So far, I've discussed what I discovered studying abstraction.
This time I'm going to talk about what led me to study.
I've called this talk
Writing Abstraction: Pushing the Boundaries of Human Visual Expression
(or Blackstraction is always Abstraction but Abstraction is not always Blackstraction)
Let's start with a couple of definitions:
a system of communication between members of a group.
the expression and application of human creative skill, spirit and imagination.
because all meaning is derived from the creative and unorthodox usage of grammar, sentence structure, punctuation and words within the poem,
poetry can be considered the original formalist abstract art.
I thought abstract artists spent most of the 20th century dissecting and isolating surface treatments that could act like words. the challenge was to create syntax- grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation- mechanisms that supported intelligibility because as a language- the art would communicate with people who understand abstraction (and perhaps a few that do not...)
Writing abstraction requires subconsciously accessing the deepest recesses of both soul and intellect. Writing abstraction requires an all encompassing knowledge of technique and material as well as an intuitive ability to use that knowledge to make work pushing the boundaries of human visual expression.
I'm going to explain what I mean using two works executed between March 2020 and May of this year, one an exercise, the other execution of an idea. Worked on simultaneously, they depict the same time: one a kind of emotional diary and the other a portrait of the circumstances.
"M o o D"
20 mixed media drawings on recycled rag paper with perforations
record my state of mind day or night using graphite by marking each page once each time I worked on them for however long I worked on them
An exercise that would have yielded pages of graphite markings of various strength and depth changed when I accidently used a blue coloring pencil one night.
At this point, I began to consciously add communicable signs and make choices about to what to record, beginning with a firm straight red line and the title, yellow circle/sun brown square/warmth, using pattern outside the square made me separate the drawings into two sets- prompted use of red in the body to refocus attention to the center and pattern inside the square to communicate boredom and anxiety.
a response to lockdown, isolation, and finding solace within
use white as a dominant color to convey a sense of safety and security in a kind of wall plaque like my mothers' religious wall sayings...
12 labyrinth drawings on rag paper collaged with Japanese paper and painted over with titanium
transferred images of wooded areas using photocopies over the labyrinth drawings, applied a layer of white repeated the process then reinforced the colors introduced by the photocopies using graphite, coloring pencil and paint... repeated this twice, then concentrated on layering white and reinforcing the colors three times.
(each time I paint, I am subconsciously channeling my intent...)
I mounted the pieces on foam core with Japanese paper and gave them a blue braided loop to hang from thinking I had taken them as far as I could. I had them photographed but kept thinking they could be stronger...
I cut off the backs and began to paint layers of white and color again fusing content and the idea of turning inward. I decided to fold them along the edges of the Japanese paper to give them an actual interior and to hang them from an arced light greenish plastic coated wire at the top to suggest chapel.
Finally, closing the backs using paper painted blue suggested rounding so color is reflected behind and the arc become a steeple...
Meaning derived from the work.
inher sanctuary, Blackstraction = an object treatment (meditative solitude?)
Abstraction is not always Blackstraction but Blackstraction is always abstraction.