Conceptual and abstract modern art.
Since the very beginning artists have worked around three main concepts: space, color and shape. The arrival of modern art, contemporary art, abstract art, visual art (you name it…), allowed artists to stay away from traditional “rules” while being able to add additional themes to their art works: texture, concept, emotions, objects, movement. But …
What happens when a modern/contemporary abstract artist armonically integrates shape, space and color alltogether in an artwork?. The answer is simple: the result becomes fascinating, beauty happens, and universal human emotions come to the light. Let me tell you a secret: this integration is not as simple as it main seem.
The painting above is a Picasso figurative painting. Focus your sight on the background. Forget the figure. To me this is a good “classical” example of what I mean. If you do what I said, the background painting becomes abstract and you just see color (different blue tones), shape (apparent straight lines), space (an imaginery tridimensional one), and emotions (sadness?). Check this article to see great examples of blue abstract art painting.
In this post I´m going to show you some excellent examples of the above idea. Lets start!!
The above is a Dan Flavin piece. You can perfectly see the combination of shape, color and space. This is not a modern painting, nor a photography. It´s an installation. Flavin used lighted color fluorescents to make his conceptual (better known as minimal) artworks. Isn´t this one astonishing? The intelectual reasoning behind the final work was so good that it allowed him to create this “apparently simple” final piece. What do you feel?
Want to know more about why Dan Flavins art is extraordinary, read the below retrospective book. Click on the image to see more.
In the above instalation Carlos Cruz-Diez also explores the relationship between color, shape and space. He does so allowing the observer to participe in the process. In fact, we are a main part of the process. We become active observers and actors. Isn´t it beautiful?. Take a closer look. Do you see how the yellow back light brings the end to the front?
John Chamberlain metal abstract sculptures brought abstract expressionism to a new dimension. He actually added a 3rd dimension to the abstract expressionism being done at that time. Color, shape and space at the same time. To know more about this superb sculpture, read the below spectacular book about him (click on the imagefor more info)
The above is an interesting and apparently spontaneous Cy Tomwbly´s abstract painting. (read also this article about his art committment) It again shows us the spectacular emotional power that a well combined artwork can have. You see form (a circular one), shape (deepht) and color. What emotions arouse on you?
And what about Sarah Morris with her city building amazing and colorfull geometrical abstract paintings? In this piece it is easier to see the combination of shape, color and space. Do you realice how she cleverly plays with us with her color usage technique? Fantastic!!
Another good example is this Brice Marden moving abstract painting. Try to stare at it for a minute. Yes, it mooooves. Brilliant!!!. A really powerful book about Brice Marden, is the one below. For add. info click on the image.
To finish this so interesting to write post, allow me to include one of Antonio Basso´s contemporary abstract pastel papers (it belongs to a private collector that will be happy to see it here). When making it I was conciously exploring space through the help of color and shape, and I guess it worked ok. What do you think?
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