Why abstract art?

Really ... why should we prefer abstract art?

What makes abstract art so different and why is it so hard to understand, but especially, why is it so difficult to interpret?

Let's keep in mind that abstract art appeared and was built starting from artists who assimilated all previous artistic periods and all styles.

Their attempts to differentiate themselves from these styles, but also the need to bring a new breath in art, to reach the essence of things, led to the construction of this new style. All these searches obviously led to quintessence, to the search for the ultimate goal in art and the means to achieve it.

From this perspective, it is not surprising that a painter like Paul Klee (considered one of the founders of abstract art) stated that: "a line is simply a point that goes for a walk ” and that "The duty of art is not to reproduce the visible, but to make it invisible.

Abstract art is difficult to digest. Not only because it is difficult to understand, but also because it seems to be easy to do: just throw the brush and paint at the canvas. But it's not always that simple.

On the one hand, from the viewer's perspective, it is difficult because it requires a consistent effort to analyze and know the history of art. And also the viewer's ability to sink into his own subconscious in order to live and experience the abstract work of art.

Abstract art has been questioned from the very beginning and, most of the time, it has not exactly been accepted in academic circles. It does not stop at building only aesthetic expressions, but goes further. In abstractionism, the viewer is required to not only feel the emotions but also the psyche and the psychic, mental feelings.

On the other hand, from the artist's perspective, it involves a colossal amount of work not only in terms of technique, but also in terms of one's own person and one's own feelings. Imagine that abstract art is like a professional sport. It seems easy what a professional athlete does on the field ... movements, throws, agility. But all this can only be achieved with many years of training.

A line is not just a simple point that decided to go for a walk. A line can only go for a walk if it is well mastered by a master who will allow it to go out for exploration.

If it can be somewhat helpful in deciphering and interpreting abstract works of art, I leave here a quote from Joan Mirό, eloquent I believe, regarding what a valuable work of art means: „You can look at a painting for a week and then you never think about it again. You can only look at a painting for a second and think about it your whole life.

Ultimately, abstract art is another way to answer one of the essential questions of art, but also of aesthetics or even the philosophy of art: what is the purpose of art? Why do we make art and what is its meaning?

Oana Cătălina Bucur,

PhD-student in Art Philosophy