We are taught to look at something and give it a title, to understand and classify it to make sense of it and place it where it belongs in our world. Abstract art is often complicated for many because of exactly this. It typically offers very little in the way of structure and conformity and is instead unpredictable and conflicting.
“Abstraction is staggeringly radical, circumvents language, and sidesteps naming or mere description,” Jerry Saltz
A beautiful photo-realist landscape painting can be a wonder to admire, it is clear to see where the artist has strengths and we can easily enjoy it. A work of abstract art can often have the opposite effect for a viewer, the lack of structure can frustrate or even annoy, how often have we heard the line “my toddler could have done this!” when discussing abstraction.
Love it? Hate it? Just don’t get it? Whatever it is you are feeling about the art you should ask yourself why it is you feel those things. Allow yourself to have that knee jerk reaction to the artwork and then explore within that. Opening your mind and imagination and being curious (not just about the look of the art and how it was made) about the feelings it provokes in you is an under performed practice. Abstract art, with its lack of parameters, can offer great opportunity to explore our true feelings toward art, it’s subjectivity gives us the opportunity to dialogue on art without fear of right or wrong.
So what can abstract art offer?
The chance to be a master of our own interpretation even among art aficionados, to have our imagination stimulated and to have something be both aesthetically enjoyable and confusing at the same time.
There are a number of reasons to love (or hate) abstract art, and in a world governed by titles, stigma and stereotypes it can be refreshing to rebel in the non-conformity of abstraction.
Visit the Abstract gallery on TT Art Space to see works in abstract from a number of local Trinbagonian artists.
“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward, you can remove all traces of reality.” Pablo Picasso