Carolyn Weltman Art Blog
To see the exhibition of abstract american painters circa 1940 - 1960.
This exhibition is vast and with far too many paintings to absorb in one visit. (A topic for a future blog, do museums curate such large exhibits in order to bring people back and make more money?).
As a very figurative painter myself, I've always had issues with understanding abstract art and mostly have to follow my gut. For instance, I completely feel the genius of a Jackson Pollock but in an entirely subjective way. The passion shows through in his paintings but the paintings themselves don't make sense to me. I am a lot more comfortable with De Kooning's more figurative works as well as his colour palette. Painters like Barnett Newman leave me confused and uncomfortable.
However, I went deliberately to learn and feel that I did absorb so much from this exhibition. The biggest lesson of all was a realisation (a light bulb moment) that the artists involved in this movement were probably the last of a dying breed of artists. Immediately following this movement, art became corporate and big business and the very nature of art and artists changed. Today's artists by comparison are money driven and often paint for their audience rather than exploring their own passions and the needs of society.
It would be educational to interact with the artists on Artid and be able to discuss the merits of painting in a way that brings painting forward in a different way. By exploring both our techniques and the societal values of our works just as the group of abstract expressionist artists came together in New York city and in spite of their different styles in painting, were able to learn from each other and create a huge leap forward in painting and how the general public views art. (Of course, as many groups of artists have done throughout history).
Could a chat room embedded into Artid become the modern day coffee shop environment for us to explore our works together? So many artists work in isolation nowadays. Is there any interest, I wonder, in doing this or are we more inclined to make statements on our facebook pages or in our blogs that are explored lightly and glossed over for a day or two. Could we bring back the in depth passions of the discussions of our predecessors do you think? Or are we happy in our state of isolation to just make money and pay the rent?