Comments on: The Language of Painting? http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/ 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: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-160592 Thu, 16 May 2013 10:43:54 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-160592 I think, Robert, you and I possibly agree about more than we think we do. As I recall, this comment was associated with the statement that abstract art has no subject matter. This I hold true, but that doesn’t at all negate meaning. Is that what you are proposing when you “define abstraction as the negation of meaning”?

Words, eh!

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-158382 Mon, 13 May 2013 17:52:04 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-158382 …Some sort of cognitive form and space if only one could access the visions, visions ordinarily hidden from view by the very data they’re made up of. Until now,that is. The CGI revolution offers up for the first time in the history of mankind, the possibility of modeling all these forms in virtual space and articulating them so that we might see them. Any such development would be the biggest thing in the history of art. From my research into computer vision I’m of the opinion that scientists are a very long way off, from achieving this goal. Nevertheless, I think it’s a valid context for abstract art. I make and look at ‘abstract’ art with such technology in mind.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-158307 Mon, 13 May 2013 15:17:27 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-158307 Here’s an interesting mathematical analogue to what you are saying. Any four sided shape, 3-D, say four wires joined at their ends – ANY such shape, remembering that the sides can have any length and the shape can be twisted in any way you like, can be projected onto a plane to make ANY possible four sided 2D shape. It depends on the selection of the point of projection and the angle of the plane. This suggests that the possible number of real objects that can be implied by any drawing is huge. In what space can they be made to pop back up? In our imaginations I suppose.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-158200 Mon, 13 May 2013 12:27:45 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-158200 The computer graphic revolution, digitization and the developing technology of computer vision offer a different context with which to begin to assess abstraction, not seeing it as a collection of language-like signs but as raw data. The principle remit of computer vision research is to see how visual language can be illusionistic of the perceived external world i.e. how it accurately represents architectonic form and space. Because the 2D has the ubiquitous geometric facility to represent 3D, the possibility exists that all abstract art is an accurate illusionistic representation of architectonic form and space, however one can’t access this because it is outside of one’s ordinary cognitive faculty, this perceptual world is squashed flat, as 2D data. Theoretically Pollock’s Lavender Mist (to reference John Holland) could be augmented with additional surface and spatial depth/orientation cues, so that it could be perceived as an accurate representation of form and space, but what form and space? Something immaterial, virtual, mysterious, spiritual even. Maybe the structure of consciousness or the mind of God. Whatever it might be, there seems to be ‘something’ to abstraction, some innate knowledge of something yet to be understood. If there wasn’t then we (us abstract artists) wouldn’t be so captivated by the experience of making and looking.

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By: Alan Fowler http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-158130 Mon, 13 May 2013 10:39:29 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-158130 John – I wasn’t suggesting that a painting (or elements of it) can be “translated” into words. Painting and music are different forms of communication, but my point is that in their composition or creation they draw on “vocabularies” specific to their visual and aural “languages”. To that extent syntactically, there is a parallel with what I termed “word-based” language. But if you ask what a work like Lavender Mist “means”. just look at it – that’s what it says !

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By: Richard van der Aa http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-158117 Mon, 13 May 2013 10:21:11 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-158117 Thank you for the very interesting article.
As a painter who makes work to be seen and understood in series – I have long thought of my work as analagous to written language. The individual pieces take on meaning in relation to each other just as the letter, morpheme or word takes on meaning when presented in a certain order or grouping. Of course the meaning of my abstract forms in not precise but each gives the other a reason for being. In that sense I would say that visual art still functions as a form of language.

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By: John Holland http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-157687 Sun, 12 May 2013 21:18:48 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-157687 There’s no real equivalence between a circle, or yellow, and any component of language. What does a circle mean? Does it mean the same in the halo in an early Renaissance painting as it does in a Ben Nicholson relief? Does the colour yellow mean the same in a Turner as a Mondrian? The word ‘that’, say, or ‘neck’, means the same in a Shakespeare sonnet as it does in a dubstep rap, and we can define pretty precisely what that is- because it actually is part of a language.
If anyone who claims that art is in any meaningful way a language could translate (not describe, or subjectively interpret, but translate) Pollock’s Lavender Mist, then I’d be some way to being convinced.
I did enjoy Steve Butler’s suggestion that an oscilloscope reading could be a meaningful translation (as opposed to a selective measurement) of a piece of music, though.

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By: Alan Fowler http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-157099 Sat, 11 May 2013 22:08:42 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-157099 In questioning the idea of art as language, John Holland appears to suggest that there are no equivalents in painting of verbs, tenses and word definitions.
What about lines, squares, circles, individual colours, and mathematical proportions, ratios, series and and sequences ? And in music, notes, intervals, time signatures and keys ?
Isn’t it by the assemblage or combination of these basic elements that painting and music achieve their visual and aural meanings ? And in that sense, isn’t there at least a parallel between “word-based” language and other forms of communication which draw on their own vocabularies of images and sounds ?

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By: jenny meehan http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-156578 Sat, 11 May 2013 11:28:58 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-156578 Really messing up the system here! This entry above is relation to my reply further down the entries!

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By: jenny meehan http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/#comment-156574 Sat, 11 May 2013 11:27:16 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6946#comment-156574 ooops, RESONANT!

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