How do you explain abstract art? For over 100 years viewers have debated the merits of this modern art movement and there is no sign of the dialog stopping…or the art. With every abstract painting or modern art sculpture, contemporary artists carry on a tradition of creating a world that did not exist before. These artists use an aesthetic language of color, form, and line to push the boundaries of what we consider to be art and challenge us to widen our perspective.
Although modern abstract artwork is, by definition, non-representational, not all of the work is completely non-objective art. Each artist finds ideas in something uniquely important to him. Abstract artists such as Willie Marlowe and Robert Ruckman are fascinated with symbolism from ancient cultures and ancient religions. Mary Anne Keel Jenkins has created a wide range of abstract paintings and collages that reflect her interests in ancient architecture on the one hand and her moral outrage at war on the other. The modern art of Cynthia Knapp reflects nature and natural organic forms while Elise P. Speights paints instinctively and lets color and pattern take it’s own course.
The best of contemporary abstract art walks a fine line; on first glance we may only see marks on paper or paint on canvas but on closer inspection we are reminded of a memory, a feeling, a place or an idea. The freedom from representational image allows us to see what we want and interpret how we feel without constraint. Abstract art can be an art of pure emotion, of mathematical exactitude or dynamic energy. But in the end it is up to us to decide what we are seeing in each piece and, by doing so, we participate in the creative process and bring these works to life.