ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Nature Of Abstract Art Criticism and Dismissals

Updated on August 23, 2016
Source

Art Criticism and Its Discontents

Despite the fact abstract art remains one of the most well known art movements in history, artwork born of the genre remains misunderstood. The misconceptions frequently derive mostly from mistaken impressions of abstract art's merits. The inability to understand the merits comes from merely looking at the art and solely examining its visuals. While virtually everyone can recognize abstract art when they come across it, not very many will be able to explain the themes and motivations that create a particular distinct work. Misconceptions about the value and merits of abstract art are born of merely not understand why the art is the way it is.

A Cliched Criticism that Never Goes Away

The common clichéd criticism of abstract art has always been that anyone can “do that”. In other words, the art is not real art. It is just splotches or marks on a canvas. As such, the art has no value because it has no motivation, no thematic underpinnings, and no real creativity. Adding up all these drawbacks equates with artwork that is....worthless. Dismissive attitudes such as these should be addressed with a question. The question that should be posed towards those making errant dismissals of the movement should why they not capable of creating the next “lame“ art movement “anyone“ can come up with.

Yes, it is easy to say you can “do something“ (In this case, create new art movements or genre) after the movement has been established. Duplicating something that already exists is not a form of doing something. It is the act making an imitation after all the hard work has been done.

It is not so easy to create a revolutionary art movement that establishes a new genre and evoke a visceral and impacting response in an art educated audience. The new genre also has to have an intellectual quality to it or else it simply will not evoke anything. The lack of an intellectual component would make the finished work something akin to a run of the mill landscape painting.

Abstract Art is an Evolutionary Process

This being another point why abstract art is special. The movement reflects a long line in the continual evolution of art movements. Each art movement builds on the previous one. Frequently, new art movements are reactions to prior ones. Often, the movements will be influenced by the perspectives and biases of the artist in relation to the cultural times in which they lived. The pop art of Andy Warhol, for example, reflected a response to classical art of antiquity and was heavy influenced by the television consumer culture of the 1950s and 1960s.

Abstract art could be seen as a means of taking surrealism to the next level. While surrealism makes no logical sense due to the presence of elements in the canvas that have nothing to do with one another, abstract art makes no logical sense...period.

Or so it seems.

The Emotional Nature of Abstract Art

To truly appreciate abstract art, one has to realize this form of art is a reflection of raw emotion amidst racing thoughts. There is a lot of chaos on the canvas in a piece of abstract art. It could even be argued that the emotional reactions associated with such artwork are angry and somewhat emotionally violent. While not the case with all forms of abstract art, there is a true anarchism present in the painting of the movement. For those looking for realism or classical art work, abstract material comes off very poorly. Those interested in visceral intellectualism consider abstract art comprised of works of brilliance.

The Traditional Safe Norms of Generic Artwork

As with pop art, abstract art is a rebellion against common, traditional norms found in most forms of classical artwork. The traditional, laymen concept of artwork of merit is anything worthy of hanging on the wall of a home falls under the categories of landscapes or images of people performing tasks. Fisherman on boats are common subjects on canvases that have been selling on retail store shelves for decades. There is definitely nothing wrong with such paintings and some of them are truly outstanding works. However, they are commonly selected by the consumer culture because of the safe and recognizable nature of the images on the canvas. Recognizable images have a tendency to evoke the same safe prefabricated reactions among all those viewing the artwork. Such safe reactions allow such basic artwork to be excellent for the living room wall. Unfortunately, another likely common response among many looking at such art is indifference.

The Abstract Value

Attitudes towards abstract art are many things, but indifference would hardly be among them, How can you be indifferent towards a work that is a true shock to the senses when you see it? And truth be told, there will be those that absolutely detest what they see. This returns us to the dismissive Anyone can do that criticism. A word to the wise here is it would be best to be dismissive of the dismissive. Anyone can like or dislike something based on any reasons of personal taste. Serious criticism on the merits of the material, however, has to be rooted in knowledge and a sense of history. Lacking both means it is not really serious criticism.

=
Other similar works:

To Be Experienced and Not Watched: The Cinema of Federico Fellini Films

Andy Warhol: The Images of Classical Antiquity Just Don't Know Where They Are Going



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mery Adams profile image

      Mery Adams 

      10 months ago

      It is an art that marks meaning but a personal one, depending on what the artist wants to convey through their feelings, and that each person feels when observing the paintings, to me for example I like the Spanish painter Gabino Amaya Cacho, creator of pointillism abstract, they waste a lot of light and flashy colors.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)