Эссе: American Abstract Art Essay

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...To aid this absorption of feeling, blocks of colour and simple forms were used extensively. `Abstract expressionism's avowed purpose is to express the self to the self.' (Page 2, David and Cecil)  According to Chave, paintings such as `Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)' by Rothko `metaphorically encompass' the tragic `cycle of life from cradle to grave, in part by harbouring an oblique reference to both adorations and entombments.'  He also suggests that this particular painting, of 1949 represents a mother, possibly the Virgin Mary; represented by the blocks of red orange and yellow, cradling the infant Jesus, represented by the black line that runs though the centre of the painting. That a painting could be read in this way reveals its sublime aura. Rothko saw the `clouds of colour' in his paintings as abstract `performers possessing tragic or ethereal demeanours.' (Page 23, Hopkins) The size of the paintings functioned as a representation of scale. Viewers could measure themselves against the coloured blocks. `This could lead to the feeling of being enveloped or transported out of the body,' (Page 23, Hopkins) Frank O'Hara also considered scale important in Pollock's paintings, because of the `emotional effect of the painting upon the spectator.' (Page 28, O'Hara) `Blue Poles', by Pollock is seven feet high and some sixteen feet across. Robertson describes it as a `world self contained and utterly convincing which the spectator should be flexible to enter, explore and move about in.' (Page 29, Robertson) Gottlieb and Rothko were inspired by primitive and archaic art, but removed any symbols from their original context, making their connotations inaccessible to the general public. The viewer could not tell what these symbols meant to the artist by simply viewing the painting, but this was perhaps not their intention. The artists themselves viewed their work as a `poetic expression of the essence of the myth.' (Page 10, David and Cecil) Primitive mythology often inspired the Abstract Expressionist's painting, including works such as `The Golden Fleece' and `The Voyage Ten years after' by Motherwell. `Guardians of the Secret' and `Male and Female' among others by Pollock also contain features inspired by mythology. Artists such as Adolf Gottlieb, Jackson Pollock, Rothko and Newman did not focus on specific myths or mythological characters in their paintings, but attempt to depict the aura of mythology over history and throughout culture to suggest themes of timeless and eternal value. Rothko, Newman and Gottlieb asserted that `the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless.' (Page 301, Baigell) Elizabeth Frank calls Pollock's `Male and Female' `One of his first masterpieces.' This image is veiled with uncertainty since it is difficult to tell which of these figures is male and which female. ...