Comments from the exhibition:

  • This exhibition attempts to express different ways in communicating the abstraction.
  • Kazimir Malevich’s ”Black Square” forms the centre of this contemporary art exhibition. This art piece sparked the start of abstract art which is still widely used today.
  • Art works come in different shapes: paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and similar.
  • Abstract art has spread globally.
  • Abstract art has spread all the way around the world in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, movies, fashion and so on.
  • Exhibition pieces were divided into three rooms by the year they have been created in starting with earlier works in the first room on the ground  floor.

Whitechapel Iwona Blazwick explains, “there are so many lyrical ways in which to express abstraction”.

<…> abstraction isn’t just about form and shape, divorced from real life; through its history it’s been connected to politics and to expressions of modern society.

My personal opinion:

I have never been a fan of minimalism or abstract art, however due to the huge variety of art pieces in the exhibition I had been more interested than I have expected. I felt the relation more to advertising, sculpture, textile or video abstract art. The art piece that left me the most memories was the dark room on the first floor in the dark corner where I could sit down and watch the strange video on a small screen. There was this sound that made me feel uncomfortable. The screen was flashing with moving images of rectangles that I had a feeling had to collide with one another. I had the feeling of this tension each time the shapes started moving. Sort of a deep psychological game. On the other hard – even though I never liked looking at paintings with squares this only makes me think that I must lack knowledge in the abstract art? But this only shows that we are more willing to learn about something that looks more appealing to us.

How this exhibition relates to what I do?

Mark Rothko was one of the artists I have talked about in my essay/dissertation this year. I have research his abstract expressionism period of art leaving aside the real abstract path he has taken in his later years. While doing the research I have learned that he has been growing as an abstract artist and the early periods have taught him to think of compositions and colours on the canvas.
What is more, I had a possibility to look at different colour combinations and choose what combinations would be appropriate for my project as well as the compositions and the patterns that have been a great inspiration to what I have started doing after this exhibition.
To add, recently we have been working on the DesignLab workshops. We have been working with different shapes such as circles, lines, triangles and squares. We had to create narratives of the chosen words, representational images communicating through different shapes – all abstract art work. This exhibition has helped me a lot to understand more of what has been asked during the workshops, what I could produce, how I understood abstract work. I am hoping this will help towards my FMP as well.

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