We hear it all the time: ”I just don’t understand this,“ “I prefer art that means something.” Even worse: “I could do that!”
It is easy to look at a piece of abstract art and wonder how it made it into a gallery or museum. The truth is, we have all likely asked these questions at one point or another, and unfortunately when we encounter subjects we don’t understand, we easily avoid and move on instead of going deeper.
dk Gallery’s abstract show, Breaking the Rules comes to an end in just a few days, and we don’t want you to miss out. Here are eight ways to gain a better understanding, acceptance, appreciation, and hopefully LOVE abstract art:
Abstract art doesn’t have tomean anything, so resist the urge to decode it. Often times, and perhaps all the time, whether in abstract or representational art, the purpose of the painting is the paint (or the medium with which it is created) and its relationship to itself. Color relationships, composition, rhythm, contrast, movement.
Looking at and comprehending any work takes time, so make sure you’re not in a rush.
Try not to stress. Simply describe what you see. What is the title? What colors, lines, shape, or forms do you see?
Don’t be afraid to get close and check out the physical properties of the work. What materials and textures do you see? Do you see any layers in the piece? How do you think the artist created the work? Are these properties intentional or accidental?
“Abstraction is staggeringly radical, circumvents language, and sidesteps naming or mere description” – Jerry Staltz
The way we perceive a work of art (or anything for that matter) is influenced by our own experiences. Find a way to relate to the painting. Does the work remind you of anything in your life? How does it compare to the works around it? How does the work relate to other contemporary artists or those in art history?
Analyze the work. How do the elements work together to create space? How does your eye move within the work? What is the most important part of the work?
Going back to point #1, not all work necessarily has a concrete meaning, yet we can still interpret the work. Think about what is happening in the piece. Imagine this painting represents sound- what sound would it make? Do the colors, marks or shapes convey an emotion?
After considering all these things, now you can evaluate the work. Is the work good or is it bad? Do you like it?