Thursday, August 04, 2011

Abstract Expressionism--I get it, but I don't get "it" (click)

I've been to the New York Abstract Expressionist exhibit twice now, and although I did get a lot more out of it the 2nd time around, I still find myself speechless; not because I am stunned by the beauty and truth of the artwork, but rather because I still don't get "it."  "It" meaning the paintings.  When looking at a Gorky painting or a de Kooning painting, I can't find any emotional connection to them.  My imagination isn't stimulated.  I don't hear music in my ears and I don't seem to be able to find any reference point to what I've read or seen.  Jackson Pollock's paintings look really pretty because of all the colours.  Their patterns on the canvas makes my eyes dance and I think, "This is a nice painting."  However, I don't walk away feeling anything.

Perhaps I have not suffered enough in life?

Perhaps my thinking is still too attached to the literal and the concrete?

What I did come away from the exhibit with is an interest in astract expressionist photography, especially the works of Henry Callahan and Charles Sheeler.  As for painters, I liked Mark Rothko and Frank Kline the most.