Advanced Abstract Art

The great 19th-century art critic John Ruskin said that an artist was someone who could put a landscape in a teacup. He meant that by controlling scale, the artist could reveal new things about the subject.

When you look at advanced abstract art, you can see what he meant. The teacups are enormous, the landscapes tiny. But even more important is the way the artist has controlled color and line and light. The goal is not realism, but realism’s opposite: abstraction. The artist doesn’t want to re-create a landscape; she wants to make us experience it as we do in real life, directly and not through some other representation of it.

The world we experience every day is more complicated than we think; what we see depends on our angle of view and on how much attention we pay. We have to pick out some things before we can notice others; true understanding always requires selection. Advanced abstract art reveals that process of selection, showing us how reality itself is constructed from perception.

As with any art, the most important thing about abstract art is what it means to you. It could be a visual expression of your psyche, or a playful way to make a statement. It could be a representation of something abstract in your life, such as love or money. It could be a way to represent that you don’t need words to explain yourself.

To make abstract art more interesting, start with something familiar and then change it into something surprising. Start with a face and then erase part of it so the viewer can imagine what’s there instead. Start with an object and stretch or twist it until it becomes unrecognizable.

Or start with very little and build up your painting from scratch. Use materials that are not typically used in art, such as sand or pipe cleaners. Or try mixing paint colors together to create new ones. If you are using paints or markers for this, you may want to put down some paper towels first so you can clean up easily if you have an accident.

You can also do abstract art by taking pictures of things around you and editing them to make them look less literal or realistic–or more so, depending on the effect you want.

If you’re doing abstract art in another media besides painting,

Before the advent of abstract art, painters copied from nature. But unlike the scientific method, which made it unnecessary to re-discover everything over and over, art was stuck with a method that seemed to offer few possibilities for advancement.

It would be like if physicists had never learned to use telescopes or particle accelerators because they were afraid to look away from nature.

The main effect of abstract art was to change what people thought was interesting about art. Before Jackson Pollock, a painting that looked like a mess was not an impressive accomplishment; it was just a mess. The result of this change in perception is that today, at least in the United States, there are more people working as artists than ever before in history.

The rule is: don’t do this at home.

The paintings in question are abstract, with radically simplified color and form, and they’re made using a new kind of paint called emulsion. The artist working in this style is Bridget Riley.

When Riley and her husband-to-be Victor Pasmore began studying art together in London just after World War II, they were looking for something new to paint. They were both students of the Cubist painter Henry Moore and had already seen the work of a younger group who called themselves the Abstract Expressionists. But these Americans had taken a far more radical approach than the British artists.

A few years later, as a young married couple living on an army base in Germany, Riley and Pasmore saw something new again: avant garde German painting and sculpture. They saw works by artists like Otto Piene and Gerhard Richter and realized that the German artists were even more radical than those in New York. They had stopped making representational art entirely and replaced it with abstract designs—squares within squares within squares, or simple designs made up of lines—arranged in exciting ways on the canvas or other media they used.*

In the 1930s, a new school of abstract artists arose in New York who were determined to go beyond the traditional categories of painting and sculpture. They hoped to create art that was relevant to the emerging technological age, while also embodying the spirit of scientific inquiry and discovery.

Through their experimentation, these artists created a new style called “abstract expressionism.” The movement’s most famous proponents included Jackson Pollock, Willem DeKooning, and Mark Rothko.

The abstract expressionists believed that the purpose of art was to reveal the realm of human experience that lay beyond ordinary perception: an inner world of subtle emotions and complex thoughts.

In order to convey this sense of transcendence, they employed an artistic technique called “action painting.” Action painters like Pollock would stand on a raised platform with a blank canvas before them. Then they would flail about wildly with paint-soaked brushes until they had created their work.

Action painting demanded tremendous physical exertion and emotional intensity. The result was always unpredictable because it depended so much on the artist’s internal state. In fact, many action painters attempted to induce trancelike states through drugs or alcohol.

Art critics, such as Clive Bell, have argued that art is not beautiful but fascinating. According to this view, “beauty” confuses us into regarding mere decoration as art when it is merely pleasing; we should instead regard art as something intellectually more advanced than the decorative arts.

The word “art,” however, has two meanings: one refers to a practice or product of some skill, and the other refers to skill itself. Music and painting are arts in this second sense — they are activities requiring skill; carpentry is an art in the first sense — it produces objects produced through skilled craftsmanship. The distinction between the two meanings of “art” matters because there is no plausible reason to call something either a work of skill or beautiful if it is not both.

For this reason, artists who want their work to be taken seriously in aesthetic terms need to show that it involves skill, whereas theorists who want to claim that art is important do not need to argue that it is beautiful; they need only argue that art qua art involves skill.

The art education program has had a unique history. It is the only degree-granting program at CCA that is run entirely by students. The two faculty members who teach the courses are responsible for course content, grading and evaluations, but all other aspects of the program from administration to career services to gallery management to public relations are coordinated by students.

This is a 4 year BFA with a focus on three-dimensional art. The main goal of this school is to produce well-rounded artists who can skillfully use any medium. CCA’s main approach to art education is an individualized one. Everyone’s path through the program will be different, depending on their interests and goals. Most importantly, though, the concentration required in each year will allow students to explore their interests more deeply while also giving them a broad foundation in the art world**

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