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Old 08-22-2005, 01:21 AM   #61
Shaidar
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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.
 
Old 08-22-2005, 04:09 AM   #62
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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:
Quote:
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...

Last edited by Stahlberg : 08-22-2005 at 09:27 AM.
 
Old 08-22-2005, 08:36 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stahlberg
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
 
Old 08-22-2005, 04:58 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSR

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 EXPOSÉ. To me, a lot of what was labeled "Abstract" in the EXPOSÉ 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's figure drawings more than de Kooning's "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) I actually like these because they were done by Koko, a lovely gorilla. Here, I am totally prejudiced, and I make no apologies.
 
Old 08-22-2005, 09:51 PM   #65
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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







 
Old 08-23-2005, 03:50 AM   #66
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Yes! That's what I'm talkin about, right there
I love it
 
Old 08-23-2005, 04:08 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stahlberg
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.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 08:13 AM   #68
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Why doesn't some one just come out and say it. Abstract art is really easy to do compared to realism.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 08:42 AM   #69
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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

Last edited by Shaidar : 08-26-2005 at 08:48 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 04:39 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrpeanut2
Why doesn't some one just come out and say it. Abstract art is really easy to do compared to realism.


 
Old 08-29-2005, 08:31 AM   #71
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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
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:34 PM   #72
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bt3d: Very reasonable explanation, and I agree mostly. Cheers !
 
Old 08-29-2005, 05:49 PM   #73
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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.
 
Old 08-30-2005, 05:09 PM   #74
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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
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:57 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt3d
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
 
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