Abstract Light vs. Literal Light

Posted: March 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

Barnett Newman
Onement V
(1953)

Dan Flavin
Untitled
(1963)

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Comments
  1. Aralia Ward says:

    I believe why this very simple style of abstract art became so offensive to multiple critics is that its really hard as a human to not interpret things. I really tried to view both of these pieces with an unbiased view but almost instantly the green shade of the actual light piece reminded me of Luke Skywalker’s light saber in Star Wars. I found it much easier to not interpret the painting of light as it didn’t automatically trigger any specific pop culture reference. I used to be really frustrated with this ultra simplistic style of painting. I many not be a great artist, but I certainly could paint a stripe. What makes this work different? What helped clarify this was my art class. Currently, we are creating abstract works and my teacher strongly stressed to us that if we truly wanted our works to be great, we needed to consider and incorporate the spirit of the 21st century. The reason paintings like the ones shown on this post are great, is not necessarily the painting itself but how well the painting communicated with the time. It would be complete foolishness to create a Jackson Pollock replica, and become angry when no one wants to display it. That style was meant for a different time. Our generation needs to find what form of art will best represent all the ideas and complexities and controversies of our day, and then maybe years later future generations will look at it and say ” I don’t get it.” This may in fact show that an art piece was truly successful because it related to a specific time far more strongly than any other, and now this art can be valuable in helping relate back to the emotion of the past.

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