Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Duality in Modern Art

In my quest to better understand modern art I read current and back issues of Art News. In referring to the importance of Abstract Expressionism, Meyer Shapiro in 1957, said " The change in painting and sculpture may be compared to the most striking revolution in science, technology and social thought." Meyer was revered for his extraordinary scholarship and inspired teaching. A pioneering art historian in medieval studies, he was also passionate about the great modern masters, and was a champion of the artists of his own time.

In accepting art that is reduced to color, line, and form, he argued, we are able to appreciate "many kinds of old art and the arts of distant peoples-primitive, historic, colonial, Asiatic and African, as well as European-arts which had not been accessible in spirit before because it was thought that true art had to show a degree of conformity to nature and of mastery of representation which had developed for the most part in the West."

The abstract art on the right,"Duality" evolved out of a process of lines, color and form. Having established a linear skeletal framework in the first place, attempts were made to add a color dimension, then to create a sculptural third dimension.

The title "Duality" came about from thoughts about man and woman, light and shade, ying and yang, night and day, right and wrong. Much of life represent a duality.

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