Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Describe an Abstraction

Friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers: I need your help. Just describe a painting or any abstract work of art. I'll do the rest, using your description as the "idea" for a new photograph. The point? I want to experiment with how words connect to objects, and how form and content are connected. Also, I've run out of ideas of my own and could use a few handouts.

Just describe any abstract work that has lodged in your mind. Your description can be very brief, but please at least mention color and composition. I am interested in your memory of the artwork, so it's best if you don't consult the image or tell me the artist or title. You don't have to be elaborate or eloquent. You can even be brief and sloppy. (See example below.)

Your words will become part of the artwork, and I'll post both here.  (Let me know if you don't want your name mentioned.)  To send your description, just use the comments section on this blog or email me at

Thanks! I hope I'll have tons of new "ideas" to work with. I'll post the photographs as I do them in the order received. And I promise to do a picture for every idea posted.


Here's an example, supplied by my wife, Margaret:
“over a gray background, a dance or tangle of white, red, and black lines, maybe some green or yellow ones, each culminating in a small pool of color. it may be the product of a disordered mind but to me it looks gay in the old sense or joyous -- color and lines are joyous.”
Here's the picture.
My photograph, based on a my wife's memory of an abstract painting.


Paul Light said...

I'm not as comfortable with words as you are. My favorite abstraction is Moment of Revelation - Minor White 1951. It is as if White figured out a way to explore outer space without getting into a space vehicle.

pelacus said...

Thanks, Paul. I'll give it a try. Luckily, I don't know the image in quetion and haven't looked at White's work for a while. So I should be able to come at it ignorant, the way I want!

pelacus said...

P.S. Yes, it's been a while since I've blogged. I hope this little project will get me going again.

Chris said...

An array of boxes filled with curved shapes. All in black.

Petesie said...

Orange squares and circles dissolving (left to right) to foam on a blue background