Masters of Abstraction
I stumbled upon a documentary on BBC about my current favourite subject: Abstract art. This programme (The Rules of Abstraction with Matthew Collings) asks the questions that has been constantly on my mind since I started my Minimalist Movie Poster series.
What is abstraction? Is it about something or is it something that exists entirely on its own. Is it an accident or does it have rules? Is it picturing reality or is it a visual metaphore of reality? So many exciting questions...
If you, dear reader, were following my blog and poster series, you are probably already familiar with what abstract art means to me: It's like being the misunderstood introvert weirdo trying to cope in a world dominated by extroverts. Abstract art is very close to my heart because we kind of speak the same language: concentrated, condensed, reduced down to essentials. In visual art it means basic shapes, displacement of angles and variation of patterns and colours.
If you think the only acceptable form of art consists of pictures of reality such as pretty landscapes and realistic portraits... well, it is time to broaden your imagination, because looking at abstract art is like an adventure, if you are willing to look.
Most of the greatest abstract artists were and are female which makes this art form even more relatable for me. Artists like Hilma af Klint, Sonia Delaunay or Lyubov Popova instantly became my new inspirations.
We can only imagine how life must have been like after the first World War and how art and artists manifested in the midst of poverty, violence and hunger. The world wasn't the same place anymore, it needed to be rebuilt from its ruins and abstract art had to reborn too. Form became function, studios became factories and art became production.
Russian avant-garde painter Lyubov Popova believed that there is no reason to drop abstract art just because no one can understand it. She was the first who gave her work a function, the first who started to use her paintings of geometric forms as posters, banners, magazine covers and even as fabric pattern designs for clothes. And they are absolutely amazing. Her cinema magazine cover from 1922 says it all.