I’ve always understood the abstract in a superficial yet simple way – something that looks simple. That is a lie. I didn’t always perceive it as such. Initially, I had a more philistine perspective, considering each abstract art piece as something elementary or unable to be understood. This obviously wasn’t true at all, those pieces were understood and that was why they were in a gallery, a magazine, or on whatever medium it graced.
This failure on my part was largely due to my working definition of abstractionism: something immaterial. The dots and color blocks were just things to me. They are still things. But they are different things.
I’m still working through this because I’ve found that, although I haven’t studied abstract art specifically, I’ve gained a greater awareness of it just by living. And it is perhaps my awareness of this development that I find abstractionism so interesting. Perceivably, I will die without ever having understood it at all.
At the moment, I am considering the abstract as a method of extraction: to portray the core essence of something via some other thing. And this loss of detail in the process of extraction, I believe, mirrors the human process of collecting images so accurately. It spits the contours of our visual database back at us – and if done properly – we get it immediately. Perhaps this is why it lends itself to be understood via experience, rather than depending on the learned knowledge of an art critic or professor. As my visual database extends, so to do the contours.

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