NON-REPRESENTATIONAL ART

Jackson Pollock - Painting (1948)
Victor Vasarely -
Vega-Kontosh (ca. 1960)
          'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
             Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
             All mimsy were the borogroves,
             and the mome raths outgrabe..
                                                   "Jabberwocky" from Lewis Carroll's
                                                   
Through the Looking-Glass

Abstract art is very much like this wonderful limerick by Lewis Carroll -- illusive in meaning and tantalizingly open to
interpretation by the imagination of its audience.

"Abstract art" as a descriptive category is an illusive term itself.  In common 20th century parlance it has come to
mean any art that is experimental or conceptual and that does not present the world in a straightforward,
representational form.  In varying degrees, abstract art leaves it up to our minds to figure out what is going on --
and the more "abstract" a painting is, the less representative of the "real world" it becomes.  In its
nonrepresentational form -- pure abstraction -- there is no recognizable imagery at all -- no representation of
something or someone, no specific subject matter on which to focus.  Instead, the artist uses the language of color,
line, form, shape and texture to create a painting independent from the "real world".  The painting is, in a sense, its
own subject.

The artworks featured in this se
ssion of GalleryTime fit this description.  The intent of each artist was not to create
a picture of something, but to create an artistic experience for the viewer and for himself.  

To abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, the act of creating a painting was perhaps as important as the final
painting itself, and he became as famous for his unorthodox methods as for his huge color splashed paintings --
emblematic of 20th century American art.  To Op artist Victor Vasarely, the main purpose of his painting was to
create patterns of color, line and form that could, quite literally, dazzle the eye of the observer.  Each artist broke
new ground in the works that he created -- and although radically different in technique, each departed from
representational images to create something entirely abstract, engaging the powers of our imagination and
perception.

"Doing" and "experiencing" represent the inspirations behind Pollock's and Vasarely's art.  In this
GalleryTime, we
explore the nonrepresentational art created by these pioneering artists, and give the children an opportunity to "do"
and to "experience" as well.
Painting, 1948



                                                                  Vega Kontosh