One school of painting that I never really "got", could never really grasp the idea or the principles behind the work is that of Abstract Expressionism. Not that I don't like some of the work...I really love Joan Mitchell's and Elaine de Kooning's paintings for example:
|Elaine de Kooning: watercolor|
I did take this one as you can see from the reflection!
One of my big puzzzles with AE is: how to know when it's "good". And I think we often run into this...same thing with 20th and 21st century music...very difficult to judge how successful, how long lasting something will be when people are really pushing the edges of an art form..In the early stages of a movement, there are no definitions, that's what is really so fascinating! anything is possible...for a while...
When I wrote my online class on designing modern quilts, the first thing I did was look for a definition - actually an official definition came out a little after I'd written the class...but I was pretty close!
I had never seen a definition of AE before but apparently Arch Critic and Cataloguer Clement Greenberg did write one in 1962:
"If the label Abstract Expressionism means anything, it means
loose, rapid handling, or the look of it;
masses that blotted and fused instead of shapes that stayed distinct;
large and conspicuous rhythms,
uneven saturations or densities of paint,
[obvious] brush, knife or finger marks".
I love that phrase "or the look of it" - a seeming casual but carefullly thought out arrangement!
I must admit I often try to cultivate "the look of it " myself!!
Once you have a definition, you can begin to grasp the movement as a whole and form an idea as to what the artist is trying to do. so I'll be headed back to all those AE folk for a long second look.
But also, reading this definition, I can see just how easily one could apply some of this to quilt design...AND I don't think there are very many people doing this.
anyone looking for a new direction to take? Consider AE!
And, if you have been, thanks for reading! all comments Very Welcome....Elizabeth