To get into the mindset of abstraction for an upcoming class, I picked up “Abstract Art” by Anna Moszynska. Moszynska writes a very thorough and analytical history of abstraction and how different movements over the last century or so have implemented it. I enjoy the ways in which Moszynska compares and contrasts different forms of abstraction. In an enticing preface, Moszynska says,
“…to many artists, the distinction between representational and abstract art now seems meaningless, because their work daily brings them face to face with the fact that in certain essential ways all art is abstract; and equally, all art is representational, in that it represents something-if only an intention.” (9)
I suppose I have always found myself looking for someone to say this out loud. As obvious as it may seem, in real practice it is easy to overlook. Art often gets categorized by our attempts to describe it. In doing so, “abstract” has come to be a term used for art that is a field of color, or simply shapes and colors. This type of work, like Mondrian’s paintings for example, is now in a genre of “pure abstraction”, which is still arguable. My point is that when I use abstraction to describe some of my own work I do so knowing that they are representational of trees, but I am searching for image and color beyond the subject, which I believe makes it both.