When people first look at abstract art, they may think “even a child could do this," not knowing that abstract art painters have honed excellent drawing skills, incredible senses of composition, and a deep understanding of how colors work together to create moods, thoughts, and actions in others. Most abstract artists have the ability to draw a realistic painting of - say - an apple - but why do that when they can create a visual experience unencumbered by rigid definitions, structure, and reality in general?
Abstract painting requires both an open-minded artist and the audience; precisely because it doesn’t give an audience a specific message, it can be rendered difficult to understand and irrelevant. However, that’s exactly why it matters so much as an art form. Read on for four reasons why abstract art still matters.
Reason #1. It offers small hidden meanings.
For other kinds of painting, you know exactly what the artist is saying and how they expect their art to impact the audience. However, due to the flexibility in interpretation that only abstract art allows, a viewer can look at an abstract image and derive their own meanings, feelings, and thoughts on the matter. No matter what, a person who views abstract art will be left with philosophical questions between order and chaos, structure and flexibility, and reality versus imagination.
Reason #2. Abstract painting allows for introspection.
Unlike other kinds of art which require active and vocal participation on the part of the viewer, abstract art offers the chance for introspection for the viewer. It encourages a viewer to quietly sit with their own thoughts and feelings as they view the art, differentiating it from a world where we are always urged to be “on” and “available.”
Reason #3. It’s a reminder that being here is enough.
Because abstract painting relies more on coloring, shape, and composition - rather than a painting of things, abstract art reminds us that things don’t matter as much as being alive - being in the world - does.
Reason #4. Because it’s beautiful.
Abstract painting is, quite simply, aesthetically pleasing, and that may be because it’s so open to interpretation, no matter who is looking at it. One person can be looking at an abstract painting and feel as elated as they might on a crisp fall day, while another person could look at the same painting and be reminded of a fond memory. The beauty of abstract art is that it doesn’t rely on any specific messaging about what we are supposed to be enamoured with, but just allows us to look at something beautiful and internalize it in our own way.
Abstract painting is a kind of art that is open to interpretation and allows for small, hidden meanings, allows an audience time to be introspective, reminds us that we are alive, and is beautiful to look at - this is why it still matters.