On Monday 7th of November 2016, I travelled to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, to explore the spectrum of abstract expressionism.
The movement of abstract expressionism is a development of abstract art that originated in New York, America, in the 1940s-50s. The main characteristic is that it has no recognisable subject - what I liked about this is that many abstract artists took different approaches to creating their pieces; while some planned out their seemingly random paintings to the smallest detail, others painted with emotion and randomness, hoping to reflect their emotion and thoughts onto the canvas. What they all seemed to have in common though, was their way of being spontaneous; as Pollock once said, Abstract painting "confronts you," and apart from what the artist wants to say in the piece, the viewers's perception is also very important, varying between different people.
Some artists that I researched were Pollock, Gorky, De Kooning, Mitchell, and Rothko.
Abstraction can be done in many different art forms:
- Painting using acrylics, oil paints, and water colours
As I went around both on my own and on a guided tour, I was graced with a wider view of what the paintings and sculptures could represent to different people - a piece (Undulation by Richard Pousette-Dart) that I had thought was about human movement to someone else told about mechanics to another.
At the end of the day, I felt refreshed walking through the streets of London, back to the station. Before, I had rushed through, but now, I paid close attention to my surroundings - I was noticing what I had not seen before, which was the art, everywhere, both accidental and official. For example, the bronze-coloured statues dotted around a busy train station; the golden-painted ceiling of the Royal Academy as I was walking out; the way leaves fell as the wind encouraged them to dance.
All in all, it was a trip that I'd recommend; if not for the actual art, then for the way that you'll start perceiving everyday things that you didn't think much of before in a new light.