Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What is Abstract Art?

What do YOU think?
'Boat' by Pablo PicassoAbstract art could be described as art which is not a realistic representation of something concrete. It often is composed of colours and swirls; it may suggest something real, but in a primitive fashion.
Some people have a low opinion of this type of art. A common description is 'If it looks like my three year old son could have painted it, it's not art!' Yet the last century has seen many famous abstract artists; their works hang in museums around the world, and are worth millions of dollars.

What's your opinion? Are abstract paintings valuable because they are good art, or because the person who painted them was already famous?

Here are some things to ponder:

A behavioural scientist once took some paintings done by a chimpanzee, and hung them in a gallery along side works of respected abstract artists. Some of them received rave reviews from art critics.

Pablo Picasso is probably the most famous modern painter. He enjoyed success early in his lifetime. He produced works in painting, sculpture, prints, murals, and ceramics. Picasso's paintings are often classified into periods. The Blue period often showed images that expressed poverty and sorrow, and the Rose period included paintings of circus performers and acrobats.
During his Cubist period, Picasso and his friend Georges Braque produced works that impacted on many of the artists who were a part of their circle of friends in Paris. Picasso's work not only influenced the artists of his time but also each generation of artists who came after him. Art historians often state that Picasso did more than any other artist to change the course of art in the 20th century.

Here are some of his works:

'Seated Woman'

Now a very revealing quote from Picasso himself:
"In art ... those who are refined, rich, unoccupied, who are distillers of quintessence, seek what is new, strange, original, extravagant, scandalous. I, myself, since Cubism and before, have satisfied these masters and critics with all the changing oddities which passed through my head, and the less they understood me, the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these games, with all these absurdities, puzzles, rebuses, arabesques, I became famous, and that very quickly. And fame, for a painter, means sales, gains, fortune, riches. And today, as you know, I am celebrated. I am rich.
But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, were great painters. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and exploited as best he could the imbecility, the vanity, the cupidity of his contemporaries.
Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear, but it has the merit of being sincere."
Pablo Picasso 1952
Now that should make you think a little!

1 comment:

rebuketheworld said...

I can appreciate abstract art to add color to a room..but not for emotions..I need realism in art to provoke my heart...-Raven