Abstract Art

Source Debrilly Abstract Art

When I see a work described as abstract, I ask myself–isn’t every work of visual art, ‘abstract?’ Unless it be 100% conceptual–and then it’s abstract in a cognitive or verbal sense.

I think of Cezanne, who wanted a plates of apples and pears to be as monumental and important as a portrait of a Madonna. Of course, this goes back further than Cezanne–to Manet, to Whistler, Turner, Corot… culminating in Pollack, Mondrian, Kandinsky… but isn’t that  what we see and appreciate in the cave painting of Lascaux and Altamira?

Isn’t that thing we superficially identify as ‘abstract,’ the hook that every visual work of art hangs from? That silence that surround it–at last, the verbal mind tuned out, thought without words. That blessed silence of every genuine work of visual art?






One thought on “Abstract Art

  1. such a great point Jacob. Everything we see… can be construed as abstract. And yet, the vast majority just don’t ‘see it’ that way. YET….my dilemma, in teaching is how to show others how to see the shapes. the tones. the relationships. Instead of Objects. Instead of ‘Labels.’ People want those labels! and the term, Abstract, is a Label. I would have preferred to title the post, “Eye Escape” but, the audience who would ‘see it’ as such, hmm. Few. I think you would though. I’m going to do a post later in the week, going through how this painting came to be. Thank you Jacob for you thoughts! cheers, debiriley.com


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