By Devi Sri
Precision is not reality, said Henri Mattisse the great artist. Thus the search for exactness begins and authenticity struggles.
In art, everything is precise. That explains the genuineness of art on a broad scale. But art need not carry accuracy. The reason- there are no clear-cut rules. The rules in art depend on an artist’s imagination, how he carries his dreams forward, what shape he gives to them, and how he reproduces the idea on to canvas with a brush dipped in paint.
Photographers are also learning abstract concepts to add interest to their images. With a creative eye, some basic yet beautiful photos can be transformed into abstract art.
Abstract art is a form of art. As the name explains, the paintings come under it are abstract in nature. It is not related to anything, non representational, even though it is a clear representation of an imaginative mind. Abstract art can be divided basically in to two types.
- Figurative abstraction
- Emotional abstraction
As the name suggests, figurative representation is the symbolic representation of situations or ideas in a way the artist conceptualizes. They are simplifying reality by avoiding unnecessary details. The essence is left for us. Emotional abstraction is the representation of emotion, spirituality or voice.
The movement of abstract painting emerged in the mid forties in New York. It gradually gained importance in American art. When artists like James McNiell began believing in the harmonious arrangement of colors in representing visual sensation rather than the depiction of objects, abstraction started gaining prominence.
Later artists took up the movement in such a way that abstract painting gained much importance. The artists believed that the job of the artists was to deepen the mystery rather than revealing it. In abstraction only conception made a difference. The basic idea behind the idea remains the same. Stephen Wright once commented on abstract painting that he had been doing a lot of abstract painting without paint, brush and canvas, but just by thinking about it.
This is the movement in which the artists rapidly applied paint on canvas without great care for detail, and thus showing emotions and feelings spread on the canvas. The works of abstract painters showed a sense of hastiness and an intervention of life situations like a risk or a chance in applying paint on canvas.
Some abstract artists even took a mystical approach to subject matter, but by defining their objectives and intentions clearly on canvas. It was generally believed that the painters of abstract expressionism relied on the spontaneity of creativity and the representation of that flow on canvas in a scale broad and large. The expressive method of painting was considered important.
Abstract expressionism did not focus on one topic; rather it focused on many themes or styles. It concentrated on many ideas. The artists of abstract expressionism valued individuality and spontaneous inventiveness.
The painters who came to be called as abstract expressionists shared an outlook
Characterized by the spirit of revolt. The movement of abstract expressionism
can be divided in to two-
- Action painting
- Color Field painting
Action paintingAction painting is related to surrealism, which is the movement in visual art and literature that became popular in Europe between World Wars I and II. It emphasized on positive expression. Artists like Pollock Jackson with essence form surrealism, implied a technique different from the usual styles of painting that employed the method of dripping paint on to the canvas. Instead of brush, sticks and knives were used to manipulate the picture. This type of painting began to be called as action painting.
Color field painting
This abstract art movement started only in the 1960’s. A type of abstract expressionism, color field paintings employed the use of solid color covering the whole canvas in such a way that the lyrical or atmospheric effects of color were seen in a vast canvas. The aesthetics of the color field artists were truly intellectual aesthetic. They dealt with two-dimensional spaces and their color tone was different and not modulated.
Abstract expressionism presented within its large framework, a stylistic diversity that was not easily identifiable. Many artists explored various forms of painting in abstract expressionistic painting. Here more attention was paid to brushstrokes, texture and surface qualities.
Thus abstract art gained much importance. Wassily Kandinsky came to be known as the father of abstract painting. Other artists who followed the path of Kandinsky were kasimir Malevich, Raoul Dufy, Paul Klee, Juan Gris, and Piet Mondrian. Thus abstract painting spread far and wide with an intellectual tone to the form of art in a style varied, specific and incomprehensible.
The future of abstract painting
With a fabulous history of abstract paintings done on landscape, floral art, people, and just emotions in various ways possible, abstract art grew on a canvas broad, but ambiguous. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrain came with newer conceptions and ideas representing the new form of art in an aesthetically well built canvas.
There would definitely be a shift in style from the usually employed techniques like action painting and color field painting. Newer forms will take shape with styles which may take time to establish in the field of painting.
With the invention of more tools in painting, and with newer methods employed, abstract painting will undergo a lot of changes in the coming future. Probably, forms take a different shape, ideas may be modernized, and fresh thoughts would be employed. But the basic idea behind the notion, which is abstraction, will never change.
To the great painter there is only one manner of painting – that which he employs in his art. He appreciates his own art and also criticizes. Because nobody, but he can understand the enormity of his work, so do his pitfalls.
Abstract art has definitely a future, bright, colorful even though vague. As Edgar says, “A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”