Art is a subjective thing. Not everyone enjoys staring at a tank containing a dead shark preserved in formaldehyde. You might like photorealism whereas I prefer a looser, more impressionistic style. The point is, we will come into contact with many varied styles of art over a lifetime. From classical paintings in galleries to Manga art in comics: there is no right or wrong when it comes to expressive art.
Classical art from the Old Masters and more contemporary artwork from the 20th century are enduring because they offer a snapshot of a different era. We might chuckle at the strange representation of babies in medieval paintings, but these paintings are still fascinating, many centuries after they were created.
So, where does abstract art fit in and why do abstract paintings remain so popular long after De Kooning and Jackson Pollack exploded on to the art scene? Let’s find out.
What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art is the exact opposite of representational art. If you look at a painting by Renoir, for example, it’s clear what you are seeing: often figures in a landscape. There is no ambiguity.
There is a grey area between realism and abstraction. Some artists use partial abstraction as a way of being more expressive in their work. They might use a still life, landscape or portrait as a starting point, but the finished piece is a departure from reality. Picasso is a good example of semi-abstraction in modern paintings.
A Picasso, whilst partially abstracted, is still representational to a degree. Picasso’s famous painting Guernica is abstracted for sure, but there are various elements, such as the horse and the bull, that are unmistakable.
Contemporary Abstract Art
True abstract art bears no resemblance to anything in real life. It’s an exciting combination of colour and form. Take Jessica Hendrickx, a contemporary visual artist specialising in large abstract paintings. Hendrickx loves to paint imaginary landscapes, playing with colour and composition to inspire both imagination and emotion. Her large abstract paintings can be interpreted in numerous ways: beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
This is one of the reasons why abstract art is so appealing.
Open to Interpretation
Because abstract paintings and sculptures are open to interpretation, you can draw your own conclusions about what the painting or sculpture represents. Everyone who views the artwork has a different experience.
Inspiring an Emotional Response
Abstract art has the innate ability to appeal to our senses. It encourages an emotional response, which helps us to forge an emotional connection with the piece.
Large abstract paintings are also a talking point, which is one reason why they are a popular choice in the corporate world. Whereas a classic landscape might appeal to some clients and investors, abstract art creates the impression of a forward-thinking, innovative brand.
Investors and collectors have a unique opportunity to purchase a piece of art that conveys a mood, a meaning, an emotion. The viewer might not truly understand what the artist is trying to convey in the piece, but they are unlikely to forget it. This is the enduring appeal of abstract art.
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