Is there such a thing as “abstract” any longer? We all know the background of the development and emergence of what is described as abstract art, and so we can take a look at it without also having to have any element explained.
We can also understand that there are subtleties that exist between the variations of contemporary abstract art that exist today.
As one art expert said, the “divide between abstraction and figuration is a false, but helpful, dichotomy. Painters who are primarily concerned with the interactions between color, line, and form also make marks and shapes that may suggest body parts, landscapes, and objects traditionally relegated to still lives. Even monochrome paintings can conjure familiar settings: A gray canvas might evoke a rock face, while a blue one may suggest the sea.”
Art is experiential and we project ourselves into the mix as much as the artist is expressing themselves on their canvas, billboard, or another medium. Yet, we do have a world in which labels still apply, and in the art world, there are many emerging artists who are pushing the boundaries and striving to redefine the whole concept of abstract art.
Again, as that expert so aptly says, there is a new generation of artists busily rethinking, “what we might call, for lack of a better term, abstraction. For them, labels aren’t important.”
These are artists who are looking at composition from alternative perspectives, using digital technologies, considering new designs, and integrating symbolism in entirely new ways.
- Jadé Fadojutimi is a painter who uses bodily movements in a manner reminiscent of Pollock, but who locks into strokes, lines, and connections. Her work is described as gestural abstraction and it relies on rich colors and active brushwork to create its dynamic results.
- Ruairiadh O’Connell creates abstract aesthetic responses to the research he conducts. Looking at any number of topics – Parkinson’s, murder trials, and dance, among others – he interprets the data into work. His work is about layers, textures, and depth of pattern that cue the brain without giving away the entire tale.
- Han Bing takes inspiration from real-world objects in an urban setting and then layers them into jagged shapes in a softer palette than might be expected. The artist explains the work as patches meeting in unexpected moments and creating dynamic patterns because of it.
- Alteronce Gumby – Using shards of glass in hues of peach, blue, teal and black, his work becomes a shapeshifter as the viewer walks from side to side. Only referencing nature in the work, the artist also says that compositions are mean to have no fixed narrative but shift along with the viewer’s perspective.
- Leah Guadagnoli – Emulating stained glass, the work is built on top of upholstery foam, giving dimension to each painting. They are less abstract than full of form and geometric shapes. Bright palettes and simple forms remind many of the paintings of O’Keefe.
- Trudy Benson – Angular and bright, the paintings are about relationships between colors and form. Line and background hues all come together to interact before the eyes, and the process of varied depths adds to the experience of each canvas.
- Osamu Kobayashi – Minimalist abstraction is the best definition of this painter’s work. Thick and wide brush work masks huge swaths of canvas and each canvas is like a visual path that the eye can seamlessly and smoothly follow.
- Tracy Thomason – Oil and marble dust create gritty, tactile surfaces in the pop-culture inspired paintings of this artist. The surfaces are boldly hued and full of soft lines and curves, offering what the artist calls female symbologies, and yet are also formal and identifiable patterns full of texture.
- Jason Stopa – Paintings within paintings are the key to the abstract work of this artist. Bold colors, multiple foregrounds, competing backgrounds, and light and space defined by color are the hallmarks of this unique spin on abstraction.
- Beatrice Modisett – Enormous splashes and swaths of bold color offset by heavy brushwork and clearly defined blocking in this artist’s innovative work. A depiction of tension, the work is also smooth and flowing to ensure viewers enjoy the scene.
There are ten emerging abstract painters. Each of them uses color, line, and media differently. Each is working in the abstract, and yet conveying emotion and expression through their art.