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The Existential Value of Artistic Abstraction



Abstraction is a form of thinking in which human intelligence develops to a certain stage. Marx said, “Philosophy was first formed in the religious form of consciousness”, that is to say, the original form of thinking and religious form of thinking go hand in hand. This leads to the characteristics of its mode of thinking: represent ativeness and “Extra Large Modern Canvas Art” with mysterious emotions. When the first man emerged from the vague nature of being born and resting in Si and realized the existence of race or self-subjectivity, he began to have self-consciousness and thinking. However, this kind of thinking takes the form of concrete and emotional “Large Abstract Canvas Art” and the mysterious “law of mutual infiltration” of primitive religion as the connection between the image and the image. Therefore, the generalization and abstraction that will inevitably rise in the “Extra Large Contemporary Wall Art” have illusory and mysterious color, strong and penetrating inner feelings, as well as the imagery form with comprehensive implication. This kind of abstraction, which is called “the abstraction in the imagery thinking”, is different from the modern abstract thinking which emphasizes the uniformity of logical form and becomes an independent thinking form. For example, feathers are often used as ornaments in religious ceremonies of primitive hunting tribes, because feathers have mysterious and strange magic in their eyes. Birds, especially eagles and sculptures, soar high in the sky, overlook the mountains, and penetrate into each other. Their feathers must also have the function of seeing and listening to everything. They are also symbols of bravery, health and life. Extending to mammals, their manes have similar functions and meanings, so feathers are gradually summarized as all lucky and auspicious symbols. However, this generalization and abstraction obviously does not depart from the concrete object. It follows not the law of logical identity, but the law of mysterious and emotional infiltration.

The real abstraction is obtained in the development of human thinking to a higher level. It is generated by the reflection on modern art and science, which breaks away from the mystery of primitive religion. German classical philosophy in the nineteenth century left this track of thinking. Unlike Hegel, who submerged the existence of perceptual individuals with absolute ideas, Kant’s philosophy emphasized the unity of nature and human beings, perception and rationality on perceptual individuals; he advocated that “thinking without content is empty, intuition without concept is blind”, and emphasized the unity of rational concepts and experience intuition. Therefore, in the abstraction of Extra Large Black and White Wall Art and aesthetics, Kant does not elevate it to the abstraction of concepts prescribed by ideas as Hegel did, but thinks that it only achieves the “general experience”, that is, the “abstraction of experience”, that is, an “intellectuality intuition”, which belongs to the category of aesthetic judgment. Kant said: “Appreciation judgment must have a subjective principle, which only through emotion rather than through concept, but still generally and effectively prescribes what is pleasant and what is unpleasant. Such a principle can only be regarded as a sense of common sense, which is essentially different from the general understanding, which is also called the sense of common sense today. The latter (general understanding) is not in accordance with emotion, but in accordance with concepts from time to time. Here, Kant divides two kinds of “common sense”. One is the “common sense” formed by concepts, such as scientific abstract knowledge, and the other is the “common sense” formed by emotional generalization.

Marx’s “concrete thinking” or Kant’s “general experience” and “intuitive knowledge” exist in both theoretical and artistic thinking. When it is discussed in the field of art, it leads to the abstraction of art. Susan, a semiotic aesthetic theorist? Langer clearly classified it as “direct abstraction” which is opposed to “general abstraction”. She describes the process of its evolution: “They are acquired directly from individual things in a suitable imaginary state. Once these visual forms are abstracted, they are imposed on other facts. That is to say, from then on, they will be used as an interpretative image in any suitable occasion. Gradually, because they will be influenced by other interpretative images, they will merge with each other and become deformed, metamorphosed, or suddenly abandoned, and then replaced by a more credible or attractive new gestalt. This is an abstraction peculiar to art, because its object is imaginary and illusory, its form is directly obtained from individual things, its existence is an “explanatory” image that does not divorce from specific and individual things, and is in a dynamic process. Therefore, it is totally different from the cognitive concept of abstraction, is an aesthetic image of abstraction.

So far, we intend to define the abstraction of art as follows: it is a kind of “emotional implication” or “general experience” that artists, writers and poets purify by virtue of an aesthetic judgment with “perceptual intuition” and directly from the illusion of external objects, form elements or internal emotional life and life experience.

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