The Validity of Abstract Art

"Playtime" - Abstract Art

Today, far too many are still suspicious of the motives of abstract artists and question the validity of their work. Many will want to dismiss Abstract Art as some lesser art form, as though it is secondary to Realism. Sadly, I feel they miss the point entirely.

As humans, we constantly feel the urge to express ourselves, and simple words are never enough. We search out other more effective means of expression. We employ the use of sound, movement, and images. So, for visual expression, does photography or Photo-Realism suffice? No, our intensely deep and emotional spiritual selves can’t survive with simple words, sounds or images.

We need something more!

Instead of simple speech, we write poetry and lyrics to songs, instead of casual gestures, we dance with passion, and for the pleasure of our ears, we create music. Beyond basic patterns of color, for visual expression, we paint.

What should we paint? Simple copies of what we see in nature? Is that enough for profound creative expression?

    • Poets don’t write mundane words and phrases that everyone speaks. They create anew.
    • Dancers don’t simply copy the movement of monkeys. They create new movements.
    • Musicians don’t mimic birds. They develop new sounds.

So what should a visual artist paint? Copies of nature?

Real artists create new images. They alter what they see to make their artistic statement. They exemplify the color of light like the Impressionists did. They alter form like Modigliani and Picasso. They create nostalgia like Bouguereau or Rockwell.

Or perhaps – they paint abstract!

Shouldn’t the visual arts follow suit with the other fine arts in artistic expression? Doesn’t it correlate? Why should painting be restricted to only Realism?

Abstract Art affords the artist the freedom to present his ideas without being constrained to what he visually sees. It allows the artist the means by which he creates and invents wonderful new and exciting images.

Abstract Art, like so many other art movements, was developed with the motivation and purpose of human expression. It endeavors to delve into the far reaches of the human soul and present it to others.

How boring and insipid the art world would be if we faithfully painted only what we see.
– Curtis Verdun

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