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Your guide to understanding abstract art


Get inspiration to form your own visual connection and abstract art interpretation.

Have you ever stood in front of a painting, attracted by its visual power, but confused by its meaning? Is it a huge snow-capped peak, shining in the sun, or is it a towering volcano descending from the sky? Should it even be? If you have thought of such a problem when viewing the work, then you have come to the right place.

What is abstract art? Here, we discuss how to understand it and understand the artist’s intentions. By appreciating the freedom brought by the art form to establish a personal visual connection, we are trying to move towards understanding every step of abstraction. Let’s start… Understanding abstract art is easy – all you need is an open mind and wandering imagination. The first step is to prepare yourself to go beyond what you already know or know.

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”

– Arshile Gorky

Abstraction exists in “intuition” and “freedom”. This is the ability of artists. They can use their imagination, surpass what we can see, and transform invisible emotions into canvas. The audience can also try to connect with the artist’s intentions and release their visual limitations. Historically, the abstract art movement was a reaction to academic painting or realism, which appeared in the 19th century. In fact, a very simple way to understand the essence of abstract art is to treat it as the visual opposite of real art.

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As human beings, solving problems comes naturally to us. Although this is useful in most cases, it is not the case for abstract art. The most important thing to know about abstract art is that it does not have to have meaning, narrative or even a single explanation. The main purpose of abstraction is not to tell stories, but to encourage participation and imagination. This art form mainly provides the viewer with an intangible and emotional experience-usually, everyone’s experience is completely different, depending on their personality and mentality.

Therefore, it is really up to the audience to decide whether the painting in front of them has any meaning or causes any emotion. As we mentioned, abstract art is freedom.

How to Look Abstract Art

Are you standing in front of it and trying to find familiar characters, or just glancing at it by the way? When trying to understand abstraction, I realized that there are many ways to criticize art.

However, in order to appreciate abstraction, our focus should not be on the artist actually drawing something or someone, but on the degree to which a work causes emotional success. You can also appreciate abstract paintings from various elements of art (color, shape, line, texture, space, value, etc.). The skill of an abstract artist is that he or she uses colors and textures to achieve his best visual intensity and create sound components from these elements. Please keep in mind the following considerations:

Photo by Steve Johnson

You don’t need to stand in front of an abstract work for a few hours to truly understand it. See the time as it is needed, and the time it pulls you.

We all know that art is subjective, and sometimes there are works that we are unable to contact, especially in terms of abstract art.

Don’t insult the artist’s imagination. On the contrary, if you really don’t like a piece of work, consider what it makes you feel this way. Usually, the titles of abstract paintings are very vague. Most artists deliberately don’t use giveaway titles because they want you to interact with the artwork and eventually find your meaning.

Photo by Steve Johnson

Be sure to read the text on the wall. It can provide you with valuable information about the artist’s background or artistic intent.

Do let this picture reach you. Emancipate your mind, give it a moment, and simply let the painting convey its expected emotions to you. Observe the color and texture. How do they make you feel? Jackson Pollock said: “Abstract painting is abstract. It faces you.” Let the painting ask questions, not the other way around.

Photo by Steve Johnson

Don’t emphasize what you feel. Abstract painting does not need to have a contextual aspect, nor do you need to be able to feel every emotion it conveys.

Don’t ask all questions for now. Too much consideration of the meaning of painting may be disturbing or tiring. Instead, focus on how the painting gives you a feeling and what emotion it conveys to you. Consider how the artist’s background or circumstances may affect his painting. Try to deal with what you know, not question everything.

Remember, abstraction does not have to have a certain meaning. “Getting” artwork brings a short-lived sense of victory, while bathing in its mystery brings longer enjoyment.

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