is not popular on these forums?
Filters = 'click click' art

At least that is what the majority of digital abstract is these days... a random assortment of filters. I am sure a few rare specimens shine through with real ability... but for the most part.. you don't need an artist's hand to make it.. so it is of less interest then other forms of digital arts.

jamesdansereau
07-31-2005, 06:28 PM
I had to actually pull this off my shelf to find the quote because this conversation reminded me of this.

" When Paris was liberated , he took a month long oral and written admission examination for ecole Normale amd Ecole polytechnique, despite his lack of preperation. Among other elements the test had a vegistigal examination in drawing, and Mandlebrot discovered a latent facility for copying the Venus de Milo. On the mathmatical section of the test - excersises in formal alegbra and intergrated analysis- he managed to hide his lack of training with the help of geometrical intuition. He had realized that, given an analytic problem, he could almost always think of it in terms of some shape in his mind. Given a shape, he could find ways of transforming it, altering its symmetries, making it more harmoniuos. Often the transformation led directly to a soloution of the analogous problem.

Describing Mandlebrot
James Gleick author "chaos Making a new science"

Dont know if that adds anything but the direction the conversation was headed directly reminded me of this a math guy thinking of abstract shapes to solve alegbra problems.

jmBoekestein
07-31-2005, 08:50 PM
I thought about it a little bit and I've concluded that abstract can be commented on. I find things like image composition and colour use and contrast all can be commented on to better the quality of the art.

I have some colour experiments which are pretty much abstract and I've seen a WIP lately which was abstract or somewhat surrealist I guess. Works fine, that can't be it.

Gord-MacDonald
08-01-2005, 06:11 AM
Most good abstract art is often preocupied with issues that cannot be translated into a digital format. Having said that, I suppose most good art, which was not intended to exist as a digital image probably isn't done justice on a computer screen.

Gord

dbclemons
08-01-2005, 04:22 PM
It would appear to me that the bulk of most website designs involve abstraction to a large degree; just in terms of layout, color, etc.

Most of the 60s Modernist period involved elements of texture, particularly in terms of how the paint was applied, as in the work of Clifford Still, Franz Kline, or Hans Hoffman. Seeing those on a computer screen would be underwhelming. A 10 foot wide Pollock painting on a 15 inch screen would be also. I think this digital medium may be too limiting in that sense.

-David

ashakarc
08-02-2005, 04:26 PM
It would appear to me that the bulk of most website designs involve abstraction to a large degree; just in terms of layout, color, etc.
-David

To a certain level, you may be right, but for the most of that work is considered as design. Design by itself could start with abstract ideas, but the most important thing that differentiate it from painting art is the function. With function, the association of the different elements of the work follows certain program of requirements. In web site design, you have the usability of the interface, and the programmability of whatever function in there.

With abstract there is a "construct", but stripped of direct signifier, unless symbols are used. I do prefer symbols in an abstract painting rather than an open invitation to the unknown and ambiguous.

With regard to the fitness to the computer screen, I don't see CG is necessarily limited to it. But, certainly sometimes there are a lot more details pronounced in an abstract painting that require it to be large enough to be seen.


Filters = 'click click' art

At least that is what the majority of digital abstract is these days... a random assortment of filters.


I'm not sure you can call that art neither those who do that are artists. Similarly, those who trace a photo and smudge the original pixels with a painterly look thinking they are being creative.

Hugh-Jass
08-03-2005, 05:04 AM
hey I don't want o rain on anyone's parade but ...


I personally find abstract art quite refreshing and have noticedthat it is really enjoyable...in real life with physical form...media, scale, depth texture etc....

and it is not all about process... I personally believe all art is about becoming lost in experiencing the piece

I don't think so much digital stuff lends itself to "fine art".... you are limited to experiencing it on monitors or projections.

face it what is on this site is predominantly sci-fi/fantasy book cover art. For a lot of us in this community that is what pays the bills..
personally I'd rather create art in traditional media... a glitch or a HD crash ain't gonna destroy my work... seeing work in true physical presence makes a big ole difference

I do thin kthat digital media can provide a n outlet for roughing out and planning before final executuiion because of the flexibility

those of you gluedto your monitors mighht find it worthwhile to get out into the real world , open studios, local galleries, museums and check out art

bonestructure
08-03-2005, 09:36 AM
My answer is simple and one people probably won't react well to. I simply dislike abstract art. I don't 'see' anything in it. I think it's produced by people who don';t have the talent to create representational art. I went through UCLA with my major being art, so it's not like I haven't been exposed to it. I had to sit through yawn inducing explanations of what this or that artist was trying to say when in my head my main thought was 'bullshit'. The use of color? I balance colors without even having to think about it. My main influences in art, even CG are the old masters and even more, the pre raphaelites and the illustrators of the 20s and 30s and 40s. My own art hasn't reached the level I want it to, but I am ainimg toward a pre raphaelite style adapted to 3D. Abstract art just isn't a part of my world.

PSR
08-03-2005, 10:49 AM
It seems to me that Hugh and Gord, have hit the mark. In that digital media, currently does not lend itself well to Abstract artistic expression.

Although many digital artists work in virtual 3d, the output is very much two dimensional. Screens and printed media have very uniform, flat surfaces.

Practitioners of the plastic arts have no such limitations. They can use textures and materials, that reference real world experience, in ways that are redolent and visceral. Abstract Art is meant to promote reverie, and facilitate deeply felt responses, that have something in common with reading poetry, or listening to music.

Remember, CG is an art form in its infancy. It's strength currently lies in providing purely visual realistic illusion, that augments and supports cinema and photography. In short, it is essentially an entertainment medium.

As to the reason why abstract is not popular here; Bonestructures answer probably gives as clear an indication as any.

John Keates
08-03-2005, 11:37 AM
Hey Bonestructure,

I know where you are coming from there. Art school is enough to put anyone of abstract art. The funny thing is that I have started to appreciated it more after leaving art school. I think that a lot of the abstract art that is shown in art history lessons is the stuff that is trying to be clever or inovative (pollock etc) wheras a lot of the best stuff is just trying to be "quite nice". Once you see abstract painting as just "quite nice" then you might one day see one which is "really quite nice". There are good abstract painters and bad abstract painters I think, but the good ones make paintings which people buy and put in their living room. The paintings on gallery walls are often the ones that people had to MARKET to sell. It is the marketing bulshit that gets in the way of good art and which gets paintings into history books... so we end up with a slanted view.

There is an un-written rule in the gallery world that says "never let the artist talk about their art". Gallery owners think they know best.

So I think that abstract art CAN be "quite nice" but the intellectual establishment wants it to be more than that (like poetry or music) - and that can ruin it to the extent that people end up hating it.

It is like... capitalism+art=bulshit.

evanfotis
08-03-2005, 12:54 PM
I'll chime in on this subject.
Yes abstract art IS far more difficult to understand and requires the observer to be visually educated for what this might mean.
Most people with no artistic background seek to find Familiar imagery to hang on in a painting, and thus and abstract form alienates them, it scares them 'cause they can't find any corresponding point.
True, nowdays, with the way the art stockmarket and galleries work, anyone can produce any kind of piece of crap, and then it might be promoted by the business as a work of a genius.
In abstract art, there are still points one can judge and consider irrelevant of just subjective taste: Composition, colour, etc, apply to all paintings iconic or abstact
The point is, an artist to be able to create abstraction out of strength and NOT out of weakness.
Knowing how to draw, proportions, anatomy etc, is the alphabet for an artist.
From then on he can free himself and create any art he is able of.
There is a distinction between a creator, and a craftsman, the latter being just a technician, very often lacking the inspiration of the creator.
Too much preccupation over technicality will loose the creative aspect.
The knowledge must be there but not as an end in itself ...

PSR
08-03-2005, 03:19 PM
To understand abstract art, you have to realise that Art has a cognitive function. Quite separate to its illustrative, commercial and political applications.

Something like the relationship that exists, between pure scientific research, (that most of us don't understand), and the technological spinoffs from that research, that we all enjoy.

Most of the conventions we see in Movies, illustration, CG, comics, advertising, everywhere. All make use, of discoveries made by artists, centuries ago. For example: 'one point perspective' discovered during the Renaissance. Controposto, see Michaelangelo 'David', Leonardo's Use of chiaroscuro (light and shade), and his discovery of the effect of using a 3 quarter view of the head, in portraiture. 'The Golden section', what many here know as the rule of thirds. And many other compositional devices that are in common, almost automatic usage today, were all discovered during the 15th century.

You see Art, just like Science, Philosophy and Theology, is something that human beings use, to create metaphors for reality. And the goal of art at that time was realism.

So, once the artistic representation of reality reached a zenith, did artists just stop, give themselves a pat on the back and say 'yes that's it. We've done it'. Not likely. Some realised it still was not good enough, that there is a lot more to reality, than describing a surface. After all no one ever walked into a room, looked at a painting and said, " Wow! I thought that was a real six inch high woman pouring milk into a bowl" (in this case"The Kitchen Maid" by Vermeer):

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/SK-A-2344?lang=en

It's more than 15 years since I graduated, so for the moment I just can't remember the name of the artist who toward the end of the 19th century. First noted that all paintings are abstract, no matter what you do, they remain no more than 'arrangements of colour next to one another'. If that's what a painting is, the challenge for some is to see what a painting can do, so to speak.

While most of what we see in every day use around us today, borrows ideas from the 15th century. Artists like Braque and Picasso early in the 20th century, were using multiple perspective views and multiple positions in time, in their images. Ideas paralleled by the Scientific thinking of the time, notably Einstein's theories concerning simultaneity and relativity.

Artists are still engaged in visual research. It's not always pretty or nice. But there are very often universal benefits to gained from the risks taken, and insights gained by artists engaged on that path.

LouisCho
08-03-2005, 03:29 PM
Maybe for the same reason that asian girls/orc & medieval art IS popular here.

ashakarc
08-04-2005, 04:58 PM
To understand abstract art, you have to realise that Art has a cognitive function. Quite separate to its illustrative, commercial and political applications.

Something like the relationship that exists, between pure scientific research, (that most of us don't understand), and the technological spinoffs from that research, that we all enjoy

How is cognitive function unique to abstraction? This function applies to all forms and styles of art and cannot be separated from the "illustrative" one. You are comparing two unrelated things here. In your comparison, you are suggesting that abstraction has no illustrative value, but purely cognitive. If that's what you meant, then it's incorrect.

Cognition is the experience of knowing. Every mental process can be cognitive. The non-visual differences between figurative art and abstract art lie in the way the spectator assimilate or interpret the reality with his/her own mind and based on past experience.

RoundRobbin
08-04-2005, 08:43 PM
some times figurative can't explain all subjects or themes, so artists use abstraction to communicate. Some artists can communicate visually while others can't. Abstract art is still new because their aren't any artists who could take it and expose it in a way to mass media. Abstract art doesn't have to be a singular 2d still but when it is it turns into an abstract 'fine-art' piece, which is cool.
Minds advanced, info is easily accessible, everyone in the world knows abstract art but would mind at times having to be surprisingly stare at a piece for longer than 15 minutes without being hi out of their minds. abstract art isn't the type of art that gets or dare i say should be taken advantage of everyday by the populous, because it tires and drains people. It's like going camping and staring at the campfire, it makes you think and wonder and visualise and your in bliss, than you wake up the next day with sore eyes and brain forgetting most of the vortex of deep meditative thoughts and sights displayed by the source of abstraction.

~le durt
----
Thank you, thank you....thank you...please, no need for applause...just throw money

CodeNothing
08-05-2005, 10:23 PM
Abstract (and modern fine art) is the masturbation of artists. Your only pleasing yourself and a few wierdos that are into watching you do it -> (the 'educated' art world)

abstract is just the simplification of everything you learn in your first year of art school. Composition, color theory, texture, mood... blah blah blah.

so the thing you do is, learn all the rules, but dont apply them to anything! Then you just get exaples of well thought out color and composition. In case you didnt notice im not a fan of modern art. Art is about communication, and abstract is a very weak language.

PSR
08-06-2005, 12:33 AM
[QUOTE=ashakarc]How is cognitive function unique to abstraction? This function applies to all forms and styles of art and cannot be separated from the "illustrative" one. You are comparing two unrelated things here. In your comparison, you are suggesting that abstraction has no illustrative value, but purely cognitive. If that's what you meant, then it's incorrect.QUOTE]

It's not unique to abstraction.

The point is, that all art, and science for that matter is abstract. The cognitive function, (and it is only one function of the visual arts), lies in our need to understand and describe our world, and experience.

It is the realisation that the art objects that we create, are in fact just that. Objects in their own right, just like other objects, man made or natural.

Paintings or sculptures, no matter how realistic they appear, are only what they are. In the case of painting, an arrangement of colours and marks next to each other on canvas. This is what led to the development of what is now termed abstract art.

the realistic representation of things, in art, ( i.e., describing the surface appearance of things ), has gone as far as it can go. We know now, that how we feel about things, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically, is as important to the way we understand our world, as how things appear to us.

Abstraction is an addition, or rather an expansion of the vast lexicon available for artistic expression. Not by any means a replacement or threat to what's gone before.

jmBoekestein
08-06-2005, 02:21 AM
Abstract (and modern fine art) is the masturbation of artists. Your only pleasing yourself and a few wierdos that are into watching you do it -> (the 'educated' art world)

Well this sort of attitude prevents any sort of serious arguements doesn't it. I'll just give it a go.

It's been proven that certain colours give the viewer certain emotional responses, the careful variations and choice of placement would be an art.

I'd argue the simpel depiction of a dude holding a gun would be masturbation since it strikes no more than a level of testosteron. :curious:

RoundRobbin
08-06-2005, 05:08 AM
[QUOTE=ashakarc]
Abstraction is an addition, or rather an expansion of the vast lexicon available for artistic expression. Not by any means a replacement or threat to what's gone before.

i'm Gonna have to Go Ahead and Add ThaT to My LibrarY of quotes BuddyBoyyyyy

Hugh-Jass
08-06-2005, 05:33 AM
copied and pasted from wikipedia

Abstract art is now generally understood to mean art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art) that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses shapes and colours in a non-representational or non-objective way. In the very early 20th century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_century), the term was more often used to describe art, such as Cubist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubism) and Futurist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurism_%28art%29) art, that does represent the natural world, but does so by capturing something of its immutable intrinsic qualities rather than by imitating its external appearance. See Abstraction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstraction).

Abstract pattern making has an ancient history dating back to the earliest decorations on textiles, pottery and so on. However, the idea that the arrangement of shapes and colours is not simply to be understood as design (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design), but as fine art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art) dates from the nineteenth century when photography began to make the illustrative function of visual art obsolete. Even before the widespread use of photography some artists, such as James McNeill Whistler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McNeill_Whistler) were placing greater emphasis on visual sensation than the depiction of objects. Whistler argued that art should concern itself with the harmonious arrangement of colours, just as music deals with the harmonious arrangement of sounds. Whistler's painting Nocturne in Black and Gold (1875) is often seen as a major move towards abstraction. Later artists such as Wassily Kandinsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky) argued that modern science dealt with dynamic forces, revealing that matter was ultimately spiritual in character. Art should display the spiritual forces behind the visual world. Wassily Kandinsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky) and Kasimir Malevich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasimir_Malevich) are generally seen as the first fully abstract artists. Kandinky's art is sometimes called 'soft edged', while Malevich's is 'hard edged'. This distinction is repeated in later abstract artists. The blurred, dynamic lines and colors used by Kandinsky developed into Abstract Expressionism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_Expressionism), while the use of overlapping or interacting geometrical forms is found in the work of Piet Mondrian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian) and many later artists such as the op artists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Op_art) of the 1960s.

To quote abstract artist, Robert Stark, "Every day is a test of each painting's ability to stand on its own. Each painting is subject to being changed, to being reworked or scraped and repainted as long as it remains in the studio. Where I often used to spend weeks on a painting, attempting to 'make a picture,' now my concerns are more about the energy of light, the mass of space, the emotions of shadows. I want the painting to meet the viewer somewhere in the middle, where the viewer brings his own experiences to bear in understanding and feeling what he is seeing.

I want my paintings to achieve the complexity and density of poetry or of a symphony, to build suggestive layers, implicit felt meaning, not merely to be entertaining bit of color to seduce the eye. I want my paintings to be accessible to children as well as adults, and to be so simply and directly painted that it shows the act of painting for the joy and excitement of it.

Proof is in the viewing."

CodeNothing
08-06-2005, 08:01 AM
Well this sort of attitude prevents any sort of serious arguements doesn't it. I'll just give it a go.

It's been proven that certain colours give the viewer certain emotional responses, the careful variations and choice of placement would be an art.

I'd argue the simpel depiction of a dude holding a gun would be masturbation since it strikes no more than a level of testosteron. :curious:

I TOTALY agree that certain colors, shapes, textures can make the viewer experience certain sensations just by simply viewing them. BUT!.....

if i go to a gallery, on one wall, i nail up a flat 5ft by 5ft canvas painted cadmium red...

and on the other wall, a 5ft by 5ft canvas painted red with a sinister figure staring into the eyes of the viewer....

the viewers that come to the gallery will spend 99% of there time looking at the canvas with the figure. The other canvas (just red) is BORING! yes it still gives the viewer that sense of anger, and foreboding... but the canvas with the figure gives that same emotion X10 because there is something to read in it they can identify with.

both paintings used the same process of emotion (color) but the figure piece gave more.

so yes, i UNDRESTAND abstract art, i know how to read it,(i went to art center) i just dont like it. I dont see the point in puting that much effort into art work that 90% of the population doesnt give a crap about. Unless you are only doing i for yourself (more power to you) just dont be offended when the 'un-educated' public hates your stuff. we grew up with leonardo and norman rockwell, 3 blue squares and one red cercle cant compete.

mangual
08-06-2005, 08:37 AM
Abstract (and modern fine art) is the masturbation of artists. Your only pleasing yourself and a few wierdos that are into watching you do it -> (the 'educated' art world)

Well, in my opinion art SHOULD BE about pleasing yourself. Do you make your art to please others? If so that is your choice. But last time I checked masturbation was fun (so I hear, hehe) and if creating the kind of art you personally enjoy is the same thing, then I say: wack away!

Abstract art is one of the bestselling genres. It is featured in thousands of galleries around the world and is a favorite choice by people to decorate large portions of the walls at homes, hotels, etc.

Apparently it's more than just a few "weirdos" that enjoy it.

Just like some people enjoy instrumental music with no singing, (like me) others love rap music. Every artform brings it's own level of stimuli. Some allow for more interpretation than others. Whether you are educated about art or not is not a factor. You can appreciate abstract art either for the deeper meaning or just for looking pretty. It's up to the viewer!

Shaidar
08-06-2005, 09:06 AM
if i go to a gallery, on one wall, i nail up a flat 5ft by 5ft canvas painted cadmium red...

and on the other wall, a 5ft by 5ft canvas painted red with a sinister figure staring into the eyes of the viewer....



A sinister figure. Wow that is original! :hmm: Very cliched if you ask me...

The figure tells the viewer what to see and feel. It doesn't let them imagine, it smacks them and says, "feel this!".

The red canvas (or another abstract work) sits on the wall and exists. Instead of telling the viewer what to think, it merely asks them a question. It allows each and every viewer to use their own imagination and intuition to get their own unique feeling about the piece. Some may get a negative reaction about the piece, some a positive. But at least it is multi-dimensional and can be interpreted different ways.

The sinister figure reminds me of popular culture horror films. They just uses cliches built up over the past 100 years of cinema to make the viewer feel a certain way. The sinister figure or a bad horror film doesn't try and expand their conciousness or let them see the world in a slightly different and new way. It works on the surface level of emotion and feeling. There are so many different ways to touch a viewer, why limit yourself to something so obvious?

When I go to an art gallery I want to be moved, challenged, inspired, and changed. I want to see new, exciting and different works of art that challenge or enlighten me about my existence as a human being. I want my conciousness to be expanded. I don't want to be smacked and told something I already know.

To me, that is what art is about.

RoundRobbin
08-06-2005, 10:02 AM
lmao guys,

The best abstract painting vs the best figurative.?? Even Da'vinci would be elated to see the artworld flurish in diverse genres.

Figurative is easy to expand and learn from. I would like to call it, external art.
But abstract takes a lot of thinking, sometimes no thinkling at all and freestyle gestures fueled from a natural source from within. I would like to call it, internal art.

Even when 99 percent of the accepted,figurative art we see today people easily accept because of its simplistic nature of communication, which helps refine the art craft.

Abstract takes an artist of fine understanding to perform 'its' task. To look at art and master one thing based on its external features and not-more-so on the distinction of honing beauty for display is bad judment by an artist. Abstract has this workout for artistic devolopment. Just as figurative is for honing external skills. We as artists should praise those that seek to master and create abstract art. Although not wholly accepted by the masses because of its foreign language, it should be wholly supported.

No different than endangered animals, we fear endangering the heirarchy of Art itself by not maintaining a balance of perfection for our Craft, as artists and as a people, because we chose by some impluse not to chart the deep dark waters other branches of ART has to offer us.

Baker17
08-06-2005, 10:09 AM
hi there,
just started reading the topic, and some very good points too and for abstract. i for one, dont hold any credit towards abstract art. but i will say this, art reflects life, it always has. through our experiences in this life, wedepict visually our state within ourselves. and if you look at the world today, never before has it been in more chaos than in todays day and age, and it is no wonder thatmany artists chose to depict ugliness...even thoug, yes by cleverly deciding what colours and where to put them, may make it art. it is however, a representation of us as people. when i paint realisticaly, i also, cleverly arrange colours, and shapes, but i also have to consider nature, anatomy, light, form...these (in my opinion) are far more beautiful to depict, and are far more skilled to do and appreciate, than a slap dash, point point of the paintbrush. i beleive the true masters of our time, can be found here, nbot in galleries, my family has been in art for many generations, and i dont really enjoy galleries anymore, cause of the fact above, we've become so shallow, and simple, that that is what art is depicting today.

Adriana
08-06-2005, 08:16 PM
I think really that the digital media lends itself more to doing more fantasy and rendering, a more 'landscape of the mind' (for lack of a better description i have) a visual story telling that is quite different, more dimensional than the pure abstract. Just my 2 cents.
Adri

¬me noire
08-06-2005, 10:00 PM
I don't think Abstract Art is unpopular at all. Tell people to tell the names of traditional artists and I bet Picasso would be in 80 % of the answers.

In my opinion digitally based art is not art in the most cases at the moment, because of it's figurative speech. The main goal appears to me to achieve realism with digital media. But the whole digital-art thing is going in a more artistic direction. If you compare the digital art made 5 years ago you notice a big difference. Today there are much more abstract elements, still mixed with figurative art, in the most well-known works. I think this is a process from craft to art which digital art is doing at the moment. Give 5 more years and we will see extraordinary abstract art based on 3D-techniques, maybe there will develop another form of abstract art based on 3-dimensional primitives (the teapot for example :) ).

So we can conclude that there is not much interest in art at all, not specifically in Abstract Art.

BTW: Look at this painting of Max Ernst and tell me if you would look more at the gloomy figurative guy on the other wall, and which picture would you enjoy longer looking at ?
http://art.gothic.ru/paint/ernst/show_e.htm?silence.jpg
(http://art.gothic.ru/paint/ernst/show_e.htm?silence.jpg)

Stahlberg
08-06-2005, 11:59 PM
But that's not abstract...

ashakarc
08-07-2005, 12:17 AM
I don't think Abstract Art is unpopular at all. Tell people to tell the names of traditional artists and I bet Picasso would be in 80 % of the answers.

Is this guy (Picasso) still in business? I thought he was banned long time ago from CGTalk ;) and double ;) to Mods.

¬me noire
08-07-2005, 04:56 AM
@Stahlberg: You could argue about that, but the replace it with http://www.andriaroberto.com/Vassily%20Kandinsky%20-%20Nel%20blu.jpg

@ashakarc: Yes, I met him yesterday at my Poker-Night with Newton :)

CodeNothing
08-07-2005, 09:40 PM
A sinister figure. Wow that is original! :hmm: Very cliched if you ask me...

The figure tells the viewer what to see and feel. It doesn't let them imagine, it smacks them and says, "feel this!".

The red canvas (or another abstract work) sits on the wall and exists. Instead of telling the viewer what to think, it merely asks them a question. It allows each and every viewer to use their own imagination and intuition to get their own unique feeling about the piece. Some may get a negative reaction about the piece, some a positive. But at least it is multi-dimensional and can be interpreted different ways.

The sinister figure reminds me of popular culture horror films. They just uses cliches built up over the past 100 years of cinema to make the viewer feel a certain way. The sinister figure or a bad horror film doesn't try and expand their conciousness or let them see the world in a slightly different and new way. It works on the surface level of emotion and feeling. There are so many different ways to touch a viewer, why limit yourself to something so obvious?

When I go to an art gallery I want to be moved, challenged, inspired, and changed. I want to see new, exciting and different works of art that challenge or enlighten me about my existence as a human being. I want my conciousness to be expanded. I don't want to be smacked and told something I already know.

To me, that is what art is about.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The abstract post:

warm dark
pain
cry cold sleep
cloth
sharp flower joint
random face cloud
week realm assosite
que drag bags
curls eyes blue an
dress firefly moon
night winter fall brown
earth snow cold
kiss wave fly
visit beep cry
gasp cough
pain sleep
sleep pain
beep
tone
death.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have just told you the story of ones life through an abstract method. True, its unique, and stimulates the mind. But i prefer to read novels or short stories. Or as you may call them 'cliche' forms of writing.
So everyone who reads this post will have their own reaction to it and think about a different story to the life i have shown you. But is that good art? If art is communication why did everyone come up with a different meaning for what i said? If i say to the viewer "COW" americans think 'dinner' while hindu think 'gods'. so as an artist what have i communicated? If the point is to make all think something different then does it matter what we were trying to say in the first place?

This is why i think abstract is a poor language for art. Although i will say a good muse for artists. I have made many abstract pieces. But I would never deliver them as 'work' because i made them to act as muses for my illustration. They help me explore possibilities and streingthin my illustration. So in this i can appreciate abstract.

CodeNothing
08-07-2005, 09:50 PM
In my opinion digitally based art is not art in the most cases at the moment, because of it's figurative speech. The main goal appears to me to achieve realism with digital media.

anything the self-proclaimed artists has labeled as his/her art IS art.

Michelangelo's ceiling = ART
a pile of dirt in a gallery = ART

but just because its art, doesnt make it good art.

vikkie
08-07-2005, 10:14 PM
well, if i'm not in the mood for thinking, admiring or anything about the frame on my wall, i'll probably go for an abstract. For decoration of course. There are objects at my cave that are here just for decoration's sake, i don't want to look at them and think anything, or they don't have to mean deep, profound stuff to me. It's just a matter of taste i suppose. As for abstracts arts worth; well if a "weirdo" puts a handful of mud on a plastic handcuff...not for my taste. Just my 2 cents.

¬me noire
08-08-2005, 05:15 AM
anything the self-proclaimed artists has labeled as his/her art IS art.

...

but just because its art, doesnt make it good art.

I think that is a deep philosophical issue, in your opinion it's art because a self-proclaimed artist labeled his/her art for himself/herself as art. My point of view is, that art is art if it can stand my hard and unfair criteria of art. Maybe we should talk first about what we consider as art :). Good and bad art are just solely based on taste.

vijil
08-09-2005, 12:06 PM
The problem with debating the meaning of "art" is that it almost always leads nowhere. It's all very well to say that a pile of dirt on the street that someone decided was art is art because the person considered their interpretation of it to be somehow artful, but that is ultimately unhelpful. If you really want to push that view, then the concepts to which the word "art" refer become so diluted, varied and uncertain that the word itself becomes meaningless. When that happens, we basically have to invent a new word. Either that or become a postmodern deconstructionist (or something equally imo silly). Debating the difference between "good" and "bad" art is much the same. I would say that art is the result of an attempt to get more out of something than is really there, whether through representation, camera angle and lens, the shape of some clay, or random colours on a monitor. It's when you deliberately infuse meaning into something that wasn't there before.

To the initial poster: I would contest that in a sense, abstract art is very popular on this site, only perhaps in a different way to what you would expect. Many, indeed probably most if not all of the works on this site involve abstractualisation. When you refer to abstract art, you are rather reffering to art which is considerably more abstract than anything else here. The design of a future cityscape involves forms which are abstract in the sense that they are as they are for almost purely aesthetic reasons. If you'd agree that pure abstract art is in essence the pursuit of various aesthetic effects independent of representation, then you should see where I'm coming from. Sci fi or fantasy art, to me, sits somewhere between photographic representation and abstract art. That's a large part of what makes it interesting. It bridges a gap between the two worlds, and that could also explain why "normal" everyday people without a huge art knowledge can find it so fascinating.

Personally, I find that the most amazing abstract art is that produced by a child drawing patterns with some felt tips, and not trying for anything in particular. Abstract works by the "masters" tend to strike me as somehow snobby and elitist.

hmmf... looks like Ame Noire sortof beat me to my point.

myth4life
08-15-2005, 06:10 PM
Just to give you all an idea where I am coming from I graduated bit a BFA in painting and decided to go back to school at Gnomon for the cert. My Undergrad in painting was pretty wide and accepting of all painting directions especially abstract and they spent little time teaching very sharp drawing/rendering techiques in an authoritative way. What they did stress however is the importance of formal issues in art regardless of medium.

Attending Gnomon I noticed noone ever talked about Cy Twombly or William DeKooning but I always thought that it was due to the fact that design and illustration is what is stressed not art. As a matter of fact I could almost quote Feng as saying in an early class that in Concept you wont be hired to create art you are hired as a designer-to create designs to which you will own 0%. However the awesome people on this site, at Gnomon, around the net pretty much all stress composition, design..etc first and foremost to whether it is loose or tight in the end. Those are the formal issues composition, design, color usage, value. That is what abstract art is. The painting either is a well composed piece or it is not regardless of realism or reference to objects or complete lack thereof.

I don't know but part of why I am an artist is that I covet color. (perhaps am little dull in the head) Sometimes I wonder but a great application of color can entertain me for a long time....and when you start using color's in relationships forget it as good as sex sometimes. But that's just me. I am pretty dissapointed at the lack of conversation and debate on abstract artists and issues. I guess I will remain a closet admirer of Cy Twombly's delicate scratchy flirtation with written language and Hans Hoffman's push pull or vice versa.

Oh well...

jfrancis
08-17-2005, 04:18 PM
There's also the sucategory in representational, figurative art between "highbrow" and "lowbrow"

http://laweekly.com/ink/02/08/art-harvey.php

On Lowbrow Art...

"One of the dark secrets of The Art World is that a majority of art students beginning their professional training, when asked who their favorite contemporary artists are, will name one Lowbrow practitioner or another. A great deal of energy is invested in disabusing them of such notions"

On Figurative Art...

"Many arguments that rage on the fringes of The Art World are central to Lowbrow: most conspicuously the polarization of the figurative versus the . . . well, the non-figurative. People want to look at pictures of people doing stuff."

On Making Money...

"Not only do Lowbrow shows seem to sell out faster and more frequently than their TAW equivalents, but Lowbrow artists routinely move lithographs in quantities and at prices unthinkable to most printmakers in TAW. They often get illustration gigs based on their signature styles, and there is an entire industry imprinting their imagery onto T-shirts, purses, Zippo lighters, appointment books, calendars, jewelry, light fixtures, furniture, dishware, etc."

http://laweekly.com/ink/02/08/art-harvey.php

cshanks
08-17-2005, 08:16 PM
I heard that they made the model for the Millenium Falcon with parts from other model kits. They had the base model set up in the studio and had the crew randomly place pieces on it until the modelers thought it was done.

Rell
08-20-2005, 05:34 PM
The views and comments presented in this thread have thoroughly stimulated my mind. Thank you all. :applause:

Stahlberg
08-21-2005, 05:25 AM
Cy Twombly
William de Kooning
Hans Hoffman

The first two only confirm to me why I don't like (most) abstract art. Though I try, as always, to have an open mind - they simply bore the crap out of me. I can almost feel my inspiration and joy of living slowly draining away as I look at them. Of course I realize there's a historical context, life's work, awards won... but that only gains my respect - not my interest. If you can find something to like in it, that's great, more power to you.

Hans Hoffman on the other hand, actually used color in a MOST delicious way. His compositional skills are superior too.
I covet color
I do too, I know exactly what you mean... that's why it's such a pity abstract art usually uses color so horribly. (And the other elements of good design as well.)

Keep posting examples of your favorite abstract artist, and maybe we'll all learn something here in spite of ourselves. :)

ekah
08-21-2005, 08:45 PM
To answer the question by the original poster of the thread, I think abstract art can be compared to someone else's incoherent dreams or consciousness. Dreams are very abstract and are often incoherent except to the dreamer himself, and most people find their own dreams interesting. But most people find listening to someone else's dreams very boring, I'm one of them. If I can visualize someone else's dream or consciousness in a recognizable form, I may find it interesting. (e.g. Dali's paintings could be someone's dream) Scribbles and scratches just don't work for me. I've had 4 years of formal art education which gave me enough training to appreciate abstract art, but it never did anything for me personally. I'm not saying that scribbles, scratches, and drips don't have a place in the art world, it's just that I don't get it. And to those who do get it, good for you.

Have you ever heard of atonal music? Music is already abstract, but atonal music is, well, very abtract, and I just don't get it. I would equate it to Cy Twombly's work.

More famous abstract painter for reference:
Mark Rothko (http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_works_138_0.html)

regards,

PSR
08-22-2005, 01:06 AM
Hey, steady on people.

Granted, abstract art isn't everybody's cup of tea. And certainly no one can be expected to like everything. But, 'scribbles and scratches', 'joy of living slowly draining away'. I mean really, it's a bit strong isn't it?

Firstly let me say, anyone who can be fascinated by the colours and textures of Lichen and mosses growing on a stone wall. Or anyone who can appreciate the richness of rusted steel plate that's been weathered and scratched. If you've ever been entranced by the dappled patterns of sunlight on a forest floor. You can appreciate abstract art. It's simply a question of context and expectation.

Do not expect a message or a story, there isn't one. Do expect the sheer sensual pleasure that is paint, and marks and textures and colours. Forget about trying to figure it out, enjoy and accept the invitation to simple reverie.

One of my very favourite paintings is: 'The Kitchen Maid' by Vermeer. I have only seen it twice in my entire life. If you are not lucky enough to have seen this painting first hand. Take my word for it, it is one of the most profoundly beautiful manmade objects there is. And any reproduction of it does not convey any thing of it's sheer physical beauty. I remember distinctly, its effect on me, seeing it for the first time.
I have only had a similar reaction to paintings, two or three times since.
One time, was not long after seeing the Vermeer. It was a retrospective exhibition showing the work of Mark Rothco. I was totally overwhelmed by these extraordinary paintings. A student at the time. I had very little money, but remember buying the very expensive exhibition catalogue, hoping I could relive the experience once, the exhibition closed. That catalogue did not get opened very often, after an initial viewing. Fortunately we have a few marvellous Rothco's at the Tate gallery, which I visit often.
Another time was at the Whitechapel Gallery, here in London. Another retrospective, this time of the artist: Cy Twombly. These paintings are utterly beautiful, deeply moving. I left that exhibition feeling massively enriched. Again, I bought the catalogue, I'll never learn. I long to see paintings by Cy Twombly again.

Abstract painting and indeed painting in general, can never be popular, because paint is not a mass medium. And so relatively few people ever get to see them. Paintings simply cannot be reproduced using current printing technology. However paintings with a strong figurative and narrative content, do survive better than most. Which is probably why they have the greatest influence. But I think it's true to say, that no painting was ever improved by reproduction.

Here are a couple of links if anyone is inclined. They are for couple of really good contemporary Abstract painters: Sean Scully and Howard Hodgkin. If there is ever an exhibition of their work near you. do go along and take a look.

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/scully_sean.html

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/hodgkin_howard.html

Shaidar
08-22-2005, 01:21 AM
Well said PSR. I agree completely!

I find the beauty in some of the simplest things. Just sitting down and staring at a patch of grass, or the bark of a tree and letting yourself be absorbed by it can be enthralling. I'm not talking exciting in a traditional mental state, but in a more meditative absorbing state. It isn't about having a certain outer mental reaction, but more a subtle and inner reaction.

Stahlberg
08-22-2005, 04:09 AM
Again, Sean Scully I really like (from these examples anyway), very yummy.
Hodgkins hm not so sure about...

I 'live' through my eyes. That's why looking at things my brain classifies ugly or boring, or both, makes me feel actually and physically bad... that's why I say things like "joy of living draining" etc. That's what it feels like to me - clinical depression. On the other hand, looking at something I like, I feel inspired, my spirit lifts, my skin tingles, heart and chest expands... you get the picture. :) It's a physiological reaction on a basic level, and nothing I think can affect it. I might as well try to tell my tongue that lemon is salty.

I guess I'm just very picky. I love sensual brushstrokes too. But I just don't see them in most abstract art. Dry media on hard slippery gesso or whatever ground is on the canvas can never be sensual to me. It has to be wet-in-wet, preferrably oil but acrylic and gouache will work too in experienced hands. Watercolor is very tricky, only a true master can control it, so you very rarely see that sensuality there. My 2 cents.

edit:
staring at a patch of grass
Yes, I've done this too. My personal favorite is clouds. But imo comparing abstract art to nature Herself is (usually) like comparing 70's video-games to HD TV... :)

ashakarc
08-22-2005, 08:36 AM
Again, Sean Scully I really like (from these examples anyway), very yummy.
Hodgkins hm not so sure about...

I 'live' through my eyes. That's why looking at things my brain classifies ugly or boring, or both, makes me feel actually and physically bad... that's why I say things like "joy of living draining" etc. That's what it feels like to me - clinical depression. On the other hand, looking at something I like, I feel inspired, my spirit lifts, my skin tingles, heart and chest expands... you get the picture. :) It's a physiological reaction on a basic level, and nothing I think can affect it. I might as well try to tell my tongue that lemon is salty.

I guess I'm just very picky. I love sensual brushstrokes too. But I just don't see them in most abstract art. Dry media on hard slippery gesso or whatever ground is on the canvas can never be sensual to me. It has to be wet-in-wet, preferrably oil but acrylic and gouache will work too in experienced hands. Watercolor is very tricky, only a true master can control it, so you very rarely see that sensuality there. My 2 cents.

Do you really prefer Plato over Aristotle? or Goethe over Sartre? or Delacroix over Cezanne? My guess would be yes ;)

ekah
08-22-2005, 04:58 PM
Firstly let me say, anyone who can be fascinated by the colours and textures of Lichen and mosses growing on a stone wall. Or anyone who can appreciate the richness of rusted steel plate that's been weathered and scratched. If you've ever been entranced by the dappled patterns of sunlight on a forest floor. You can appreciate abstract art. It's simply a question of context and expectation.

PSR, I must say that if I was arguing a case for Abstract Expressionism, I couldn't have said it better. I was trying to debate what you've said in my head and came to the conclusion that I would be contradicting myself in doing so. I'm quite delighted that this is the case. I will give you a bit of why I came to this conclusion. At least, I think I owe you one after the last post about "scribbles, scratches, and drips". ;) I may develop a renewed appreciation for abstract art. This does not mean that I will like Twombly's work, just that I am going to be more open-minded about it.

I appreciate and am moved by nature more than any painting or photograph can offer. I love looking at a piece of decaying treebark, a back alley wall with piss and rust stains on it, fungus growing on some left-over food (wierd choice, I know), light at dusk or at dawn. For me, these moments are experiences that can't be duplicated in any form of art. Yet, we all try in vain to recreate it, both through representational or abstract art. I don't know how many paintings or photographs I've seen of sunsets, yet they just don't do justice to the real thing. So, why is it that I accept representational paintings that recreate reality that is inferior to the real thing and not okay for abstract art to do the same? I didn't have an answer to that except that I just preferred representational paintings over abstract.

Abstract paintings do require quite a bit of effort on my part for me to appreciate them. This usually means undoing my education (art before the 20th century) and throwing away any preconceived ideas about art. It's more of an intellectual exercise for me than it is emotional. I guess you could also argue that it's pure emotional and not intellectual. Because I respond to representational art more, I tend to look for evidence of recognizable forms in abstract art, and this is where I go wrong. Once I don't find these recognizable forms, I get pissed off and feel cheated by the artist. I am telling you honestly what goes through my head when looking at abstract art.

I don't know if you own any copies of EXPOS…. To me, a lot of what was labeled "Abstract" in the EXPOS… series didn't qualify as 'abstract'. I didn't really know or understand what the images represented, and it didn't matter, but I really responded to them. I really liked Tim Borgmann's shapes, and I also liked Neil Blevin's 'Alternative Birth'.

I respond to Rothko's paintings for its pure simplicity more than your other examples. However, Rothko's paintings do not move me the way Vermeer's "The Kitchen Maid" does. I did have the opportunity to see it at the Rijksmuseum. That was the highlight of my trip to Amsterdam. I also respond to Egon Schiele (http://images.google.com/images?q=Egon+Schiele&num=20&hl=en&lr=lang_en&rls=GGLC,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&sa=N&tab=ii&oi=imagest)'s figure drawings more than de Kooning's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_De_Kooning) "Woman V".

Anyhow, I enjoy these discussions regardless of disagreements and some cage rattling. ;) It's a great food for the mind.

Thank you, and cheers,


More abstract artist links:

Koko (the gorilla) (http://www.koko.org/world/art_emotional.html) I actually like these because they were done by Koko, a lovely gorilla. Here, I am totally prejudiced, and I make no apologies. ;)

ashakarc
08-22-2005, 09:51 PM
Here is one of my favourite Abstract Artists from Iraq (proudly my home country), who inspired me so much during my studies of architecture. He held a slide show in our school for a full hour, we all thought that they were his paintings, to our surprise, they were photographs of minute elements in our surrounding environments like a door rust under the knob, a dirt on a leaf, a reflection over the metal window frame, etc.. Unfortunately, non of it is posted on his web gallery, but I will ask him if he can send me some and I will post it here.

In the meantime, here are some samples of his work and his URL www.rafanasiri.com (http://www.rafanasiri.com/)

http://www.rafanasiri.com/images01/020.jpg

http://www.rafanasiri.com/images01/068.jpg

http://www.rafanasiri.com/images01/058.jpg

http://www.rafanasiri.com/images01/067.jpg

Stahlberg
08-23-2005, 03:50 AM
Yes! That's what I'm talkin about, right there :)
I love it

Shaidar
08-23-2005, 04:08 AM
Yes! That's what I'm talkin about, right there :)
I love it

So I guess what this proves is that abstract art, just like every other form of art is entirely subjective in its appeal :) Some works of art just click and make you go wow, others don't. I don't think it is anything to do with abstract art in particular, but just the fact that different people like different things.

Personally I don't gain that much pleasure from viewing certain realist styles/genres/themes, but I can say the same for certain abstract works. However, I try to still appreciate them as works of art, no matter what my personal reaction is. I can have my personal reaction, but that doesn't in any way change their status or worth as a piece of art. It may even be the point of the artist to create an image that people just don't like aesthetically, challenging the concept of what beauty is in art.

Mrpeanut2
08-26-2005, 08:13 AM
Why doesn't some one just come out and say it. Abstract art is really easy to do compared to realism.

Shaidar
08-26-2005, 08:42 AM
Righhtt.. Pretty broad statement there. Where's your evidence and argument? Have you got some extremely successful abstract works of your own that you can show us that were just "so easy to do"?

As you can see from those abstract pieces which were just posted ^^^, there is an enormous amount of skill and technique involved in creating them. There is a plethora of techniques, skill and artistry involved in creating abstract work. When you come back to the basic principles of art - composotion and color, you find that successful abstract and realist works share the same common qualities. Color, tones, balance, framing, composition, symmetry, rendering, the list goes on and on. When you think about it, each artist is using color to represent a certain shape or form. In its essence (I'm talking removing yourself from your literal analytical view of an object), everything is abstract, a tiny bit of skin, or the bark on a tree.

It just comes back to people finding it easier to compare a realistic artwork to what they have seen with their own eyes. When they can compare and critique they can easily make judgements about "how hard it was to make". Abstract work is not based on reality, but is more based around emotions, intuition, and the subconscious. How can you judge something on "technical skill" when it is another persons emotions or subconcious?

Art is about far more than "how hard" it is to depict some scene.

Also, if abstract is just "so easy to do" why would so many incredibly talented modern artists shift from realism to abstraction? Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock et al. There must be a reason :)

SpeccySteve
08-26-2005, 04:39 PM
Why doesn't some one just come out and say it. Abstract art is really easy to do compared to realism.

http://img283.imageshack.us/img283/2923/trollcopy6vd.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

bt3d
08-29-2005, 08:31 AM
I'm impressed by the interesting discussion here. It goes much deeper than I expected and I'm surprised about the fact how deeply the argument chains are build. Unfortunately my english isn't as good as it should be and to be honest I would have even problems to describe it in german well. But anyway, I will try to do my best. So here are some thoughts about abstract art:

First to the viewers point of view: I personaly think you don't need any education to view and 'understand' abstract art. As mentioned many times in the thread, you just have to be open minded. What I mean is (and that's the reason why I put ' ' around the word understand), if you can enjoy looking at structures, colors and so on in nature you can enjoy and understand abstract art also. In my opinion understanding abstract art doesn't mean to ask the question 'What does the artist mean?' or 'What's the deeper intention of the image?'. It's the ability to enjoy viewing at things. If an image fascinate us and we feel the wish to take a second or longer look, we maybe classify it as art. Maybe we also can describe why we like it (forms, colors, composition), but that's not decisive for enjoying it.
As a viewer your brain will try to compare the viewed things/forms to things it knows. That's a basic first step. As the well known example of viewing figures in clouds 'ah, there is a ship and there is a face or a dog or whatever'.
But I personaly think this is only the first step, the step where our brain tries to understand it through comparing it to known things. The second step is much harder to describe, because here it comes to emotions. I don't want to go in depth here, but I personaly thinks at this step your brain starts to compare things on a deeper level where it works less figurative and doesn't try to create a bridge to visual reality. In some cases there maybe is no first step and you can dive into an image directly.

So as a conclusion all you have to do is to look at an image (in the best case without any prejudices). If it attracts you, fine, you will take a longer look and maybe dive into it, enjoy it. If it doesn't attracts you, also fine, don't think it has to attract you because it fascinates other people or there is a big story around the image/artist. This is maybe useful for analysing the image in an academical context but not really important for enjoying it. If the image appeal to you, you will ask for further informations by yourself if you think you need them.

In my opinion a reason why mainy people say they don't like abstract art is they feel forced to like/understand it. The fact it hangs in a musseum or many people say that's a great piece of art and so on, can't be a criteria to judge an image for yourself. It's your decision as the viewer. Since this is a very personal process results may be different for different people.

Often a viewer tries to find/use rules to judge an image. And that's a big problem when watching abstract art, because there are no ready to use rules. To give a simple example: If I say abstract is so easy to do, while figurative/realistic art is so difficult, figutrative art is 'more' art than abstract. In this case I use the difficulty of making an image as a rule to classify it. But if you think further about this rule you have to say many images from beginners must be more art than from an experienced artists, because it was harder to create the image for the beginner. And think of yourself as an image creator. Every image which was difficult for you to make is more worth/better than an easy one?

So finaly, I think the main reason why abstract art isn't post to much here is already answered (in the whole thread): It's much more easier to talk about technique issues. It's easier if you can use defined rules than to talk/ discuss about an image without a framed base. For example if you post a 'photorealistic' image you can talk about the lighting, modeling, textures, shading and so on because you can compare it to reality and thus to the target intention of the image. So you have defined rules as base to talk about it. If you posts an orc/spaceship or whatever you can compare it to known images and can try to judge it in conjunction with your personal taste. It's not as easy as an existing object but there are still defined/known rules for you (many of these images tend to be based on realism). If you post an abstract image people can say if they like it or not, or maybe they can say they like the colors, forms or whatever, but it's often realy hard to put it in words. There is no common shared base to talk about it, so the result is that many abstract images don't get much response here (there are surely some exceptions).

These are my personal thoughts. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound offend and I don't want to judge on any opinion about abstract art. I think to view and classify images is a very personal and intimate process and thus on the one hand side very different from person to person and on the other hand side very difficult to describe.

One last word. I want to avoid the discussion about what is art and what not. The use of the word art in this post is without any weighting.

Wow, what a long post at last for me, I hope it's understandable.

And thanks ekah for enjoying some of my work.

Best
Tim

ashakarc
08-29-2005, 05:34 PM
bt3d: Very reasonable explanation, and I agree mostly. Cheers !

ekah
08-29-2005, 05:49 PM
bt3d/Tim,

Thank you. You actually answered the question by the original poster of the thread and explained it very well.

This thread has been very interesting and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading everyone's point of views.

bt3d
08-30-2005, 05:09 PM
ashakarc and ekah thank you for the feedback. I also enjoyed it to read all the different (and sometimes not so different) thoughts.
Best
Tim

ashakarc
08-30-2005, 05:57 PM
ashakarc and ekah thank you for the feedback. I also enjoyed it to read all the different (and sometimes not so different) thoughts.
Best
Tim
bt3d, sorry I didn't realize that you have a link to your Abstract work. Let me say, it is superb. It just proves beyond any doubt that Abstract Art is no less demanding for the technical knowledge and the craftsmanship involved, yet requires "higher mind skills" to be able to reach that level. For all those who are still in doubt of Abstract Artwork as one of the highest forms of representation, I hope your marvelous work will just let them revisit these thoughts.
Cheers

yogert909
08-31-2005, 12:25 AM
Why doesn't some one just come out and say it. Abstract art is really easy to do compared to realism.

It always strikes me as ironic that people who make remarks like this also try to be clever with their avitars, nicks, profiles, and signatures. Of course this impulse is exactly what they are criticizing. Perhaps if you are so involved in realism, you would change your job title to something less abstract. :thumbsup:

cshanks
08-31-2005, 12:49 AM
I went to a fairly large art show in NY last year. It was a total joke. Abstract scribbles on legal paper. Framed all nice and what not. People were praising it and touting it as such great stuff. I was ill impressed. It really looked like someone had just scribbled on paper a couple of hours for the show. I met the artist. Total nice guy, but still pretty arrogant. I really wish I woulda had my sketchbook there. So if you wanna call that kinda art talent or genius or whatever, so be it. This community is ran by artists. Computer graphic artists mind you. Its not ran by art critics, pretentious people, label whores or any of the likes. So on that note, because this is a digital art forum, ran by artists, its hard to pull the wool over anyones eyes. You can take 5 minutes in photoshop, maya, illustrator, whatever you like and create something abstract. Extrude a couple of curves, run a couple of filters and blammo, you have abstract art. People will know the degree of "talent" it took to make that piece of "expression". That's not why people post here. I know personally when I post, I'm looking for focused, disciplined critiques so as an artist, I can get better. If people do like my work, that's cool and I like to be recognized, but that's not my purpose in posting. Because of the nature of this forum and the kind of artists that post here, you get very little abstract art. Again, this forum is not ran by critics, art fans, or for that matter, people that like to be entertained as that is primarily who the computer art field caters too, the entertainment industry. Abstract art is simply about process. Computers allow subjective, abstract ideas to be communicated almost instantaneously therefore killig the process. Agree or disagree, there's your answer.

Shaidar
08-31-2005, 01:08 AM
Not all abstract art is about process. That's like saying all realist-centered art is about painting Renaissance-style images of Mary and baby Jesus! The styles, themes, and concepts of abstract art is incredibly broad. Take a look at Tim's abstract art, that certainly isn't just about 'process' and certainly didn't just take 2 mins to do in Maya/3dsmax etc. Personally I have spent a long time creating abstract digital pieces. The computer is a new medium, that is all that it changes. You can have process based pencil works, and process based computer works.

helicopterr
08-31-2005, 01:19 AM
I went to a fairly large art show in NY last year. It was a total joke. Abstract scribbles on legal paper.

I think you are talking about conceptual art, which is the hot commodity in today's art world. The scribbles on the legal paper probably involves some process that involves some idea that involves some book that involves some theory......that involves some..... that turns some people on when they "get the idea" behind the work. To be blunt it is a lot of theoretical masturabtion. That is not abstract art and the artist probably did not even make the works himself.

I would say abstract art is something like the paintings of Van Gogh or Chinese scroll painting since you really dont care about subject matter as much as you care about the texture and brushwork and those things assume a life of their own but at the same time are meaningful and not random.

In other words, the enemy is not abstract art but conceptual art!!! :twisted:

Shaidar
08-31-2005, 01:36 AM
Conceptual art seems to be more about theories and ideas. More philosophising than creating a traditional image to be admired. I don't see why it needs to be termed 'intellectual masturbation' though. When compared to other arts (in the broad sense) like poetry, writing, philosophy etc it is very similar - just expressing concepts to an audience. It may be untraditional, and not what art used to be, but art is always changing. An audience might not get what the artist is talking about, but just the same, a reader may not understand a poet's poem or a philosopher's abstract (in literary terms) theory.

Mrpeanut2
08-31-2005, 01:39 AM
It always strikes me as ironic that people who make remarks like this also try to be clever with their avitars, nicks, profiles, and signatures. Of course this impulse is exactly what they are criticizing. Perhaps if you are so involved in realism, you would change your job title to something less abstract. :thumbsup:

Good one... You got me.. ahhg.. in the heart.. ahhhh.. dying. Let me see if I can reason out this logic. Because I think abstract art is easier to do than realism, it means that I am criticizing myself considering my profile is abstract in nature. Think about that one for a second...Lets say my profile is "abstract". So are you saying because more work is involved in realism, the effort to type my real name and such is more of a challenge, meaning that I should not have an alias because typing those words is easier? What I am criticizing is the effort involved in abstract art... connecting it to your argument, it takes just as much effort to type my real info as opposed to made up crap. So basically.. you lose.

Shaidar
08-31-2005, 01:53 AM
In other words, the enemy is not abstract art but conceptual art!!! :twisted:

I don't see why any art genre/style needs to be seen as an enemy, whether it be abstract, conceptual or realism. Art is fundamentally about expression and all art genres can happily co-exist together. No need for abstract to destroy realism, or for conceptual to destroy everything. Everyone is an individual, from the artist to the viewer. Some artists are drawn to conceptual art, as are some viewers. Whilst some artists and viewers prefer realism. I don't see the point in labeling other forms of artistic expression as wrong and of lesser value.

helicopterr
08-31-2005, 02:17 AM
As illustrated by my outrageous commment, I was not really being serious when I say conceptual art is the enemy, just that what the dude of dissing was not abstract art but conceptual art. The fact that I term conceptual art intellectual masturabtion is because all the stuff I have seen coming out of it has never felt genuine, relying rather on adhereing to some theme ( feminism, reference to some movement, gender roles, sexuality). I understand what they are trying to say and understand that they made some cool point (ever read Walter Benjamin and his age of mechanical reproduction and you will know what I mean by that), but I am just not stimulated by that sort of thing.

Shaidar
08-31-2005, 02:24 AM
Yeah, exactly :) I agree. There is a difference between not being stimulated by something and making rash judgements on an entire genre/movement. One can personally and subjectively not be stimulated by something but can still appreciate that it exists and has value to some people.

yogert909
08-31-2005, 02:48 AM
----> Mrpeanut2

You are too concerned about what is easy and what is difficult. as if holding a volkswagon over your head was the best art.

If you reread what I wrote, you might see that I was only pointing out that you are what you are what you are criticizing. :lightbulb

yogert909
08-31-2005, 02:57 AM
The most sublime things are often the most simple....http://weblog.educ.ar/espacio_docente/filosofia/archives/cy%20twombly.jpg

Mrpeanut2
08-31-2005, 03:08 AM
"I drew a circle mommy!" "Good job jimmy"

helicopterr
08-31-2005, 03:12 AM
Yeah, exactly :) I agree. There is a difference between not being stimulated by something and making rash judgements on an entire genre/movement.

Yeah, exactly :) I agree.

reflectedfight
08-31-2005, 08:57 AM
Abstract art is NOT art. Full stop. Abstract art and its ideals ruin the CRAFT of painting and drawing. Im fed up of seeing scribbles, dods of paint, shitting in jars etc. The sooner that all the shitty tutors and teachers, that have not mastered traditional drawing and painting skills, are kicked out of thier positions of power the better for everybody involved. This abstract and conceptual crap was especially bad in the UK, just have a read of Richard Williams frustrations in the "Animators Survival Kit" of trying to find grads and young students who DIDNT have folios of nude photos and collage.

I tip my hat to all the students and teachers and pros and amatuer artists who have the balls and the guts to stand up and say that they want to draw and paint well - and must go through all the hurdles and trials that it takes to gain a mastery of the crafts of painting and drawing!

Shaidar
08-31-2005, 09:04 AM
Nice objective opinion there. Great argument, great examples. Solid stuff!

;)

ashakarc
08-31-2005, 09:28 AM
Nice objective opinion there. Great argument, great examples. Solid stuff!

;)Yeh, I would agree on the "solid stuff" thing, but that's it ;)

GOTgraphic
08-31-2005, 10:38 AM
It would be good to be open minded about other forms of visual expression...
But not so opened that the brain falls out.

...but just because its art, doesnt make it good art.
I think thatís one concept that needs to be brought up more in all the art schools and colleges, that the possibly that there may indeed be "bad art".

I think that is a deep philosophical issue, in your opinion it's art because a self-proclaimed artist labeled his/her art for himself/herself as art. My point of view is, that art is art if it can stand my hard and unfair criteria of art. Maybe we should talk first about what we consider as art :). Good and bad art are just solely based on taste.While "taste" and personal preference are subjective, beauty is not (beauty is only in the eye of the beholder so far as the beholder tolerates defect). Beauty can be measured and quantified, learned, mastered and propagated.

Abstract art is NOT art. Full stop. Abstract art and its ideals ruin the CRAFT of painting and drawing. In many instances it does. In others where the artist is actually attempting to create something that may fulfill a degree of beauty I think it may be apt to take advantage of the skilled and talented.

Abstract paintings do require quite a bit of effort on my part for me to appreciate them. This usually means undoing my education (art before the 20th century) and throwing away any preconceived ideas about art. It's more of an intellectual exercise for me than it is emotional. I guess you could also argue that it's pure emotional and not intellectual. Because I respond to representational art more, I tend to look for evidence of recognizable forms in abstract art, and this is where I go wrong. Once I don't find these recognizable forms, I get pissed off and feel cheated by the artist. I am telling you honestly what goes through my head when looking at abstract art. That abstract art requires work is partially due to the fact that it requires the viewer to provide a tremendous amount of input to make sense the viewing process and why itís worth beholding and spending one's time with. Thus the piece takes rather than gives. I think that is the biggest problem that abstract art has and why so many people get upset with it. Most often art is thought of as something that uplifts, beautifies and gives back to people. When the art is not doing those things it will always breed contempt and confusion.

All this talk of abstract art and no mention of George L.K. Morris? American, 1905-1975. He wrote for the Partisan Review (which journal fostered to a degree, communistic views and was continually threatened throughout its history and is now defunct. Its a really great read in the art sense, but be VERY leery of the political and social rants voiced). Morris also founded the American Abstract Artists (http://www.americanabstractartists.org/)! The AAA has done some amazing things concerning art, everyone should study their history and accomplishments. I like a lot of Morris's work. He had some wild ideas, but he and his colleagues had loads of money and therefore did not have to rely on public patronage for support (which enabled them to create and do whatever they wanted). They were instrumental in establishing the "art gallery" to better promote and removed modern and abstract art from the public so as to give it a home.

I think abstract art has a valid place in many societies. At best and as far as it concerns a viewer removed from the creation and the creator, itís more about decoration and emotion. At worst itís either a creation for art's-sake, mockery, ridicule and or ignorance. Other than that itís something that concerns mostly the creator.

Been avoiding this thread for a while out of fear that the worst was going on (not that its any redemption that I participated). Interesting discussion though! I appreciate the candid and honest replies.

cshanks
08-31-2005, 03:42 PM
everyone has gotten off the point. "Why do you think Abstract Art is not popular here?". This website, this forum. Its not a general discussion about whether or not abstract art is a legitimate artform. I don't think anyone would argue that.

Mrpeanut2
08-31-2005, 03:44 PM
So you're saying abstract art is crap... i see.. i see. And it should be obvious to those who are supporting abstract art, do it themselves. They are merely defending themselves, less so the genre.

Hugh-Jass
08-31-2005, 05:05 PM
Abstract art is NOT art. Full stop. Abstract art and its ideals ruin the CRAFT of painting and drawing. Im fed up of seeing scribbles, dods of paint, shitting in jars etc. The sooner that all the shitty tutors and teachers, that have not mastered traditional drawing and painting skills, are kicked out of thier positions of power the better for everybody involved. This abstract and conceptual crap was especially bad in the UK, just have a read of Richard Williams frustrations in the "Animators Survival Kit" of trying to find grads and young students who DIDNT have folios of nude photos and collage.

I tip my hat to all the students and teachers and pros and amatuer artists who have the balls and the guts to stand up and say that they want to draw and paint well - and must go through all the hurdles and trials that it takes to gain a mastery of the crafts of painting and drawing!

positions of power? how do you even know that they haven't mastered traditional skills?
In music you don't need to be a technical virtuoso to make good music but most people would like to be sometimes but if you aren't do you just give up?

this reminds me of debating musical genres... but art and music cover such a huge range of everything... and technique is so ridiculously varied... anything is fair game.

While I can understand you are fed up ...there is bad art in any style but that doesn't necessarily invalidate it as art.

pooping in jars sure it's bad art In my opinion...I personally don't care for most conceptual art...

I appreciate your opinion but I personally would simply draw a distinction between good art and bad art in any genre or style... and even if it's considered good or bad and you do or don't like it, that's part of our own personal experience ... but I wouldn't go so far as to write off abstract art as not art because you don't like it... or don't get anything out of it, because there are people who do get something out of abstract art.

I don't think it takes any balls or guts to say you want to do anything well- that's a fairly normal desire/pursuit for anyone... most of my professors were fairly abstract or "modern" in their personal approach to art but they taught the fundamentals that you are calling CRAFT, and they did it well.

I'm startled overall in this entire thread how people are very quick to write off an entire movement...and confuse and meld conceptualism (and just about anything that came after 1950) into it as well ( my most unfavorite conceptual piece "seedbed" ). People reacted this way when the impressionists emerged. It seems to me that many are reacting more to the "modern art scene" and all the snobbery and elitism that is or isn't percieved to be there...

People don't seem to be directly addressing the original question in this thread

Mrpeanut2
08-31-2005, 05:54 PM
These threads always end up blocked. No one is going to change anyone else's opinion. Some people think abstract art is BS(me), and others don't. Give it a rest and go eat some pancakes. Damn penguins...

ashakarc
08-31-2005, 06:14 PM
These threads always end up blocked. No one is going to change anyone else's opinion. Some people think abstract art is BS(me), and others don't. Give it a rest and go eat some pancakes. Damn penguins...
Well, unfortunately they get blocked because of dismissive and negative comments like the one you've posted earlier. Don't take me wrong, I respect your difference in opinion, but you have to realize that negative comments always attract negative responses, which results in flaming the discussion with unnecessary jargon.

Let's keep the discussion away from good and evil and maintain objectivity.

bt3d
08-31-2005, 06:36 PM
This is surely a very difficult topic to discuss, because it becomes very fast a discussion about 'what is art and what not'. I like it very much to read the different point of views as long as the people explain what's going on for/in them when viewing (in this case) abstract art. But I agree that the original question is a little bit lost.

ashakarc: thank you for the nice comment. It wasn't my intent to point to this work in context with this discussion (I simply was to lazy to edit my profil for this thread :) Anyway, thanks.

Best
Tim

PSR
08-31-2005, 08:49 PM
Wow, things have become somewhat adversarial.

Anyway, I have found some images that will hopefully help keep the discussion interesting and constructive:

PSR
08-31-2005, 09:01 PM
Imagine how someone form the 15th Century would respond to the above images, even the 19th.

What I'm trying to illustrate here, is that abstract art reflects where we are cognitively. In the way we understand nature.

I'm not saying that that is what abstract is all about. But it is, interesting to note. That the scientists who created these images. Have looked to the aesthetic provided by Abstract Art, in their use of false colour and the general presentation of these images.

ashakarc
08-31-2005, 11:36 PM
Voila ! now I know why Abstract Art is not popular here.

All of our discussions are irrelevant to me now, since I've asked the wrong question. Abstract Art is not unpopular, it's just not permitted in these forums, with the exception of the few that slip through. Ask me why !! I have submitted this morning some 3D artwork for the forum and it got rejected, yes it was abstraction, duh! I should have known that before I embarass myself.
For those who are interested, follow the links:
1 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/1.jpg)
2 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/2.jpg)
3 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/3.jpg)
4 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/4.jpg)
5 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/5.jpg)
6 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/6.jpg)
7 (http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/7.jpg)

Shaidar
09-01-2005, 12:08 AM
ashakarc, I had the same issue (if slightly different). I have had a few pieces rejected on Finished 2D forum as well. At first I thought it was because they were done with traditional media (paint on canvas) but I have seen other traditional works accepted, and Lunatique himself said that traditional works are allowed. I can only assume that the mods here don't like abstract works.

Interesting though, I just posted a work in the WIP 2D forum and a couple people have appreciated it. Here is a link (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=272213) for anyone interested.

The censorship on here irritates me. To me, the community itself should decide whether they like the abstracts. They should at least be posted! How can anyone make up their mind if they never see them!

Really nice work btw ashakarc! I definitely think it is worthy of sitting alongside naked chicks and orcs ;)

GOTgraphic
09-01-2005, 12:36 AM
everyone has gotten off the point.No we didn't.


Voila ! now I know why Abstract Art is not popular here.

All of our discussions are irrelevant to me now, since I've asked the wrong question. Abstract Art is not unpopular, it's just not permitted in these forums, with the exception of the few that slip through. If I were to take a guess as to why abstracted works are filtered out it is because such decorative, emotional and hyper-personal types of art are not conducive to discussions and especially critiques.

Wanna see a BB go down quick? Try starting one that caters to abstract art and see how long it lasts. I'd give it a year after it reached 1,000 members. Art work that is somewhat visually un-organized and at first un-civil requires a tremendous amount of control for it to work. Either that or it is put off to the public's side, in obscure places where it functions more like decoration rather than a gathering-talk-about piece. IMHO

ashakarc
09-01-2005, 12:43 AM
ashakarc, I had the same issue (if slightly different). I have had a few pieces rejected on Finished 2D forum as well. At first I thought it was because they were done with traditional media (paint on canvas) but I have seen other traditional works accepted, and Lunatique himself said that traditional works are allowed. I can only assume that the mods here don't like abstract works.

Interesting though, I just posted a work in the WIP 2D forum and a couple people have appreciated it. Here is a link (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=272213) for anyone interested.

The censorship on here irritates me. To me, the community itself should decide whether they like the abstracts. They should at least be posted! How can anyone make up their mind if they never see them!

Really nice work btw ashakarc! I definitely think it is worthy of sitting alongside naked chicks and orcs ;)
Thanks Shaidar for consoling me. In a way, Mods are right, since Abstract is a work in progress, because that is what it is, although it is finished over by the artist her/himself yet it carries on with the viewers as an open ended work. But, they are also wrong if they apply their own preferences in their judgement. Being in a position where you have the authority to say yes or no requires that you have to be objective in applying your knowledge and expertise to your judgement. Anything less than that will be rendered "unfair"...basic rule

Anyway, I'm glad that this thread has evolved with a lot of meat to chew. Thanks all :beer:

ashakarc
09-01-2005, 12:50 AM
Art work that is somewhat visually un-organized and at first un-civil requires a tremendous amount of control for it to work.

I'm not sure what "control" you mean, quality? If that's the case, then with these prejudices, it should be very easy to control.

Shaidar
09-01-2005, 12:55 AM
If I were to take a guess as to why abstracted works are filtered out it is because such decorative, emotional and hyper-personal types of art are not conducive to discussions and especially critiques.

Wanna see a BB go down quick? Try starting one that caters to abstract art and see how long it lasts. I'd give it a year after it reached 1,000 members. Art work that is somewhat visually un-organized and at first un-civil requires a tremendous amount of control for it to work. Either that or it is put off to the public's side, in obscure places where it functions more like decoration rather than a gathering-talk-about piece. IMHO

Well. A community BB (and I assume many more) already exists EXACTLY like that. Check out Wetcanvas Abstract/Contemporary Forum (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68). If you take a quick look through that you can indeed see that abstract works can generate very lively, structured, and critiquing discussions. There is no reason why it can't be like that on here. At least IMHO.

If people think that abstract works can't be critiqued and discussed, then they need to do a little bit more research into the driving factors behind abstract work.

GOTgraphic
09-01-2005, 01:02 AM
I'm not sure what "control" you mean, quality? If that's the case, then with these prejudices, it should be very easy to control.I'm talking more about controlling the environment in which the abstract art will be displayed. One of the reasons that art galleries were promoted so heavily by critics, curators and collectors in the early 1900s was to remove the modern/abstract art from the public (whom they thought were not educated enough to appreciate that type of work... and to a degree they were right), thus severe control.

I figure that a BB dedicated to abstract art would require lots of heavy-handed moderation to keeps things productive, progressive and intuitive. That would take a lot of work and don't think many people would be up to the task (having been a moderator on a couple of different bulletin boards I myself would run from such a task).

GOTgraphic
09-01-2005, 01:08 AM
Well. A community BB (and I assume many more) already exists EXACTLY like that. Check out Wetcanvas Abstract/Contemporary Forum (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68). If you take a quick look through that you can indeed see that abstract works can generate very lively, structured, and critiquing discussions. There is no reason why it can't be like that on here. At least IMHO. And there we go, a BB for abstract art. Its a whole different atmosphere over there...

Shaidar
09-01-2005, 01:19 AM
I don't see why it would need too much moderation...

Do you really think people will just start attacking the abstract art? From my experience most people will just ignore a piece and not post if they don't like it.

You have to remember that only a small percentage of abstract work is in a "primitive" style. These seem to be the pieces that people have the most problems with.

Personally I can't see too much of an issue. But has it actually been tried here on CGtalk? I mean, you can't make a judgement unless you have actually tried. If abstract works have actually been allowed in the past and there was too much uproar, so be it, the community has spoken. But otherwise, why not give it a shot?

ashakarc
09-01-2005, 01:35 AM
I'm talking more about controlling the environment in which the abstract art will be displayed. One of the reasons that art galleries were promoted so heavily by critics, curators and collectors in the early 1900s was to remove the modern/abstract art from the public (whom they thought were not educated enough to appreciate that type of work... and to a degree they were right), thus severe control.
Is this a historical fact? Aren't Abstract Art and Modern Art associated with early 1900 or not? On the other hand, the public who appreciated Modern Art in general were very receptive in the early 20th century for many reasons. It was the age of revolutions at all fronts, cultural, industrial, political, ideological, scientific, military, economical, and you name it. I wish I have lived that age, were civilization got a massive reboot on a new operating system that changed human history forever. In todays world, abstraction is becoming redundant, the age of slave morality where individuality diminished to a minute role within a larger group. It's the age of the masses and redundancy of the role of the individual.

GOTgraphic
09-01-2005, 03:03 AM
Is this a historical fact?Yes. At least that's what I learned in college :argh:
Aren't Abstract Art and Modern Art associated with early 1900 or not?That is correct. Thats when it all began.
On the other hand, the public who appreciated Modern Art in general were very receptive in the early 20th century for many reasons. It was the age of revolutions at all fronts, cultural, industrial, political, ideological, scientific, military, economical, and you name it. I wish I have lived that age, were civilization got a massive reboot on a new operating system that changed human history forever. In todays world, abstraction is becoming redundant, the age of slave morality where individuality diminished to a minute role within a larger group. It's the age of the masses and redundancy of the role of the individual.The acceptance of modern and abstract art existed mainly among the affluent, educated upper-class. Elsewhere it drew harsh criticism. There was a big movement to remove the modern art from the public because critics, curators, collectors and creators saw redeeming qualities in such art and didn't want it to die. Art museums were the perfect place for such art to thrive. It was still accessible to the public but to a large degree removed and protected from the popular opinions of the masses.

George L.K. Morris (and the group he ran with) played a huge part in helping establish and promote modern/abstract art. He wrote a great deal about it and took to task most if not all of the critics against it. Morris was wealthy, educated and very well versed. He knew what he was talking about and was fairly believable... I mean even if you don't like abstract art just reading his words about it is quite interesting and convincing.

Anyways... not to "[get] off the point" :p

Mrpeanut2
09-01-2005, 06:10 AM
Yes there is a very good reason abstract art should be filtered out. There are standards on this site, and once you open those doors, you will have another deviantart... where anything is allowed. If you're looking for freedom, go outside and prance around like a fairy.

ashakarc
09-01-2005, 06:55 AM
Yes. At least that's what I learned in college :argh:
That is correct. Thats when it all began.
The acceptance of modern and abstract art existed mainly among the affluent, educated upper-class. Elsewhere it drew harsh criticism. There was a big movement to remove the modern art from the public because critics, curators, collectors and creators saw redeeming qualities in such art and didn't want it to die. Art museums were the perfect place for such art to thrive. It was still accessible to the public but to a large degree removed and protected from the popular opinions of the masses.

George L.K. Morris (and the group he ran with) played a huge part in helping establish and promote modern/abstract art. He wrote a great deal about it and took to task most if not all of the critics against it. Morris was wealthy, educated and very well versed. He knew what he was talking about and was fairly believable... I mean even if you don't like abstract art just reading his words about it is quite interesting and convincing.

Anyways... not to "[get] off the point" :p

Thanks GOT!, interesting background information, but it seems to me that you are referring to the mid 20th century period. The Bauhaus by itself took abstract arts into a whole new level by incorporating it into architecture, music, graphic design, etc.. Constructivists on the other hand used a lot of abstraction but with a social agenda. I guess they realized the importance of the masses as to what they would be able to receive and understand. It's my favourite movement of all 20th century movements.

To be more specific why I sometimes use abstraction, is because it is a second nature to any serious architect. For me, art is the greatest complement to architecture after philosophy, and I find abstraction as a mean to reach bigger ideas that would be constructed into real projects. I don't have the aptitude towards empty abstract arts, but I also don't find orcs and fairies to be inspiring in anyway.

Everything is for the best, in this best of most possible worlds (Voltaire)

PSR
09-01-2005, 08:53 AM
Ashakarc. Thank you for those links to your work, I enjoyed looking at them very much. And I am mystified as to why your work was rejected. This forum is called CG talk after all. Not "Sci-Fi/Fantasy illustration Done on computers talk". And does support a fairly broad spectrum of art practice elsewhere.

Technically and aesthetically, abstract work can be judged and commented on in the same way as any other art work. And frankly, a lot more artists would become interested in the medium, if there were more exposure for works such as yours. Believe it or not, many people are put off by the associations that Cg has with fantasy illustration. Just as others are put off by abstract art.

GOT. What you were saying, re: control of abstract art is an interesting viewpoint. But I don't think it is, entirely accurate.

The movements that led to the development of abstract art. For example: 'The Nabis' in France, led by Paul Gaugin, Maurice Denis and Paul Seruser. Or 'The Blue Rider' founded by Wassily Kandinsky in Munich. Were very much, Artist led. With the groups themselves, taking responsibility for the dissemination of their ideas, and laying down the intellectual framework for them to develop. See, Maurice Denis definition of painting: "a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order" or Kandinsky's essay: "Point and Line to Plane". Both circa 1920's.

Once these ideas and works were out in the open. The development of Abstract Art was pretty much unstoppable. It would be a bit like keeping the invention of the wheel quiet. Once you see it there is no going back. And the aesthetic of these works very quickly found their way into the mainstream of everyday design. Thus entering the public consciousness through, Advertising, Architecture Fashion etc.

Galleries and curators of the time, to an extent even today. Were very much, conservative bastions. Jealously guarding against what was perceived as a threat to traditional artistic, and in some cases moral values. Consider some of the artists forced to take part in the "Salon des Refuses' exhibitions as a result of being rejected by the 'salon de Paris' sponsored by the Beaux-Arts Academy. The Salon des Refuses was something of a joke, set up in the 1860's to show the work rejected by the salon. You know, for a good laugh. But some very important works such as: …douard Manet's "Le dťjeuner sur l'herbe" and James McNeill Whistler's "The White Girl", among many others by Monet, Pissarro and Cezanne were also rejected by the Paris Salon.

Western art is not the only culture to have developed abstract art forms. Consider the Aboriginal Art of Australia. Where the culture has been successfully preserved for thousands of years, by the passing on of conventions preserved in abstract designs. Or notably the Islamic Culture. Where the depiction of God's creation is forbidden. Hence the development of Abstract art forms involving, the most complex geometric knot-work and tracery. It's not difficult to see a common conclusion here. The Aborigines recognise instinctively, that there is more to the living world than appears on the surface. In Islamic art, there is a tacit understanding that Man cannot compete with the perfection of God's creation. For us in the West, it is the realisation, that simple mimicry is a wholly inadequate means of understanding reality. An intellectual cul de sac.

CG is in its infancy. But is catching up, and will catch up. A forum like this one, that allows the free exchange of ideas and discussion. Is a perfect spring board. Surely there is room at CG talk for a non figurative CG forum.

Btw didn't Alias, the makers of Maya, use a completely abstract image recently, in their Advertising?

ashakarc
09-01-2005, 06:22 PM
Ashakarc. Thank you for those links to your work, I enjoyed looking at them very much.


Thanks PSR, I'm glad you liked them. Since you have seen them, let me tell you what they are. They represent an architectural concept at the very first stages of design, where lines and surfaces are flowing freely trying to determine the spatial configuration of that form. They are basically captured from what goes into my mind the moment I start that process. The later stages will involve trimming and integration of the many resultant relationships into a functional structure. I've done many similar exercises with my students when we start a design project. Here is an example of the work of one of my students who developed a whole theory of using children scribbles that describe basic things in their cognition and at different stages, using Lacan's psychological studies on children's artwork, she managed to put them to work by developing a structure that serves as a playground for children. See image below :)
http://alishakarchi.com/abstract/azadeh.jpg

Nek
09-01-2005, 09:52 PM
maybe a little offtopic but I just can't stay silent

to ashakarc:
"Feeling is a mind activity that calls the brain home"

not quite true
the mind activity is what let's you memorize the moments you felt something

feelings are a function of a whole body
they don't happen in your brain

it's a well know thing from the area of psychology

bibliography on request :)

hcross
09-01-2005, 10:54 PM
I'm still trying to understand how abstract art can be critiqued

when I ask my son to draw a circle and he just scribbles is he making better abstract art than I could?

wouldn't it be nice if there were an Occam's Razor for the art world?

I just would like a better grasp on what the abstract artist is trying to do...

my guess is this:

there is this part of my art that I just don't really understand, everything I draw has to be freakish or odd in some way

I've been able to understand it under the art vs illustration argument I've heard about

my understanding is that some things are put in there for emotional reasons... sometimes I think it would be interesting if the bottom half of the woman was a fish and that her fingers weren't as realistic as I could make them... these little notions please me, but they sometimes befuddle my audience...

it's strange because when I see these things in other people's art I really appreciate them but I don't know why and I can't explain them... they aren't technical, didn't necessarily require any more/less skill... I don't really know what some of them symbolise... they are just there and they make me happy to see...

is this something similar to what the abstract movement is trying to convey? if so then how can it be judged? the only thing people can do is relate or not... I think sometimes people just come up with some BS to describe why they don't relate, but they don't really know themselves...

it's sometimes a non-verbal form of communication

that being said, I can understand the feelings people get seeing some abstract art... I just spent 3 hours trying to get this picture to work and made zero money + zero fame doing it...

this other guy painted red scribbles on a paper and he is a genius with a paycheck... I'm not one to say his art sucks because that's his thing, but damn..

it kinda makes you mad how some people have to actually work hard at McDonalds where as some people just draw scribbles.... I don't think that has anything to do with intelligence... some elitist people would have you believe that working people are stupid and insensitive...

aside from that, most people that put things on paper (your computer monitor) are judged on skill... but I guess some artists got sick of being seen as just cool picture drawers with skill (illustrators) and started just doing whatever they wanted to because of how they feel (artists)... this can be respected by your average employee...

put simple, I think if you take either of these schools of thought too far you are seriously limiting the amount of people that will appreciate what you are doing...

and I'm still trying to figure out how I might be able to help the guy with the scribbles on his page, what advice can I give him? and what comments can I make except for "cool" or "kinda looks like spaghetti (a.k.a. God - sorry couldn't resist)"?

- there it is.. hope it made some sense.. hope I don't sound stupid...

btw, I think it's so bad ass that I get to write in the same thread as Stahlberg... I didn't think 3D women could be sexy until I found his site a few years ago... props to you Mr S, if you are still with this thread...

PSR
09-02-2005, 09:51 AM
ashakarc, Thank you for the background. That's really very interesting, I always think of architectural concepts, as being rather dry and precise images. But thinking about it, buildings like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, or Selfridges in Birmingham, are so far removed from the normal notion of a building, and so abstract in their form. I'm suddenly very curious to know how these architects approached their designs.

Architecture has really embraced the fact, that with modern materials, you can make any shape you can think of. Not just a roof and four walls, must be where the phrase; 'thinking outside the box' comes from. Also the public seem to have been very accepting of abstract forms in architecture. Possibly because, unlike painting or sculpture, buildings provide a recognisable function in addition to their aesthetic.

hcross, I found your post very thoughtful, with some interesting questions.

When you buy flowers and put them in a vase, or fruit in a bowl. Do you just plonk them in and forget it. Or do you carefully place the items so that they seem to sit well together,
and somehow feel harmonious. You're not measuring it, or judging it against someone else's bowl of fruit, your using some internal sense of judgement, and anyone else, would be able to see that those things were not just random arrangements. Well I think it's that internal sense that is largely brought to bear when looking at abstract work.

When your son scribbles on paper. Is he just scribbling? or is he exploring that magical space we call paper? is he, in the words of Paul Klee, "taking a line for a walk"? Further more, is the quality of line, so searching, and so engaging, that you are drawn in and can't help being fascinated by the movement through the page?

In many ways, Abstract Art is, Occam's Razor applied to art. See Maurice Denis' definition of painting in my previous post. It requires looking at things for what they are, rather than what they signify.

I just would like a better grasp on what the abstract artist is trying to do...

Look, I know someone. Who, if you show him a tiny fragment of a motor bike photo, chances are, he'll be able to tell you what make, model and everything else about it. You guessed it, he's interested in motorbikes. It's not compulsory to like, or be interested in anything. But abstract art is no different from any other art, in that you have to have an interest, and have to be prepared to learn a lot. A good place to start. Is to look at the really good stuff, get some of the historical context and try to see where it's impact can be felt in a wider social context.

it kinda makes you mad how some people have to actually work hard at McDonalds where as some people just draw scribbles....

You lose me a bit here. Very few, artists working in the fine arts, can survive just from their artwork. And the majority have to do other work, the full gamut from teaching to labouring, to support their own art practice. It does annoy me a bit that, footballers here in the UK can earn up to, and in excess of £50 000 pounds a week to play a game, while others work long hours at supermarket checkouts, and are expected work during public holidays for peanuts. Life is unfair.

btw, I think it's so bad ass that I get to write in the same thread as Stahlberg... I didn't think 3D women could be sexy until I found his site a few years ago...

I agree. It was his figure, on the cover of Peter Ratners book, about human modeling. That got me really fired up about 3d. I haven't seen a better figure than that in 3d, esp the hair.

ashakarc
09-02-2005, 04:50 PM
Architecture has really embraced the fact, that with modern materials, you can make any shape you can think of. Not just a roof and four walls, must be where the phrase; 'thinking outside the box' comes from. Also the public seem to have been very accepting of abstract forms in architecture. Possibly because, unlike painting or sculpture, buildings provide a recognisable function in addition to their aesthetic. That's very true. In fact, one of the founding principles of Modern Architecture states that the function of the building has to be declared recognizable from the outside. It's not that I can agree with, however that way of thinking was a product of marrying abstract art into architecture. Abstract Art had a great influence on Modern Architecture. The first examples I can think of is Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van Der Rohe, which not only used ultimate abstraction but gave new meaning to space, structure, and materiality. Abstract art is not a modern phenomenon as you well know, it goes back to thousands of years. But the influence of that art has been the greatest of all other styles on architecture, urban design, and graphic design. CGArt however, hasn't seen it all with regards to abstract art. As soon as this hype of realism and technological wonders calm down, CGArtists will find new ways to express themselves and put it in use.
One should avoid stereotyping a genre or a style based on some bad apples in the basket. As much I find Orcs, Elves, and other fantasy paintings pointless, I have great respect to those artists who put their true talents in portraying whatever story about these fictional creatures. My taste is not the law of nature, it's only natural to me and I am entitled to it.


think it's so bad ass that I get to write in the same thread as Stahlberg... I didn't think 3D women could be sexy until I found his site a few years ago...

Yeh, my response to these figures the first time I saw them was "oh my, what? son of a .." Sorry no disrespect Stahlberg, but I couldn't believe at that time someone could exist with that ability, unless.. now I know it is Stahlberg :)

hcross
09-03-2005, 03:03 PM
You lose me a bit here. Very few, artists working in the fine arts, can survive just from their artwork. And the majority have to do other work, the full gamut from teaching to labouring, to support their own art practice. It does annoy me a bit that, footballers here in the UK can earn up to, and in excess of £50 000 pounds a week to play a game, while others work long hours at supermarket checkouts, and are expected work during public holidays for peanuts. Life is unfair.



yes, life may be unfair but we (in all our arrogance, and perhaps subjective solitude) do love to make it "fair"... we love to play the judge because it makes us something that is fealt... I think the reason why people act so adamantly against abstract art is that people can simply judge that Mr Sports Star has worked hard and deserves what he has because he worked for it... I don't really think it's the same with abstract art

and ,let's be honest, there's gotta be some abstract art that just really isn't that hard to make, that really didn't require much from the artist... I'm not trying to hate on things that don't require effort... but most people don't like to try to get a message if they feel there was no effort put into creating that message (it feels like being tricked)

it's easy to resent those people that put little effort into something but reap the benefits regardless (I guess fame or whatever it is people feel artists gain, in this case)

and nobody likes to feel like they are being duped, no reason to trust that said artist had a point if he/she had to disguise it obscure the thing...

the more I discuss this the more I'm reminded of ideas I have about religion...

for one, religion is dictated therefore there is little "bouncing back and forth of ideas" to find the best concept... it wouldn't be the "truth" unless it was unquestionable, I guess...

also you can't really criticize someone's religion because it's so personal, etc... therefore people find themselves drinking Kool-aid and dying, etc...

so I could say your rods, cones, and scribbles look like crap and you could just look at me like I'm just another one of those insensitive brutes and go the other way never having learned anything

don't get me wrong, there is no need to change who you are based on an insult but sometimes people DO change us and it's for the better... I've been shown the error of my ways a few times...

I know that probably sounds a bit extreme i.e. good vs bad, error of ways, etc. but please don't miss the point

in contrast I'm reminded of a different type of religion/spirituality:

viewing abstract art could be very meditative, you just accept it and let your mind go... or at least you challenge yourself to do so... like meditation on a paradox... you only really get it when you let go of your mind's typically way of seeing/judging things...

I'm not entirely sure about this not being a mind thing because there is a frame of mind that maybe takes over after you release the former, judgmental one.. but maybe it's close...


I'm pretty sure that both of those ideas are central to this discussion, which really does seem to be investigating something other than why there's little abstract art here...

thanks for the replies

PSR... I thought you raised some interesting points earlier and I've been educated by at least one of your posts to this thread... thanks

ashakarc
09-03-2005, 04:33 PM
hcross: So your long post is no different from the earlier one liner that claimed abstract art is easier to do.

So, I gather from that pseudo-philosophy of hard and easy, good and bad, is that work and particularly the work of art has to be difficult to make and easy to understand. In other words, it's the work of the incompetent to the utterly bewildered. Of course not, that's not how things are measured.

p.s. Isn't that what someone accused Albert Camus of saying about Abstract Art ? not art in general !!

hcross
09-03-2005, 09:31 PM
hcross: So your long post is no different from the earlier one liner that claimed abstract art is easier to do.

So, I gather from that pseudo-philosophy of hard and easy, good and bad, is that work and particularly the work of art has to be difficult to make and easy to understand. In other words, it's the work of the incompetent to the utterly bewildered. Of course not, that's not how things are measured.

p.s. Isn't that what someone accused Albert Camus of saying about Abstract Art ? not art in general !!

I don't think that's exactly what I was trying to say, but I'm not going to try and explain it any further, sorry...

hope you find your answer!

ashakarc
09-03-2005, 10:37 PM
I don't think that's exactly what I was trying to say, but I'm not going to try and explain it any further, sorry...

hope you find your answer!
I did find my answer the hardway, but I hope you were not disappointed or offended by my reply. Thanks for your contribution.
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There are certainly problems with Abstract Arts, it's been overly done in a way that it got disconnected from what people could appreciate by explicitely portraying itself as effortless and naiive. But that problem is inversely true with figurative arts where the piece is only about mastery of technique. How many people could model and render realistic female figures? hundreds if not thousands, but very few who could do it with high taste and elegance as Stahlberg.
Personally, I think no matter what the expression is about and in whatever medium, both technique and style carry similar weight. There is certaily a lot more quality figurative art than abstract, but that's another question to ask and no excuse to dismiss abstract art from these forums.

Mrpeanut2
09-04-2005, 12:37 AM
I did find my answer the hardway, but I hope you were not disappointed or offended by my reply. Thanks for your contribution.
------
There are certainly problems with Abstract Arts, it's been overly done in a way that it got disconnected from what people could appreciate by explicitely portraying itself as effortless and naiive. But that problem is inversely true with figurative arts where the piece is only about mastery of technique. How many people could model and render realistic female figures? hundreds if not thousands, but very few who could do it with high taste and elegance as Stahlberg.
Personally, I think no matter what the expression is about and in whatever medium, both technique and style carry similar weight. There is certaily a lot more quality figurative art than abstract, but that's another question to ask and no excuse to dismiss abstract art from these forums.

ashakarc, you obviously are trying to defend yourself indirectly because you are an abstract artist yourself. I mean come on, look at your avatar. Give it a rest and let people go their way.

ashakarc
09-04-2005, 01:47 AM
ashakarc, you obviously are trying to defend yourself indirectly because you are an abstract artist yourself. I mean come on, look at your avatar. Give it a rest and let people go their way.
I don't understand why you are attacking me !! Let's be friendly here. I am not an abstract artist, and I don't need to defend myself. I am a scholar and a professional architect, and these forums happen to grab my interest. Go your way dude, no one is standing in front of you but you.
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Mrpeanut2: I am really sorry that someone like you stumbled on a thread like this. Just by checking your past posts in this thread and other forums with your hateful and outrageous (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=2577591#post2577591) remarks, I am stunned that you are still off the radar of the Mods.

GOTgraphic
09-04-2005, 04:11 AM
Vector art doesn't get much fandom either (vector dedicated BBs arenít very active places). More often than not it comes off too hard-edged, which is great for commercial art and story telling but it doesn't work as well as softer edged Photoshop and Painter stuff for gathering a happy crowd. It seems its only glory comes from folks showing how they can create some object and make it look photo-realistic. While that's really neat, it bores me... just take a photograph and save time :p But I love the Illustrator/vector look.

I also don't blame folks for not being thrilled with it. It has its place and it works very well in that "place". It just doesn't work well at, "gathering a happy crowd"... like comic artists compared to technical illustrators, one draws a crowd the other gets a quick look and a comment like, "wow thatís good".

Anyways, don't know why I was saying this... thinking out loud I guess...

Shaidar
09-04-2005, 07:14 AM
in contrast I'm reminded of a different type of religion/spirituality:

viewing abstract art could be very meditative, you just accept it and let your mind go... or at least you challenge yourself to do so... like meditation on a paradox... you only really get it when you let go of your mind's typically way of seeing/judging things...

I'm not entirely sure about this not being a mind thing because there is a frame of mind that maybe takes over after you release the former, judgmental one.. but maybe it's close...


You've got it right there! That is one of the basic principles (at least for me) of viewing abstact art. As we have said before in this thread, you can stare at moss on a rock and be amazed, or the bark of a tree. You do this in a meditative space, not in a hyped up mental critiquing frame of mind. I can't imagine looking at the bark of a tree and going, hmmm, that color is slightly wrong, or I don't like that shape there ;)

The same goes for abstract work. It isn't asking you to compare with anything you have seen before, judging and weighing its worth. It is just asking you to sit, watch, and absorb. You can sit watch and absorb and nothing can happen, but that doesn't necessarily matter, at least you tried. It is like meditating on the words of a Master or a mantra, something might not happen right now, but sometime down the track you may have an enlightening experience. I'm not saying that every piece of abstract art is going to be spiritually uplifting, just that it is a similar process to meditation and contemplation.

Stahlberg
09-04-2005, 09:14 AM
I am stunned that you are still off the radar of the Mods.
don't worry, he's not

Nemoid
09-04-2005, 10:22 AM
I've done many abstract works in the past as well as traditional art BTW.

Abstract art is different from figurative, because it doesn't depict real things. it can use shapes, colour, composition and more.
what i don't understand is why here all think to science,maths, cogitation when thinking to abstract art . abstrat art relies more often in emotion than common people can think. color is emotion, composition too. sure, ther have been alot of artists which used a cognitive and scientific approach, but no one stops artists from evoking emotions.

Picasso's works were not abstract, basically. they were modern. a different vision of nature and thus often based on it. he then brought natural shapes to extreme transforming them in bunch of elements in some work, but saying he was an abstract artists is uncorrect.

Kandinsky. he was abstract. he used shapes, of every kind to suggest emotion, music, and more. Mondrian. here another abstract. Miro is an abstract artist and so on.

abstract art isn't popular because its way more difficult for common people to understand what's under the hood. not that they always understand traditional art too. more often, simply, they appreciate and recognize figures and things they usually see in the real world.

that's why a great abstract artists always come from a figurative experience at least. figures are more difficult to draw correctly because they have inherent rules to which they obey :volume in perspective, light, texture and more so an artist must be very well trained to make an excellent figurative work.

but since a painting is a flat surface, covered wiith paint, figurative rules had to be broken at a certain point, even because human vision isn't the only way to represent things, and this is were modern art comes. a different vision about nature and world.
then, to go to the extreme of this process, even figuration was abandoned in favour of pure emotion, colour, abstract shapes.

Even if its more difficult to understand, in the hands of good artists even abstract can be great art and in certain cases can be superior to figurative art.

ZaKKoS
09-04-2005, 11:34 AM
I don't understand why you are attacking me !! Let's be friendly here. I am not an abstract artist, and I don't need to defend myself. I am a scholar and a professional architect, and these forums happen to grab my interest. Go your way dude, no one is standing in front of you but you.
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Mrpeanut2: I am really sorry that someone like you stumbled on a thread like this. Just by checking your past posts in this thread and other forums with your hateful and outrageous (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=2577591#post2577591) remarks, I am stunned that you are still off the radar of the Mods.

Don't worry, this guy thinks that every thread is this thread. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=43353) Just ignore him, he will find himself alone with his problems like we did on this thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=270409&page=3), i'm glad that noone replied to him. BTW mods make a wonderful job, they keep their eyes open even if you think they're not here.

Shaidar
09-05-2005, 06:29 AM
Miro is an abstract artist and so on.

Miro is in fact a Surrealist artist and not abstract. Good point about Picasso though, people seem to think he is 'abstract' just because he isn't figurative and his forms are strange and unrealistic. I know when I used to dislike modern art I used to label anything modern that I didn't like 'abstract' :)

Here is the dictionary definition for 'abstract art':
art that does not attempt to represent external, recognizable reality but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures

ashakarc
09-05-2005, 06:42 AM
Miro is in fact a Surrealist artist and not abstract.
On Miro "the most Surrealist of us all". Andrť Breton (The theorist who put the Surrealist Manifesto)

One of his famous quotes:
Let us not mince words: the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful.
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It's interesting how we sometimes mix up styles to artwork, and I am guilty of it too. Miro's work is great inspiration to abstract art, although historically falls under surrealism. But, those movements were never fixed to a style, it's the greatness of the artwork that put the definition to these so called styles. Most of these movements were ideological constructs with novel view to the world. Another reason, why Art History is facinating.

ashakarc
09-05-2005, 06:52 AM
Picasso's works were not abstract, basically. they were modern. a different vision of nature and thus often based on it. he then brought natural shapes to extreme transforming them in bunch of elements in some work, but saying he was an abstract artists is uncorrect. Yeh, the strict definition of what is abstract makes it true, Picasso used symbols in his most famous Cubist works. Right, many think that he wasn't a true abstractionist. But who cares !! He was intelligent enough to realize that communication between the artwork and the viewer has to be maintained at some level. He was a humanist after all.

Remmers
09-05-2005, 08:22 AM
I have'nt read all the previous posts but I thinks it quite simple answer (first thing that pops up in my head) cg is in 90% to make creations look real, like grafics for games and movies. thats why abstract is'nt so popular. and vector for that matter.

PSR
09-05-2005, 06:38 PM
It's worth bearing in mind. Terms like Surrealism, Impressionism and Cubism. Are useful art historical devices. That can link and categorise trends in the the development of art. So, while it is true, Joan Miro was a surrealist, and did surrealist works. He also most certainly did, make purely abstract work. Likewise Wassily Kandinskey, who is most well known as an abstract painter, did have a figurative output and is associated with a largely figurative German expressionist group Known as Die Brucke.

There was no single abstract movement as such. (Until the abstract expressionists in the 1950's). Rather it took on many forms, arrived at from several directions. Monets' late, Water Lilly paintings, are widely considered to be an important precursor to the abstract expressionists. Indeed, without the titles, it would be difficult to recognise a representational origin to some of these sublime paintings.

Remmers. Yes it does seem quite simple, on the face of it. CG is primarily associated with the entertainment industry. i.e., Cinema, where realism is of course most important. The question does seem to have broadened up a little, during the course of this thread. And for me at least, has become quite interesting;

In the plastic arts of painting and sculpture. Lots of artists choose to work in an abstract manner. So why not in CG. Has CG some inherent limitations, that make it unsuitable for purely abstract work? Or maybe there are lots of abstract artists working in CG, but show their work elsewhere. Is there a conscious, or unconscious censure of abstract work on at CG talk? Perhaps abstract work in general is not widely appreciated, if not, why not?

Shaidar
09-06-2005, 12:01 AM
Good point about the definition of styles/genres/movements. I agree. I guess you can theorize endlessly about art, but at a basic level it is all about the artist and what she/he is creating. Genres may not fit, artists make the genres!

It must be that this website just doesn't attract (and accept) abstract CG art. I completed a Bachelor of Digital Arts at University last year with a major focus on animation and digital video. There certainly was a major emphasis on abstract/contemporary styles and only a couple of students just focused on photorealism. I have noticed that the schools that aim purely at industry/film/entertainment seem to almost entirely care about teaching students about realism, how to make something look real; how to get the student a job in the industry. Whereas schools that have more of a fine arts background are more concerned with giving the student a background in classic and contemporary art, and pushing the student's own artistic style (whether it be abstract or realism).

I guess what it comes down to is whether this site (well CGsociety in general) is just about the entertainment industry and realism, or if it is about CG as a medium for the generation of art (whether it be for entertainment, or purely for arts sake). Is it a site to represent art and artists in general, or is it being selective and only representing a certain part of the CG art medium.

Looking at the big banner at the top of the site it says: "CGSociety: Enhancing Digital Arts". If this is really its goal, I think it should be accepting of all forms of digital arts!

PSR
09-07-2005, 10:17 AM
I totally agree.

There is definitely a distinction to be made. Between job training, and art education. Enhancing digital arts is an inspired idea. That can only benefit, from the contribution of artists from as broad a spectrum of practice as possible.

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