Art Quote of the Day

” Another dilemma that confronts many students occurs when they have been working on both abstract and representational pieces.  They are equally  interested in the two directions and at the same time feel they are suffering from a visual split personality.  Admittedly this is a problem, but not the hopeless one it might seem.  Contrary to what you might suppose, these two modes of expression are not irreconcilable opposites.  They simply allow for responses to different aspects of the same phenomena.  Artists working in a representational vein are concerned on some level that the subject of their visual experience be identifiable.  Nonobjective artists dwell  on components of visual experience in ways that do not necessarily add up to anything other than these components.  The important point is that they have a common base of departure.  Many  artists have commented on this frequently close relationship.  Charles Sheeler’s work is representational, but he wrote, ” I had come to feel that a picture could have incorporated in it the structural design implied in abstraction and be presented in a wholly realistic manner.”  Wayne Thiebaud said in connection with his painting that realism seemed ‘alternately the most magical alchemy on the one hand and on the other the most abstract intellectually.’  Overtly , Mark Rothko’s abstract paintings couldn’t look more different from Thiebaud’s, yet Rothko wrote, “I am not interested in relationships of color or form or anythign else… I am interested in only expressing the basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on….And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point.”  Richard Diebenkorn, who worked as both a representational and an abstract painter, made the conncetion this way: ” Abstract means literally to draw from or separate.  In this sense every artist is abstract….. a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference.  the result is what counts.”

The Blank Canvas – Inviting the Muse by Anna Held Audette