Fall Northampton Special Exhibit
Images: Aaron Macsai, Brooch • Sharon London, Shawl • Emily Williams, Art Quilt • Peter Petrochko, Wooden Bowl • James Kitchen, Found Object Sculpture • Gary Zack, Painting • Jeffrey Green, Photography • Craig Kassan, Wood Sculpture • Danny Polk, Blown Glass
Abstract art is uniquely modern. It is a fundamentally romantic response to modern life – rebellious, individualistic, unconventional, sensitive, irritable. – Robert Motherwell
Looking deeply at abstract art can take you down a rabbit hole. What image did the painter or sculptor have in their head when they started? How did they get from there to here?
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
– Pablo Picasso
If you delve into its linguistic roots, the term abstraction means “something pulled or drawn away”. Abstract art, therefore, is art that has moved away from the representation of physical objects or places to show something beyond that. Abstract art dares our visual system to interpret an image that is fundamentally different from the kind of images our brain has evolved to recognize. The Tate Museum in London defines abstract art as “art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.”
Modern times, with fast-paced inventions, global upheavals, and constant change, challenges artists to view the world in a way that is outside of time and place. This fall you will find many of our artists taking the leap into abstraction in painting, photography, and sculpture. Abstract design in furniture, home furnishings, wearable art and jewelry also draws inspiration from the same aesthetic well, resulting in remarkably playful works that in the hands of Paradise City’s makers achieve both sophistication and beauty.
As you wander the show, appreciating the painterly landscapes, the portraits and cityscapes, the faces and figures that populate the aesthetic landscape around you, let yourself get distracted by abstraction…. and see what treasures you can find!