Abstract or not to abstract? That is the question.

What is abstract to you, may not be abstract to the next person.
By nature a painting that is rendered perfectly is masterful in being abstract. Since this painting that is two dimensional is giving a feeling or an illusion of three dimensional space or volume. This may be evident.
Many people feel a piece's abstract quality or qualities to be where to find art's soul, poetry and feeling. Has the meaning of abstract changed with the evolution of abstract art? One can see, with the advent and developement of the camera, the birth of Impressionism. How has mixed-media and performance art impacted our interpretation of traditional visual arts and how we determine how abstract something is, what it means, and how it relates to our understanding of ourselves. Is abstract a dialogue with infinity? Where is abstract art going? How do you characterize something as being abstract?

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Read that seven times backwards and upside down!


"A dialogue with infinity." Now I will be thinking of a comment for later! This has always been a deep question I ask. You have posed it very well. Of course, in the sense of everything being outside of ourselves, even the words we speak are abstract. If one is to dig too deeply, one is in danger of losing meaning altogether. Soon I will send a short quotation form my recent art exhibit.

Ah metaphor...reveal thyself....


Nancy, welcome to the discussion! I hope you are well. Love to see some of your new art!

I don't know if this addresses your comments, but after our discussion at the art show last Thursday, I was thinking about what it was that I liked about certain "abstract" paintings--and maybe yours in particular--and it might be the sense that with more abstract work, any individual piece can be construed as part of a larger, ongoing project; a colorful dollop of magma graciously spewed  from the caldera of the artist's ongoing creation process. While it may not be representative of every piece by a particular artist, there are certain stylistic signatures that tend to reappear in various configurations (I'm thinking of Matta, or Adolph Gottlieb, and certainly Pollack, here, but it also certainly applies to some of your work as well, at least much of what I have seen). I don't say this to imply that any particular is merely a frame in an ongoing series, without distinction; rather, I am suggesting that they are, to varying degrees characterized by elements of the artists own personality, or signature, in the same way that a large passel of photographs of the Pacific Ocean, taken over a period of 6-months, and spanning a large area from the western US coast to the Australasian reefs, would capture variations on a quality too dynamic to be uniform, but possessing certain common characteristics...I do mean this as an analogy by the way, perhaps a clumsy one, but my point is that whether a particular work has the same dynamics of a previous one is often less important to me than the fact that it conveys something of the painters personality...And you have a lot of personality, which in an abstract painter translates into great line, shape and color.

Jeff, some wonderful insights to a painter's own personal lineage and/or influences as it pertains to how one likes to paint and what are goals, if any, in conveying ones own artistic visual language and/or growth. Thank you for your kind words as well. I have strived in my work to have a sincere approach and enjoy the process of painting. I also hope the viewer feels invited to play and be fascinated with my particular way of translating abstract sight. I feel artists can also be part shamin, healing society and challenging the viewer to ask questions of what is real and what is not. Through out history one can notice science and art finding a way to feel, see or explain existence. I feel, for the most part, that after the American expressionists, abstract art took a detour on what is abstract. Western culture retreated into imagery, fusion, mixed media and commercialism. I think there are many undiscovered discussions on what is abstract and indeed what is infinite. I believe the discussion of connection, relationships as it pertains to abstract and alternative physical dimensions to be very meaningful and to be a vessel of visual sorcery.

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