Abstracted – In memory of Paul Jenkins (1923 – 2012)

Abstract Art. Source: Google.

“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” – Wassily Kandinsky.

Ask a common man what abstract art is and he’ll tell you this, “A splash of colors or the swish-swosh of the brush over the canvas.” Well to a point, he’s right in his statement. This is how we see abstract art today; meaningless, non-recognizable objects, just the use of colors and strokes and the sort. Where we go wrong is that not all abstract art are meaningless. When you come to think of it, the meaning of the word abstract is something that departs from reality. True, some artists have agreed that their art doesn’t have a specific meaning to them, but some artists have a hidden or subtle meaning behind their work, and they leave it for the audience to decipher the meaning out of them, which of course would be subjective, but that would be the main intention of the artist.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if you visit a friend’s place, and you would see an abstract painting hanging on the wall of his room. Not only does the artist but also the common individuals appreciate the art’s beauty. The popularity lies in that very factor; the artwork isn’t restricted to be understood by only elite artists or art lovers, even the common man can also enjoy it. People collect them as it adds beauty to their surroundings, or just lets them stay at par with the modern popular culture. A successful abstract painting has the ability to simulate the mind of the audience; it can make people talk, connect, and communicate.

Abstract artists are out and about. These days, art galleries are filled with works of abstract painters. Many abstract artists would emerge in the future and would be successful too, but history would still an inspiration to all of them and Paul Jenkins is one of those names that will always be remembered.

Paul Jenkins, with one of his paintings, in 2005. Source: NewYork Times.

The death of this popular artist was one of the news stories that hit around on the 9th of June. He was 88 at the time and passed away due to a short illness.  An accomplished artist in the field of Abstract Expressionism, his artworks upheld that physical tradition of manipulating paint over canvas. Paul Jenkins’s career began in the 1950s, and art critiques admire him for his use of “flowing, billowing veils of color that dazzle with their formal acrobatics and luminous jewel tones.” His favorite tool was an ivory knife, which he used to guide the flow of paint. He was once quoted that he used to allow the colors to roll, pool and bleed, and he sometimes kneaded and hauled on the canvas – “as if it were a sail”.

Have a look at a few of his artworks or you can even visit his website (http://www.pauljenkins.net/) to know more about him and his art.

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