Friday 30th November
To develop my final piece for Act 3 I knew that I wanted to do a survey. After my group tutorial, I really wanted to pursue the idea of a zine that mocks those who mock abstract art, and use stereotypical phrases. I thought of portraying these phrases in the format of a bingo sheet. To gain some inspiration for the sort of phrases I could use in my bingo sheets, I decided to create a survey.
I took 5 pieces of Modern Art by Marcel Duchamp, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and William Baziotes.
These are the pieces that I included.
Marcel Duchamp – Prelude to a Broken Arm (1915)
Mark Rothko – Orange, Red, Orange (Date Unknown)
Franz Kline – Herald (1960)
Robert Motherwell – Open Study No.17 (1968)
William Baziotes – Dwarf (1947)
I picked these pieces because the focus of the art is not necessarily the technical ability of the artist. I think this idea of technical ability can be a key part of whether or not someone likes a piece of art. If they believe that they could not create the piece themselves, then the piece is credible. If it looks simple, then without always knowing the concept of the art they can dismiss it quite easily. I thought it would be interesting to carry out a survey that simply focused on the art, without any context of a title, date or description. Therefore the viewer would have to focus solely on the image.
I sent the survey out to lots of different people, including my friends, family and a group chat full of people from this course. My results were VERY varied.
Here are a few highlights for each piece:
Although I did get some silly responses like ‘Shrek’ etc, I think it has definitely re-affirmed my thoughts about how abstract art is percieved. A common theme throughout my responses was ‘I don’t get it/how is it art’. I feel that we are in an age with the internet where everything is instantly answered within about 2 minutes, people do not have the patience for abstract art. Unless people can instantly understand something they are not interested. Unless they can go home and find the answer, they are not interested. What I have actually discovered about abstract art is that it is sort of punk. It does not have to make sense. Something that is ambiguous is refreshing, I feel that I can relax (oddly) when I look at a lateral painting as my mind can stop straining for an answer. Who cares if the technical ability is not out of this world? The whole point of these pieces of work is that they were pioneers and rebels who ignored the norm and pushed the boundaries of the art world.
From this survey I have also learnt that if people do not understand a piece of art, to appear intelligent they might mock the work. I feel that people use that method in real life as a form of defence and to distract from their lack of understanding. Of course I realise that I cannot generalise every person that took my survey as it might be that they simply do not like the pieces. However there is a chance that this is due to a lack of understanding.