Abstract Art

The Mystical Quality
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Under this quality of visual excitement, support and renew it often runs a strong current of feeling close to religion. It may take the form of an ever new wonder-"The mystical quality of the object has always kept me spellbound," Lyonel Feininger wrote. It may be admitted pantheism of Lee Gatch. It may be the mystical identification Ibram Lassaw self with the whole order of things: "Man is an integral part of the overall ecology of the universe and fulfills its function ... with plants, animals, stars and galaxies I nature .. "

This widespread feeling that nature is a more convenient storage of forms, colors or symbols, it has ultimate significance in itself than the visible, but always mysterious manifestation of an eternal order, is reflected in the attitude of these artists for their art. Painting and sculpture, for them, are means to an end - the end being the exploration and revelation of the ultimate meaning that the limits that can be penetrated by reason and intuition.

Such an attitude is in direct opposition to the very exaltation of "the primacy of the environment", which combines the spokesperson Sonya Rudikoff with abstract expressionism and even with the vanguard of all ages. While the relationship of the abstract expressionists in nature will be discussed later, it is interesting that an artist, Perle Fine, who was closely associated with them, writes: "When I got my studio in the country, and the wonder and grandeur of the natural world captivated me completely, I felt I must find new ways to express these things, "and his recent use of gold and silver in his paintings , was in response to this experience, rather than purely technical claims.

Finally, one can perhaps say that the work of those artists who are consciously and consist mainly with nature tends to be more objective than subjective, although these terms are slippery. In a sense, all art is subjective. Even the search for the essence is deeply involved in the response of the artist about it, "he is interested in what he" feels "about it and painted, therefore, that the result is often called abstract" , said Mark Tobey. At times, the answer seems much more important than what he does, and almost nothing to do with any inherent quality at its source. When Louise Bourgeois created the garden at night, she was not at all concerned with gardens, but seeks to objectify experience recurrent mixed attraction and fear inspired by the dark mysterious hidden under the plants, even under a clear night sky. Nevertheless, the majority of this group of abstract artists to maintain a certain balance between the inherent nature of things and their own reactions to them.

Hyde Solomon speaks for many when he writes, "It is my wish to give objective form to my own subjective feelings about nature. Firstly the artist sees the object (say Irée), and expresses some about him. Basically it is the same something that attracts many other artists. But when the particular artist starts using its own materials, something else comes out. His merges his own personality. You can not measure what happens. "January Gelb puts the same thought a little differently: .. "In a sense, my work is subjective, but my subjectivity, I hope, can elicit responses to other human beings who react to natural forces and qualities in a manner not too different from mine Can therefore be that I am not dismayed when I am faced with snapshots. It is in the ruts of those clichés that the truth is sedimented, and where it can best be recognized intuitively. "


In short, this kind of art springs from unique, personal perceptions, which are bound to be subjective, but they are the perceptions of a reality that is looming larger than the artist himself and is accessible at all. "If it is a subjective approach," says Karl Knaths, "the work itself should give the effect of current reality. It must not be false to our better understanding of the truth. "The result is necessarily a less egocentric, less introspective art. His ideal is said activist David Hare's" goal for the creation of any art form is that between the individual most closely with the life and living through a fundamental understanding and innate, a symbiosis of man and of life .... We do live in a customized vacuum, but with Overall, a great, round earth, beautiful, terrifying and joyous, and mercy of God the man who turns his gaze inward and not out of himself a cold, infinitely useless lump after another . "

Judging by their words and works, many of the artists share a large extent related attitudes discussed above. But one could hardly find a less stylistically homogeneous. Except for the fact that they are all more or less abstract, the diversity of customs lines of futurism Joseph Stella Mark Tobey evanescent "white writing." from patterns in tatters Arthur Dove to those geometric Pereira and William Baziotes those fluids', the metal sculpture of David Smith to brutal forms of primitive wooden Louise Bourgeois. Sometimes it seems as if a nilght common denominator is a penchant for a more concrete imagery, for the use of fragments of "reality visually recognizable in a semi-abstract rather than a purely abstract.

This is mainly true of those artists who abstract directly from nature. Stuart Davis might look like the prototype, with its extraordinary sensitivity to the equivalent forms, colors and rhythms, which are reflected and intensified its observations. Yet there are other artists in this group who did not abstract nature and whose work is truly non-representational. Some are mystical, like Tobey and Lassavv, which are part of nature and the spirit self. Others, such as Schueler and thin, have almost come full circle full of abstract expressionism, but still share some of his distrust of concrete imagery. The real link between all these artists is their attitude towards the outside world, their quest to embody the essence of its meaning. This research not dictate common stylistic or technical procedure. It gives each artist the painful discovery of his own best methods.

But this is only part of the story, because there are now almost as many abstract artists who are not consciously concerned with nature in one of the ways we have presented so far. Most of them are in the general limits of Abstract Expressionism, movement that liberated energy felt far beyond its own limits. And abstract expressionism is to begin, a deeply introspective form of art, drawing heavily on incentives subconscious, on the motion of non-calculated the painter's hand (action painting supposedly), the semi aulomatism -automation, and an accident. Its main purpose, provided it has been streamlined, is an expression of inner states of being, the translation on the web spontaneous impulses of the mind complex. This is an egocentric art in the literal sense, not pejorative, within the meaning of the word, the artist is more concerned with himself that he is with external reality.

It is also more concerned about the "act" of painting as by the use of painting as a means to an end. It has an undeniable logic in the theory of action painting because of the emphasis on unpremeditated gesture of the brush on the canvas. In practice, however, the degree of automatism in this kind of art, although variable, generally does not seem as great as theory would indicate. The highly organized work of the late Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning major paintings, as well as explicit statements of others (and the evidence of their work) all points to an essentially conscious control. Curiously, therefore, the attitude of abstract expressionism, although coming from a different direction, is similar to that of pure abstract painters, who argue that the work of art is a subject all its meaning in itself same.

At the same time maintain its essentially self-sufficient, who communicates only in terms of its own laws - in the case of aesthetic purists, psychological in the case of the abstract expressionists. And these laws, although different in the creation, prove to be not so different in character: an insistence on the flat surface of the canvas, to preserve the environment instead of using sound as a tool of illusion, a feeling that makes and colors influence each other and must be organized to "work" together to the end sought.

The ends of Abstract Expressionism are at odds with those of the purists, but the methods and basic attitudes are related. No purist might Adolph Gottlieb painting Red Sky, but it could well have written most of Gottlieb's statement: "I never use nature as a starting point, I never abstract nature, I 've never consciously think of nature when I paint... In the sky red paint my intention was simply to divide the canvas almost in half, using red paint in an area and the black paint in the other .... Just a simple statement about the disparate elements. "Several abstract painters, outside both the purist and orbits Expressionists, share these beliefs, including Charles Schucker summarized as follows:" The reality begins to canvas. "

Yet relatively few abstract expressionists feel quite so sure of their independence Gottlieb nature. "Each medium has its own life," writes Hans Hofmann. "A creative mind and sense that life used to produce a pictorial movement. Movement reflects the impulses from which he came .... art movement, therefore, reflects the impulses that the mind receives visual experience. All the forces that drive the creative act through a process of enlightened spiritual digestion. The creative act is, therefore, in the act of embodying the dual visual experience and human nature in the middle of the term. "

This seems to give considerable weight to the visual experience in the creative act, but we must always try to determine what types of visual experience are involved and what the process of digestion is spiritual. One answer is provided by Rosemarie Beck when she says, "If I look closer to nature, I do it only by analogy. I never directly from the abstract nature nature or use as a pattern, but I want my "thing" to be natural, to have a natural goal. Since I succeed, I do not escape to nature. But I can not answer honestly, without confessing my loyalty first, which is the same syntax of painting. "This is also the interpretation of criticism when he notices Meyer Schapiro, abstract expressionism," Ignore the natural forms, he is attentive to the qualities of movement, interaction, change and become in nature. "

These are certainly among the aspects of nature and the extent that they enter, consciously or unconsciously, in the painting of this kind, it can be said to constitute a natural influence. We can perhaps go further and show that even natural forms are not without influence obscure, too - if it is only in the resistance of the artist for them, or perhaps more accurately in its direction of disturbing a relationship between them and forms its own. "The ethics involved in" seeing ", as the paint - the purity of the act, so to speak - is more real to me as images or ideas preassumed image structure," writes Philip Guston. " But that's half the story: I doubt this would be real ethics without the "pull" of the image known for its own "light", meaning "place". It is as impossible to live completely in the moment. Without the tug of memory. Forms of resistance against the loss of their identity, with, however, their willingness to participate from each other, ultimately leads to a showdown, as they shed their minor relationships and compete more openly. "

Yet the fact remains that Abstract Expressionism was mainly self rather than a larger sphere of reality, it has reached a point, ie Beck, "where we are reluctant to to trust much of anything except our own inner realities, "and certainly no pictures or equivalents or symbols of a natural order. Paradoxically, his art began as a gesture of supreme freedom, has tended to imprison him within the self. As Guston wrote in a letter, "I do not see why the loss of faith in the image and the symbol known in our time, should be celebrated as freedom. This is a loss that we suffer, and this pathos motivates modern painting and poetry in his heart. "And in his statement, he adds:" I think the only question by pressing the paint is as follows :? When are you through for me is when I know I have "come out the other side. "This sudden realization and sometimes it's the best picture for me The clock path in form of recognition removes a sense of victory. It is a meeting and more ironic than a mirror image" .

A mirror, perhaps, the artist himself. "Art is made and destroyed," said Beck. "So what you see, the impulse to return to nature, is perhaps only an effort to get rid of a disabling self-consciousness and acquire wealth, which can again be destroyed." Abstract expressionism has produced some of the most memorable paintings of our time - memorable for a self-search intensity, which can be called parallel, in the creative sphere, first struggles and agonizing with Freud's self- Analysis. But he also confronted the artist at times with a paralyzing dilemma between self-weariness and distrust of any other source of understanding, a kind of impasse introspective such as that which seems to have overshadowed in recent years Jackson Pollock. No leakage is possible only if the loss of faith in the image and symbol is the real symtom of a more profound loss of faith in the things symbolized and imaged. In fact, it seems more often to be only the loss of faith in an old method, which is too obvious and simplifies the complexity of human experience.

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