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How do you judge an abstract work?

(Jean McLean) #21

You judge abstract work pretty much the way you judge any work…there are the mechanical (for lack of a better term) things, such as use of color, shapes, balance, value, and design, but there is also a need to evaluate things that are less absolute - which is where you determine how successful or unsuccessful a piece is based on its expressiveness - and its impact on you, the viewer.

I think a painting can be all about the paint - and can be painted from one step to the next based on what the artist sees is happening as the painting unfolds. I see that as totally legitimate and a valuable way to do art.

(Christine Derrick) #22

Have always had difficulty in interpreting other people’s abstract art. I find many pieces simply jar my senses and turn me off. So those, to me, are not “good” art, but they might be “good” for someone else. Rather appropriate, in this age of relativism…“it all depends”.
I had to laugh about the pencil-line on a sheet of paper winning first prize. It’s funny what judges choose as Best in Show; they probably think it’s trendy and cool to pick something that will infuriate the rest of the entrants. It reminds me of an artist from many years ago who hung a series of canvases in the UK (might have been the Hayward gallery), all blank, but with a biro line round the edges. And people were actually stood there viewing each one!
Abstract work that has some basis in Nature, I can often relate to; but the intellectual arty-farty stuff is beyond my comprehension.

(Anne Wood) #23

I am also a fan of Brian’s work. Love his videos.

(Joe Wojdakowski) #24

Yeah his paintings are beautiful, I could look at them all day.

(Joe Wojdakowski) #25

I still explore with abstract once in awhile, but have never been happy with any of the paintings.

(Andrea Jeris) #26

I took 6 semesters of art history before I understood modern art, that the huge canvas painted orange is meant to be viewed for about 3 seconds as you walk around a corner and you are shocked and enveloped by it. Why anyone would do it a second time is beyond me. Some I love and some I don’t like or understand as well. Academia seems to embrace it. The art magazines tend toward realism (contests). Here is an interesting video about (bad) modern art: https://www.prageru.com/courses/history/why-modern-art-so-bad
See what you think.

(David Kuhn) #27

The guy who painted this is lecturing the world about bad art? Ironic.

(Andrea Jeris) #28

Bwhahaha!!! Didn’t see that! :stuck_out_tongue:

(Joe Wojdakowski) #29

Funny how his lecture is putting down modern art yet his painting of Elvis to me looks like modern art.

(David Kuhn) #30

Here’s a video to counter his video.

(Tl Shaver) #31

His art seems more about politics than great art. If you have to explain all the reasons and all your political leanings about how your art is “art” it’s probably not art. The Elvis painting certainly looks like pop art, but it was a painting of Elvis…not a square called Elvis. Not all abstract is bad, I agree. Some are quite beautiful…but I’ve always lived my life by this saying “You can sell bullshit for a dollar a pound when you can’t give the truth away.”

(David Kuhn) #32

He was political, but Rothko expressed his main concern like this:

"I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on — and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

(Tl Shaver) #33

And those are the people that fall into the last line of my statement…If you walk into a room and see a square painted on a canvas and have a religious experience or weep…there’s something going on in your mind that’s not art related…

(Tl Shaver) #34

Yes it does seem to be “Pop Art”…but it was a poster…which is meant to look like a poster to sell the event.

(David Kuhn) #35

So, just to clarify, if a person has an emotional reaction to modern art, they’re mentally unbalanced?

(Joe Wojdakowski) #36

How someone can not feel the the emotion on Rothkos canvases is beyond me. Especially if your a painter, its what colors do ,they evoke emotion. Its why i keep trying to produce absract expressionist type work but can never quite produce something I feel good about. But the process is wonderful and the emotions Rothko talks about i’ve felt many times when painting.

(Tl Shaver) #37

I said “not art related”…not unbalanced.

(David Kuhn) #38


Exactly, the process is special. That’s why I find it so difficult to go back to purely realist painting; it feels like a construction project rather than an emotional experience, and that doesn’t work for me anymore.

(Andrea Jeris) #39

I do love Rothko. Thanks for the link to that video David. That was interesting and I enjoyed it very much.

(David Kuhn) #40


You and I could start the DPW Rothko fan club… but I think we (and Joe) might be the only people here to join it :slight_smile: