4 abstract painters, so what do I do here?
The following is a guest post written by my friend, art couch and better painter, Xavier Ribas.
When Antonio proposed me to write about abstract art commitment while using as example the work of four abstract painters, I accepted the invitation without hesitation, but then I realized that I was a figurative painter, and although I have always shown a fondness for American abstract painters such as Mark Rothko, and more recently Cy Twombly, the fact is that figurative painting has always been a speech in which I feel more comfortable to develop my artistic approaches.
Unlike figurative painters (we hold our discourse with more or less recognizable referents), the abstract painter has to hold his speech with a strong conviction based conceptual analysis and experimentation.
Abstract painters take a step beyond the reality we all know, and extracting from it the parent lines, they develope their own language to explain (even to themselfs) this reality of all. Coherence of discourse has to flow in the artworks to get a credible reading.
Allow me to use the example of Mondrian (the top painting is his “Grey Tree”). A painter who, based on his study of nature, began a process of synthesis to find the tension in the vertical and horizontal lines that were arranged in a tree and landscape horizon.
In my student days, l was very interested by Joaquim Chancho’s work, whom I had the opportunity to hear his comments during the talks that were held in classrooms. He represents a clear example of abstract painter committed to his work and reality.
One aspect that I find of most importance in art, even more than performance technique or plastic beauty, is honesty and commitment of theauthor to his work. These are the terms that support the consistency that allows a work (or dialogue) to sustain over time. I think this is especially important when creating abstract art because the gestures can easily dominate the discourse and make it a purely decorative product.
Mark Rothko has always been one of my favorite abstract painters and remains a landmark in the development of some concepts of my work, especially for control of space and the role of uncertainty.
Cy Twombly was a painter I recently discovered. He captivated me for his color usage, compositions and gesture. I am interested in how he adds his thoughts in written words, and how these words are diluted in the painting. It gives me the feeling of works in progress or areas where he records what he is thinking.
At the end of my walk through these four fantastic abstract artists, I have been surprised by the fact that I´ve chosen photos with their works behind them. It seems that my unconscious was warning me of something: I am a figurative painter !
Thanks a lot for your interesting article, Xavier. Its reading makes me improve a little bit more. What about you?. How would you define committed abstract art? Feel free to add your thoughts below.