It seems to me that in the world today, because of an overload of information and the frenetic , commercialized pace of our everyday life’s, we are becoming more and more desensitized to the subtleties of the world we live in. This, in turn, requires both visual and auditory communication to be ratcheted up in order to try and get our attention. Too many marketing emails, color palettes gone crazy, mind numbing commercials which are repeated endlessly, too much bold and ALL CAPS, underlined and italics! The subtleties of life grow dimmer.
We lose the shadows in our live’s to the ultra bright lights emanating from the cool but harsh LED’s. The warm glow of candle light or even the soft glow of vanishing incandescent bulb going, gone. Music seems louder, screaming lyrics laced with profanities. Metallic paint and glitter in art. Everything digital, faster and more efficient. Never enough time and our younger and future generations will never know what the world was like before the internet.
To me this is where abstract art can provide a venue to contemplate the subtleties of life. It doesn’t tell you what to think. It ask that you provide the message from your own point of view. Many of the painters of the 60’s and 70’s were masters at the subtleties of mindscape, requiring a more sensitive approach to viewing art. Rothko and his color fields, O’Keefe and her delicate expressions, Diebenkorn, Motherwell, Frankenthaler among others. Abstract art is introspective from both the artist and the viewers perspective. It must be meditated to be understood.
I was recently at an exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. It was a well attended exhibition, but many of those attending were racing from one artwork to the next, checking their mental boxes that, yes, they saw THAT painting. Not stopping to really enjoy what they were seeing. Time to move on.
Epiphanies can come on a gentle wind. Great ideas can spring from a quiet moment. Inspiration literally means the act breathing in. The reason we sigh is to find our calmness.
Abstract art can be a mirror, or a reflection if you will, to our souls.