The Subjectivity of Abstract Art: It’s in the eye of the beholder

The Woodbury Art Museum put on a show titled Art of our Century: Movement and Marcus Vincent, June 1- Sept. Even though some enjoy looking at aesthetically pleasing things, one does not need to be an art coinsurer to enjoy abstract art.

What is abstract art? “There is no universal agreement. … Abstract art can mean anything you want it to mean in your personal work,” adjunct professor of the visual arts at Holyoke Community College Dean Nimmer wrote in Artists Network. Basically, abstract art is all interpreted by creator and viewer of the art.

Marcus Vincent, arts and visual communication associate professor, is the Woodbury’s spotlight artist for this current exhibit. He has brought a unique, Zen-esque atmosphere to his showcase, OBJEKTE. Each of his paintings tell a different story and show a different emotion conceptually. Often he is alluding to Eastern philosophies and expressionism, a modernist movement that began during the twentieth century in Germany.

His painting titled Expressions I Never Give is an acrylic piece covered in opaque layers of white. It stuck out because of the simplicity; there is no guessing and no wondering. In essence, this painting could mean that there are emotions dwelling in the cavity of the soul, waiting to be revealed at the right time.

“His colors are always spot on and grounded,” said Holli Eller, a junior studying painting and drawing. However, Vincent’s paintings were hard to understand.

Winking at the Sun by Tawni Shuler, assistant professor in water media, is an abstract piece and is part of the permanent collection. It looks like the sun during the last solar eclipse. It had a grey background with averted sun rays, overshadowed congruently with the color of night, bringing back the idea of the old, adage: ‘there is always light at the end of the tunnel.’

Movement is a major theme throughout this exhibit. Strange Weather, a painting by Abigail Morris. According to her website, she “is a twenty-something painter with a passion for creating unique, abstract art.” Her painting is —using mostly her hands the majority of the time—a representation of absurd weather: rain mixed with sunshine and dark clouds. It also shows the waves of the ocean being disruptive in its truest form. Although, the concept is cool and demonstrated the theme, it didn’t do much as far as it being aesthetically pleasing. However, abstract art is always going to be subjective, ambiguous and any interpretation will never be wrong. Overall, the Woodbury Art Museum put on a fantastic exhibit of abstract art.


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