Subject: Abstract Expressionism
Activity: Create an Abstract Expressionist painting
Materials: Paper and paint
Vocabulary: Abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction, representational, non-representational
Anthony Caro is a British artist working in an Abstract Expressionist style. He is inspired by his materials and by his own feelings and ideas, and he often works spontaneously. Many of his sculptures, like _Veduggio Glimpse_, are created without any preliminary drawing or sketches.
Caro named this sculpture after the city Veduggio, Italy where he created it as part of a series. According to the artist, this sculpture does not depict an actual landscape. Rather, it is an abstract expression of his surroundings. Caro strives to make sculptures about real experiences without making exact representations of them. In spite of this, to many people this sculpture looks like a landscape, which is art that depicts scenery or a setting, like the city or the country.
How do titles of artworks influence our thoughts about them? Might titles of abstract works give us hints about their meaning?
Why would an artist give their artwork a title that is contradictory?
If this work were untitled, would it give a different meaning to the work?
What kind of freedom does expressing ideas in abstract forms give to artists?
Using paint on paper, create a painting using abstract forms that represent your feelings about a particular idea or subject. While you are painting, keep a specific thought in mind and freely express your emotions associated with that idea. Experiment by using different colors and brushstrokes to represent the different ways your subject makes you feel, without depicting it in realistic form.
After it is complete, allow it to dry and then look at it from various angles and think about what you see.
Abstract Expressionism -- 1940s New York painting movement based on using abstract imagery to express emotions and experiences
Geometric Abstraction -- a style of art that uses geometric shapes to create a composition that is not representational or realistic
Representational -- depicting people, places and things as they appear or are seen
Nonrepresentational -- not depicting any recognizable object or thing