Updated: Nov 21
After more than a century since the first known abstract painting was created by the abstract pioneer Hilma Af Klimt, painting in an abstract style is still the choice for many artists.
Whilst subjective painting styles have the privilege of representing and depicting the artist's emotions, ideas, and philosophy inside the finished piece of art, paintings created in abstract style represent the complete liberation from value.
Before discussing the reasons why artists should stop painting in a fully abstract style, first, the origins of abstraction need some clarification.
Theosophical Abstract Painting Origins!
In September 1875, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891) co-founded the Theosophical Society in New York City. H. P. Blavatsky composed the foundation texts of Theosophy,
Isis Unveiled (1877), and The Secret Doctrine (1888). Both became worldwide best-sellers, and the Theosophical Society became the most important international movement of its time in the realm of alternative spirituality.
The Secret Doctrine (1888), one of the foundation texts of Theosophy, contains chapters propagating an unembarrassed Satanism.
The spiritual theosophical movement manifested its thoughts subliminally via abstract paintings to the public. The three forerunner artists, Hilma Af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, and Piet Mondrian were the groundbreaking pioneers of the spiritual Luciferian style.
The abstract painting mystic Hilma Af Klint was a Swedish artist whose paintings are considered among the first abstract works known in Western art history. A considerable body of her work predates Kandinsky and Mondrian's first purely abstract compositions.
Hilma belonged to a group called "The Five", comprising a circle of women inspired by the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky, who shared a belief in the importance of trying to contact the so-called "High Masters".
On the other hand, Kandinsky openly acknowledges that his art theories are based on the occult teachings of Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, and author of The Secret Doctrine.
Kandinsky wrote in 1918 “I got everything from the Secret Doctrine of Blavatsky. Although Russian by birth, Kandinsky belonged to the German expressionist movement known as The Bridge founded in 1905.
The Bridge group rejected their “bourgeois” backgrounds, The Bridge group adopted a bohemian lifestyle and represented anarchic nudity in their art. This group was also strongly influenced by magic through the occult theories of Blavatsky.
Another forerunner in Abstract Art is the Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, Mondrian was also a theosophist and a close friend of the philosopher and theosophist Mathieu Hubertus Josephus Schoenmaekers (13 December 1875, Maastricht - 18 December 1944, Laren) “I am always driven to the spiritual,” Mondrian stated. “Through Theosophy, I became aware that art could provide a transition to the finer regions, which I will call the spiritual realm.”
If the artist is not willing to represent theosophical ideas, symbols, and philosophy via his art, then, a full Abstract painting style is not the perfect choice.
Abstract Expressionism Painting Rituals!
Abstract expressionism emphasized spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious creations. The movement's name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools.
Abstract Expressionism has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, emotional, and nihilistic, spontaneity characterized many of the abstract expressionists' works.
During the late 1940s, abstract expressionism spread quickly throughout the United States, but, the epicenters of Abstract Expressionism were New York City and the San Francisco Bay area of California.
Abstract expressionists' paintings share certain characteristics including working on large canvases and the importance of the edges as well as the center of the canvas.
Abstract Expressionism represented the transformation of painting into an existential drama, The piece of art was not meant to express a picture but to record a painting event.
The canvas was "an arena to act". The finished painting is only the physical residue of the actual rituals of art which were in the process of the painting's creation. Abstract Expressionism's biggest moment came when it was decided to paint just to paint and the rituals of making a work of art were the main focus of abstract expressionists.
During the 1950s, Abstract Expressionism was considered representative of the US as a haven of free thought as well as a challenge to both the socialist realist styles prevalent in communist nations and the dominance of the European art markets.
In general, Abstract expressionism expanded and liberated the artists' procedures of creating a piece of art and represented the total nihilistic liberation from value.
To paint in an Abstract Expressionism style, the artist would consider the painting process rituals as his main focus. The finished painting is a nihilistic worthless residue. The Abstract Expressionism finished pieces of art are completely liberated from value.
If the value and the message of the finished piece of art are to be considered, then Abstract expressionism is not the style of choice.
Art Is A Value And An Inspiration
Each art movement is a wave. throughout history, any art movement would start with groundbreaking pioneers. Yes, The first generation of artists to establish the art movement takes all the praise. The followers are valuable indeed as long as they expand the art wave and reexploring its potential.
A few decades later, the art movement gets supersaturated with its followers' contributions. Till one day, there would be no more space for extra contributions to the art wave.
The Abstract painting style seemed to have come to this point of supersaturation during the Mid-80s. Your intentions to reinvent the wheel will come to a complete failure.
Art is a way to speak out the artist's thoughts and philosophy to the community in the form of an immortal visual message. The symbols and the subjects depicted by the artist are the alphabet of the artwork's message.
Save Your Time and Materials and stop painting nihilistic fully abstract paintings, simply because it doesn't deliver any clear message. As an artist, please consider Art as a powerful social commentary tool. As an artist, please consider your finished artwork's value. Yes, a fully abstracted piece of art is reproducible and lacks any aspect of uniqueness.
Nowadays, a valuable art piece would lie in-between order and disorder. A valuable art piece would carry the characteristics of fine art and anarchic art. A valuable art piece would depict in detail a subject and abstract another. A true artist would pay attention to both the painting process and the finished art piece.