How do you find beauty in art when that art does not represent any recognizable objects of the real world? Is there an equivalency of the beauty of representational art that can be found in abstract art and if so how do you interpret this beauty?
The representational artist has revealed what they want you to see and how they want you to see it. While a Monet impressionist painting of pastels waterlilies might seem beautiful to some and too flowery to others and a Vermeer realistic interior painting can evoke aesthetic response it may also feel remote. Abstract art has also has many schools of technique and philosophy and the same wide-breath of reactions. But, I believe, there is more than just looking upon an abstract piece of art that one can draw a conclusion about its aesthetic value.
All art has at least three things: composition, color and form. Representational has, by definition, another component: the allusion of something representing reality. Abstract art is, as Frank Stella said, What you see is what you see. Remarkably this truth is what is most disconcerting to many.
While some people may love abstract art, others may think of it as a talentless display. The abstract art way of breaking away from the representation of physical objects is what makes it different from other kind of artwork. In ways it shows a different side of an artist. Abstract art shows emotions that come from inside by using different colors, shapes and forms. Abstract Art allows artists to let their creativity go free without having to worry about allusions. The abstract artists' creativity allows them to take nothing and turn it into something.
Abstract art requires the viewing beyond the three basics to see its beauty. We can ask ourselves what is my feeling about this piece and why and how do these colors and forms interact with each other to achieve an overall feeling? Personalizing abstract art does something that is unique to the genre: it makes it contemporary to the viewer.
To appreciate non-representational art takes learning its theories and exposure to the style. Before I worked my first piece I read and studied for over 4 years. The two most important books I found were Kandinskys, Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Mondrian's, Color, Structure and Symbolism. Both books are classics in the theory behind non-objective work. Kandinsky and Mondrian had very different ideas and results. Exposure to the style is difficult in the rural areas, bigger cities often have galleries and artists. Books would be an easy way to obtain exposure.
Learning and appreciating abstract is well worth the time and effort.