Abstract art

Monday, 10 May 2010

On K-day i bought a few art catalogues for 10 cent each. I just want to see as much art as possible and try to figure out what art is all about. In these catalogues were paintings or reproductions that were for sale. Much of these paintings seem rather dull and uninspired to me, compared to the drawings that can be found in comics, and i really don’t understand why these paintings are hanging in museums and why many comics are hardly sold at all.
Karel Appel is an interesting man, but i think that many of his paintings are highly overrrated. I know that this sounds arrogant, especially when it is said by somebody who cannot draw a comic and never touched paint, except for painting doors and walls.
In one of the catalogues i found this famous painting by Karel Appel, called “Animals”:

I like to draw things that i want to understand. This is a very good method for logo’s and symbols, but also art starts to make sense when yoy try to draw it yourself. Here is my first version of “Animals”:

And here are some more:

No matter how hard i try to keep an open mind, i cannot see any beauty in this drawing. The figures are stupid and lifeless, the lines are wrong. Only the naive energy that Karel Appel put in the work stands out. But all this may very well be a matter of prejudice.
I have become interested in abstract art because a few months ago i suddenly understood the concept. It is Zen! To create something that doesn’t refer to anything you already know, is something like Zeno’s arrow. You can only come close to it, but never reach it. Even Piet Mondriaan didn’t make real abstract paintings. As someone said: if an abstract painting succeeds, it shows you God.
Most abstract art is only semi abstract: it took many artists and many decades to come to a point where abstract paintings could be even conceived of. People like Piet Mondriaan seemed to have been obsessed with this idea, and only succeeded partially. I don’t know enough of this subject and i haven’t found a book yet that answers my questions. Who made the first real abstract painting? Who was/were the first to get the concept of abstract art?
Many painters who are often named as abstract painters are not at all abstract painters in my opinion. Picasso painted fantasies, visions, dreams. His paintings show the world in a different way, but it is still the known world. Recently one of Picasso’s painting was sold for 82 million euro. In the same newspaper were many articles about problems that could be solved with 82 million euro.

But what really bothered me is what also bothered me with the Karel Appel painting: i think it is not very good. I read many comics that have several better drawings on each page. again, i may be wrong and regret what i say here later. I made some drawings of this Picasso painting in an attempt to understand it, but apart from the female figure i didn’t like the scene, the composition, the story or even the symbolic meaning.

If anybody can explain to me what is so beautiful or special about this Picasso painting, i would love to hear it.



2010-05-10 21:37:42

Your remakes are amazing, count us in for a Frapple!.


2010-05-10 22:22:43

The lower Frits-Picasso is pretty good!


2010-05-13 18:29:38


‘Appel: Improved!’
… you’re on to something there, Frits. ;)