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The Evolution of Abstract Art







Abstract art is the natural result of thousands of years of artistic evolution. 

Art began as using colors and shapes to represent concrete objects on cave walls, such as those at Lascaux.  From there the use of colors and shapes evolved to the two-dimensional figures seen in the ancient Mediterranean cultures, and then over the following few centuries, continued evolving into the wonderful figures of Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel. 

This method of using colors and shapes to represent concrete objects (often used allegorically or symbolically for abstract ideas) was held until the coming of the Impressionists, who broke away from the dominant artistic paradigm of art existing to convey ideas or to portray events (either historical, legendary, or mythological) and promoted the idea of "art for art's sake".  Still, even the Impressionists held onto the idea that art needed to portray something and their works are usually landscapes and portraits. 

It was not until the first experiments in abstract art (e.g. Wassily Kandinsky)  came about that art broke away from the idea of representing anything and evolved into seemingly random colors and shapes, even though the works were often (and still often are) meticulously planned.

Of course, there are movements countering the abstract and reaching back into history to take realism to new levels--and this is wonderful, because artists should be free to take whatever direction they want in pursuit on their personal goals.  It also benefits the public, to whom are offered a wide assortment of highly imaginative works.

It is in this expansion of the imagination through art, whether abstract, hyper-realistic, or anything in-between, that the public derives spiritual and intellectual benefit or simple pleasure.  To benefit the viewing public in some fashion should be the aim of art.  Our world is full of terror, ugliness, horror, chicanery, fear, sorrow, and thousands of other negative emotions.   If I as an artist can provide at least a moment's relief from those horrors, then I derive my own spiritual benefit. 


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