Interpreting Abstract Art

The Guide For Interpreting Abstract Art

Artisans Gallery - Interpreting Abstract Art

It is an extremely common mistake for art lovers to misinterpret abstract art because they are looking to identify with a concrete and real idea in which they can relate. This reaction is totally natural, we as mankind prefer to make sense of everything we ever experience on a day to day basis. So naturally abstract art becomes unrecognizable to us because of its bold colors and unpredictable usage of lines/shapes. The more abstract the painting, the harder it will be to find a meaning within it. Several uneducated and unknowing viewers find it challenging to see a difference between the art of an abstract professional painter and the art of a child.

As there are several similarities between the art of an abstract professional painter and that of the art of a child except for the fact that they are only surface level. Children paint to express emotion the same way professionals paint as well. However, professionals take the time to plan, think, and understand art's principles and visual elements. Owning this understanding of art gives professional artist's work a much greater visible structure as well as artwork complexity. A child may create a scribble but an artist would be able to explain each and every bend in the line.

Abstract Art is not based upon recognizable imagery but focuses on the formal elements of artistic design. The artwork's significance lies in the utilization of each artistic element and the way in which it was portrayed according to the principles of art, this in itself gives feeling and meaning to the painting. Abstract art challenges you to look deeper than the canvases surface. The artwork refers more to the process itself than the final image. The process can arise through utilization of symbolism or even begin with a clear visible image that is eventually reduced down to its abstract essence.

This type of art will make more sense when studying an artist's whole body of work rather than focusing on just one abstract piece. You will gain a better knowledge through reviewing an artist's preceding pieces before solely examining a more present one. Do not forget that we are each a product of our environment. Thus, it is important to further study an artist's culture, time period, and locational influences. Each insight will only give you a better understanding of why he/she may have created said abstract painting.

Give yourself time to understand an abstract painting. In life people typically try to immediately understand what is in front of them. When it comes to abstract art, making a quick loose judgement will loose you all credibility of the painting. Abstract art needs to be studied, examined, and absorbed. Presently, a movement known as 'Slow Art' has been created to help art viewers avoid rushing through a museum so that they can truly appreciate each piece of art and all its glory. Believe it or not, you do need to spend more than twenty seconds looking at an individual piece of artwork to even begin to understand it.

There are three very simple steps to follow to help you scratch the surface of comprehending abstract art:

1. Describe what you see. Do not be afraid to first state the obvious but do not stop there. It is important to allow yourself to go deeper that what is on the surface of the canvas. Are there artist principles and elements that you can identify? Try to figure out what color palette the artist has chosen.. is it based on warm or cool colors and are they saturated or unsaturated? Look at the painting's usage of lines. Find out if the lines are balanced or if they create shapes. One can possibly even find repetition throughout the painting, try to locate this element as well.

2. Let your imagination begin to interpret the piece of artwork. Does your heart feel as if the artwork is trying to represent some sort of message? Describe what makes you feel this way. Search for movement or rhythm within the painting. Or even discuss how its makes you feel - if it evokes happiness or possibly even sadness. Make sure to read each piece of art's title as a title can give away hints to the paintings true meaning or purpose.

3. Make your final evaluation. Explain how you are moved by the painting. Feel free to even explain how you are not moved by the painting. Describe your final thoughts and understanding of the artworks intent. Do not feel bad if you did not receive a message from a painting, not every single piece of artwork will speak to everyone all the time.

Abstract art begins with a shared human experience. Take your time in discovering what a painting can truly mean to you. Each unique and individual painting represents its own conversation to the world from a single artist's point of view. It is paramount to dig deeper in order to understand an abstract piece of arts true purpose. If at first you do not succeed, do your research - when it comes to abstract art, an artist's story can further let you in to appreciate the artist's body of work.