Comments on: Abstraction http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Jai Llewellyn http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-159816 Wed, 15 May 2013 13:19:45 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-159816 If everything is abstract, as Hockney once said, then nothing is abstract. I do not think it is necessary for ‘abstract’, as a concept, to reinvent itself, only the label needs to be removed. I am not an abstract painter, I am a painter. As soon as I place a mark, it is no longer abstract, it is reality. Every choice defines us. If it is material, it is a chosen material, unless it is just a random act and art cannot be merely chance. The question is-why has the artist chosen this material and what do they want us to look at.
I agree it is exciting to try and lose oneself, to search the unknown, though the joy is in the realisation that you were always there.

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By: Evan Thomas http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-128231 Thu, 28 Mar 2013 03:48:48 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-128231 Abstraction is simply a genre. And as far as the sociological digressions, I’m shocked, shocked, to see that art has social contexts that can be unsympathetic artists.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-127551 Tue, 26 Mar 2013 15:40:33 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-127551 There’s the thing in itself, the 2D data to look at, as that. That’s actually quite problematic. Then there are the possible 3D forms and spaces that the 2D data has the capacity to represent. That too, is problematic because most of the represented forms and spaces lie outside of one’s wit to ordinarily perceive (hidden perspectives, isomorphism).

A personal interpretation is suspect because one doesn’t know what the represented objects are, as I’ve said. In terms of signification, if one reads the word ‘love’, then it might mean different things to different people, but there is still the standard dictionary ‘objective’ meaning for all to refer to.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-127141 Mon, 25 Mar 2013 17:14:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-127141 Your comments provoke me to clarify what I intend, with of course the proviso that my intention is not necessarily right for anyone else.

Having said that I take extreme exception to the notion that “meanings” in abstract art are just for the individual to pull out as they wish, and different for everyone. That’s one of the positions I want to distance myself from as much as possible. If art is not objective it’s not worth the trouble.

Secondly, the process of “abstraction” is not what abstract art is about. Abstract art is not abstract – it’s concrete, material, specific and particular. Abstract is the wrong word but we’re stuck with it.

Thirdly, abstract works may well depict, but what they actually do depict is open at the moment. I think Peter Stott is doing better when he says that an abstract picture may depict some particular thing we can’t identify.

Finally, I’m impressed with Pollock’s few very terse utterances – one of which is “I saw a landscape the likes of which no human being could have seen.” Inspiring for abstract art, in my view.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-126475 Sat, 23 Mar 2013 23:14:48 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-126475 I’m happy to hear that this site has readers who are not artists – and that they make comments.

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By: Noela http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-126252 Sat, 23 Mar 2013 09:31:19 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-126252 This is a good comment , ‘visual pleasure and intellectual stimulation’ are fine ambitions for visual artists to aspire to. I know many artists might argue that pleasure is not necessary , but personally I want art to give me a frisson of pleasure and excitement, as well as work my mind.

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By: Alan Fowler http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-126102 Fri, 22 Mar 2013 23:48:43 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-126102 When I referred to listening to Bach I was certainly not thinking of any of the casual listening modes which Peter suggested. I meant listening as a positive and intentional activity in order to hear what Bach was “saying” in a wholly aural “language”.
Similarly, I was not talking about “just” looking at art. I was talking from the viewpoint of an intelligent viewer (I’m not an artist)who gains enormous visual pleasure and intellectual stimulation by the intense study of art which conveys its own visual “message”.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-126072 Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:35:56 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-126072 If one puts aside form representation, for one moment,then there’s the 2D data set with no depth to it,apart from the depth between eye and data and the depth of the world behind the 2D data display. What meaning is there, depends on what 2D data is being apprehended, according to what system of language.

With respect to Alan’s call to ‘just listen’ at Bach, that depends on what the individual is doing, one may be learning how to play the music or listening to it with the intent of composing music, or writing a research paper on it. People ‘just listening’ to Bach are probably doing that already, while washing up or driving the car. If people want to just listen to music or just look at art, that’s up to them, I’m sure professional artists are all doing it. What they do aside from that is in addition to that.

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By: Ian Bertram http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-125936 Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:41:17 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-125936 In my mind I make a distinction between ‘abstract’ – a noun and ‘abstraction’, a process. For me the abstract image is non-representational. It doesn’t directly depict a material object, although it is of course an object in itself. It an still have meaning, but that meaning is likely to be personal and internal so not accessible to others, who must find their own meanings in the work.

Abstraction on the other hand, as a process, is about HOW, not WHAT. It is the process of selection, simplification and translation into 2D of what is before me or in my mental imagery. The outcome may be an abstract, but not necessarily.

I came to this usage from a dislike of paintings described as ‘abstract landscape’. To me it must be one or the other. I recognise that an abstract painting may be _informed_ by landscape but that doesn’t mean it actually _is_ a landscape painting.

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By: Alan Fowler http://abstractcritical.com/article/abstraction/#comment-125837 Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:45:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6749#comment-125837 Maybe it’s too easy to get hung up with the meaning of ‘meaning’. I don’t think we ask about the meaning of, say, a Bach fugue – it speaks for itself in its own non-verbal sound language. What does it mean ? Just listen !
I see some abstract art in a somewhat similar way; that is, as “speaking” its own intrinsic visual language which needs or implies no verbally articulated interpretation. What does it mean ? Just look !

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