Abstract art?

“There are idiots who define my work as abstract; yet what they call abstract is what is most realistic. What is real is not the appearance, but the idea, the essence of things.” – Constantin Brancusi

This is Bird in Space by Constatin Brancusi. This one’s made of marble and is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There are fifteen other sculptures that are similar to this one, made of marble or cast in bronze.

This is Sleeping Muse. You see, she’s sleeping. She’s also a woman… see those delicate features, that tiny mouth?

I think there’s no such thing as abstract art. And modern art is not going down the drain… it’s become primitive, but in a good way. Art is about feelings. Modern art is trying to get to the essence of things.

But now the thing is… can you really get to understand the essence if you don’t have to work for it, if you don’t have to take away countless layers before finding it?

Just a question in case you didn’t have anything to ponder about today.


5 thoughts on “Abstract art?

  1. All visual art is abstract. I wrote about this on my blog. Painting is an abstract visual language. Come to understand that language and you won’t be at the mercy of others to tell you what has merit or not. Delacroix wrote in his journal back around 1850 that he could see a day when painting would not need a subject. He, like all great artists, understood that all painting is abstract-just tone and color on a canvas.The debate about representational vs. abstract art is a false one. Hang a painting by Velasquez upside down and I would like almost as much as right-side up. As in writing, it’s all about how the artist uses the language.

  2. Just as in writing a novel, the meaning is clearer, more profound if you prefer, when the language is used most effectively and with a personal voice. What’s the meaning in a still-life by Cezanne? The subject and the way the artist uses the language are inseparable. The way Cezanne (to name but one) uses color etc. (i.e. the abstract language) to paint an apple makes him a master while others who use the language less effectively remain second rate. Painters understand this better than most, but it is something that can be acquired by looking at art-good and bad. Painting and sculpture are visual arts. Often, artists who put a lot of “meaning” in their work do so to compensate for their failings as visual artists. An artist should never have to explain the meaning of his work.

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