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a blog of painting, abstraction, and contemporary art
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about

I’m a painter daylighting as a graphic designer and moonlighting as an art blogger.

I used to be a competitive swimmer and spent way to many hours of my life huffing chlorine fumes, which pretty much fried my brain. Then one day I switched over to turps and had an epiphany, i.e. a really big headrush. Anyway, I was reading The Writings of Robert Motherwell while I was trying to come up with a name for the blog and came across an awesome little essay from 1949 entitled “Abstract art and the Real,” where he used the phrase, and I was slapped in the face by the backhand of god.

Abstract Art and The Real (1949)
Excerpted from The Writings of Robert Motherwell p. 85.

Indeed, abstract art never would have been invented, except as the result of the moste obstinate and sensitive effort to go with art’s grain. Abstract art is not something, as are certain modes of Surrealism – though not all – that a “literary” or “philosophical” mind would have imagined a priori. In this sense, abstract art is not invented or arbitrary at all, but found, found in the sensitive, passionate, and profoundly accurate – in terms of feeling – adjustments that constitute the immediate act of painting which is an effort, often clumsy and sometimes desperate, like a blind swimmer, to cover the abyss , the void that the world sometimes presents, with our love, with our sensualty and passion, our sense of commitment to a mode of expression that becomes ideal, whin it does, only because it is so deeply rooted in the real. It is this sense of abstract art’s reality that Mondrian must have had in mind when he remarked on his own art, “Squares? I see no squares in my pictures,” and led him, at the end of his life, to speak of his art as a ‘new realism.’

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