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Abstract Art

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Page 1: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract Art

Page 2: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract ArtTable of Content

Introduction: Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12)Part 1: What is Abstract Art?

Objective Non-Objective

Part 2: Realism vs. AbstractPart 3: Philosophies

Abstract Formalism (Classical/Intellectual) Abstract Expressionism (Romantic/Emotional)Abstract Expressionism - Noun vs. Verb

Part 4: Roots of AbstractionPart 5: Abstract Formalism - Significant PeoplePart 6: Abstract Expressionism – Significant People

Page 3: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Introduction

• I hate abstract art !• Why ?• What if all you had to listen to was

Classical Music – would you miss out?• What if all you had to look at was Realistic

art - would you miss out?• Can you relate art and music ?

– Realistic Classical Music– Abstract Rap

Page 4: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Composition

• What are some parts to music?– Chorus– Verse– Beat, rhythm– Tone, notes etc….

• What are some parts to art?

– Repetition

– Content

– Movement

– Color

Page 5: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Understanding Abstract Art

Page 6: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• Since abstract art first appeared, many people had difficulty understanding and struggled to accept it as art.

• If you are one of these people – don’t worry. This is an attempt to explain how to understand and appreciate abstract art. Willem de Kooning,

“Woman V” 1952-53

Page 7: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Looking at Abstract art is like finding images in clouds.

Page 8: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• Have you ever looked at the clouds and found recognizable images?

Page 9: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• Understanding abstract art is in the eye and spirit of the beholder – YOU

• Most people say that no matter what mood you’re in, you can look at a piece of abstract art and still be able to relate to it in some way –

• Everyone brings their own unique interpretation to the abstract art.

Just like finding images in clouds

Page 10: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

How to look at abstract art.Through a simple meditative practice, the viewer (you) take an

active part in creating the meaning of the artwork.

Try this method• Simply sit back – close your eyes, relax – slowly open them

and just stare at the artwork. • Don’t think – just stare…stay in the present moment.• Ask yourself – what do you feel? Is it sad, angry, excited

etc….• Ask yourself – why does this work make you feel this way? Is

it because of the colors, lines, space, etc….• Now – look at it more closely, can you put a concept, story or

meaning that is personal to you in this work through relating the elements of the art with your life?

Page 11: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• Abstract art is all about what the artist feels and what mood they might want to portray.

• Let me tell you about my college abstract expressionalism painting experience……………….

Page 12: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Draw from life….• The word “abstract” simply means to “draw from”. Abstraction draws

from a life’s experience of real and imaginary images, from knowledge and feelings, from emotion to devotion, the simple and the complex, and mixes it with skill, discipline and excellence, to create expression from the human spirit. When you look at abstract work, don’t clamour for an image you can identify.

• Wait for a moment, let the work “speak” to you and allow you a glimpse of what the artist was thinking, what he or she was feeling and what the artist wants to say. Sometimes it’s just your reaction to colors, or specific shapes, or an overall texture, that will be the voice.

• Our brains our wired to learn through association. In order to make sense of the world we need to connect the new information with our past experience or memories. Let the elements (line, shape, color…) guide you to this connection by responding to the emotions frist that they bring to you.

• I believe one also can learn to acquire an understanding and appreciation of abstract art, as much as one needs to acquire understanding and appreciation of the classics.

Page 13: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

ImpactA note from an abstract artist.

• I just wanted to drop a line again and let you know how much my patients and I are enjoying your painting. I am a clinical psychologist. Your painting has become a spontaneous marvelous ink blot with people trying to see as many different things as possible in it. I’ve been impressed with the playfulness and creativity. Thank you again for this wonderful addition to my practice. It’s taken on more meaning than a painting on the wall.”

• What a wonderful testimony to the power of abstract art. This is precisely where the beauty of abstract art lies. The color, the texture, and the form do not resemble anything the viewers are familiar with, but instead prompt the audience to create a meaning in their imagination.

• The responses to the same painting will be as varied as the individual internal worlds creating them. Therefore the question of “understanding” of abstract art is pointless. It is not intellectual or objective. It is purely emotional, subjective, and personal.

Page 14: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Part 1

What is Abstract Art?

Page 15: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

What is Abstract• Any art that is not Realistic

Thomas Eakins, The Chess Players, 1876 - America

George Bingham, The Fir Traders Descending the Missouri, 1845

Page 16: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

It is………..

• an exaggeration of one or more compositional elements:

Line Shape

Color

Value

Texture

Space Form

Page 17: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Types of Abstraction

1. Objective – artwork with recognizable images.

Picasso, Head, 1960

Matisse, The Blue Nude, 1952

Page 18: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

2. Non-objective – artwork with no recognizable images

Frank Stella, (The Science of Laziness) 1984,

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

Page 19: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• We are in such a period now with the advent and growing popularity of academies. Others stand by modernism in all forms of abstraction, from the absurd to the popular, pledging never to return to those staid disciplines of yesteryear.

• Real abstract art ( somewhat of an oxymoron ) flourishes somewhere in between. Understanding abstract art is not complicated. Once you get past the void of decorative arts and the volume of voices who claim “everyone is an artist,” you will discover a rich tapestry of emotion and thought that comprises abstract art.

Page 20: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• Realism presents the viewer an artist’s interpretation or representation of the world in its complexity and simplicity.

• Abstraction presents the viewer an artist’s reaction to the world in its complexity and simplicity.

• Realism expresses the outer world and abstract expresses the inner world.

• Realism mimics the outer world in a variety of styles and techniques whereas abstraction expresses the inner world in a variety of styles and techniques.

• Realism hopes to answer “what is it?” whereas abstraction hopes to answer “what is it saying?”

Page 21: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Part 3

Let’s go deeper…

Philosophies of Abstract Art

Page 22: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Before we begin…

• Think of the two different kinds of rap music.– Rehearsed– Free Style

Page 23: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• There are two main concepts of abstract art.– Abstract Formalism - Relies on the formal qualities of

composition and is produced with much thought and preplanning. Classical / Intellectual – What is important is the product, end result. Often resulted in art theories.

• Picasso (Cubism), Cezanne, Mondrian, Op Art …

– Abstract Expressionism – Relies heavily on emotional impact, intuition and is often spontaneous. The artists often starts with just a concept or idea and improvises as he produces the art. Romantic / Emotional – What is important is the process.

• Jackson Pollack, Jane Frank, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell…

Philosophies

Page 24: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract Formalism

• Picasso, Mondrian,

Picasso, Woman Playing MandolinPiet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red, 1921, oil on canvas, 72.5 x

69 cm, Tate Gallery. London.

Page 25: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract Expressionism

Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 70, 1961Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991)

Jaskson Pollock, "Lavender Mist" from 1950

Page 26: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective
Page 27: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Noun vs Verb• Noun

– Abstract Expressionism – style developed by certain artist (see roots of Abstraction). Mainly non-objective, improvisational work.

• Verb– Art work can be abstract,

objective and have more emphasis on expression.

Page 28: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Part 4

Roots of Abstract Art

Page 29: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

• In the late 19th century the traditional European concept of art was the imitation of nature which was abandoned in favor of imagination and the unconscious.

Page 30: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

What caused it to happen?What caused it to happen?

•Some say the concept was influenced by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky around 1910.

•Others say the movement began in New York when people stopped tolerating the social realism art, produced after the WWII (1947) and instead switched to abstraction.

Page 31: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract Expressionism

Significant Artists

Part 5

Page 32: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Significant Significant PeoplePeopleWassily Kandinsky Wassily Kandinsky

(1866-1944)(1866-1944)• He is considered one of the

“inventors” of abstract painting. He began painting realistic but evolved into abstract art.

• He believed in what he called the “psychological and spiritual effects of color, developing an art form in which shapes and colors alone became the important quality.

• “Painting should represent a mood not illustrate an object.”

Wassily Kandinsky’s “Blue Paintin” (1922)

Page 33: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Willem de Kooning (1904-Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)1997)

Significant People Significant People (cont’d.)(cont’d.)

• Born in the Netherlands and later moved to Manhattan in 1927

• Became friends with art critic John D. Graham and painter Arshile Gorky who got him started with painting abstraction

• Became famous for his impact on the abstract expressionism movement in the 1940’s and was recognized as a leader of it in the 1950’s Willem de Kooning

(1975)

Page 34: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Significant Significant PeoplePeopleJackson Pollock (1912-Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)1956)

• Moved to New York to study at the Art Students League

• Worked for the Federal Art Project from 1938-1942

• Invented the “drip” technique

• Artist of the most expensive painting in the world in 2006, “No. 5” (1948), that sold for $140,000,000

Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Poles” (1952)

Page 35: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Significant People Significant People (cont’d.)(cont’d.)

Franz Kline (1910-Franz Kline (1910-1962)1962)

• Recognized as a very “spontaneous” painter, focusing not on figures or images, but rather on brush strokes and use of the canvas

• Most famous for his black and white paintings, which some say reference to Japanese calligraphy

• Most modern architecture is said to be modeled after Kline’s works

Franz Kline’s “Painting Number 2” (1954)

Page 36: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Significant People Significant People (cont’d.)(cont’d.)

Fuller Potter (1910-Fuller Potter (1910-1990)1990)

• Painted landscapes and portraits until he met Jackson Pollock in 1950 and permanently changed his style of painting to abstract

• Never used the “drip” method like Pollock did, but instead put a lot of paint on the brush at once and applied it liberally and aggressively to the canvas

Fuller Potter (1969)

Page 37: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Abstract Formalism

Using one style of abstract formalism – Cubism - and two examples of work

inspired by Cubism.

Part 6

Page 38: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Significant Significant PeoplePeoplePablo Picasso (1881-Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)1973)• Pablo Picasso, born in Spain,

was a child prodigy who was recognized as such by his art-teacher father.

• Recognized as the leader of Cubism. Influenced by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

• Wanted to truly represent 3 dimension on a 2 dimensional surface.

• Periods: Rose, Blue, Analytical, Synthetic

Pablo’s Picasso “Dora Maar Au Chat” (1941)

Page 39: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Other PeopleOther PeopleAlexandra Nechita (1910-Alexandra Nechita (1910-1990)1990)• She was born in

Communist Romania. • Considered a child prodigy by art

critics, she has created a visual language of her own in a modern abstract expressionist and cubist manner and creates unique, masterful, dynamic compositions.

• Whit her innate sense of color, she transfers images of what she sees, what she imagines, and what she dreams, to large canvases with sensitivity, boldness, and a totally uninhibited freedom.

• She is completely comfortable with all media.

Alexandra Nechita’s

“Wine Taster”

Alexandra Nechita’s “Know

Yourself”

Page 40: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Other PeopleOther PeopleNoel Cole (b.1957)Noel Cole (b.1957)

• Art teacher since 1980

• Inspired by Alexandra Nechita – developed this piece for lesson/

Noel Cole’s “Clara and Jason” (2001)

Page 41: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Result/Result/ConclusionConclusion

• There really is no specific starting date of abstract art, much less an ending date

• The movement, in all, has been over, but abstraction is now looked upon as just another equally beautiful form of art

• There are many artists that still create abstract art today, and now they have taken the ideas of it and applied it to other things, such as architecture

What happened in the What happened in the end?end?

Page 42: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Result/ConclusionResult/Conclusion (cont’d.)(cont’d.)

• Abstract paintings and art have influenced many people to not feel like they just have to paint portraits and landscapes, but that they can just paint what they feel and make their work actually mean something to them

• There are now tons of buildings, bridges, stairs, monuments, etc. that have been created with an abstract theme. Architecture as a whole has changed incredibly since abstract art was introduced.

What were the lasting What were the lasting effects?effects?

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Result/Conclusion Result/Conclusion (cont’d.)(cont’d.)

Abstract Abstract ArchitectureArchitecture

Page 44: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Where did it Where did it happen?happen?

“New York City”

Page 45: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Look at Abstract art

• Like finding images in clouds

Page 46: Abstract Art. Abstract Art Table of Content Introduction:Understanding Abstract Art (slides 1-12) Part 1: What is Abstract Art? Objective Non-Objective

Links

• http://drawsketch.about.com/od/drawinglessonsandtips/a/abstract.htm (more on music and getting started with abstraction)

• http://www.artchive.com/artchive/abex.html

• http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/a/abstractexpr.html

• http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/tl/20th/abs-expr.html

• http://www.biddingtons.com/content/pedigreeabstract.html

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_expressionism