In the Abstract

I love looking at art and there are many artists I admire  –  Caravaggio,  Lautrec,  Alice Neel and Lucien Freud,  Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo,  Renoir and Degas,  John Singer Sargent,  Chagall,  Andrew Wyeth,  Thomas Eakins,  Andy Warhol,  Franz Marc,  Goya and Velasquez,  Edward Hopper,  Modigliani,  Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot,  Cezanne,  Raphael Soyer and Ben Shahn,  Will Barnett and Jacob Lawrence,  Picasso,  Magritte,  Max Beckmann and Otto Dix, Van Gogh,  and my favorite Edouard Manet.

I’ve no idea what these artists have in common if anything,  but none is an abstractionist.   The fact is I don’t understand abstract art.   I know I should be open-minded,  and I shouldn’t look for  a story line in an abstract painting,  but I just can’t help it.

I was once in a museum staring at a  large canvas that was entirely blue,  and I told a museum docent I was having a hard time figuring out what the painting was about.

“Try to think of it as simply a statement about the color blue.”,    she suggested.

I tried hard,  but I had no eureka moment about the color blue.

Recently we were at MOMA with our friend Belinda who was visiting from abroad and were looking at that famous Jackson Pollack with all the drips that my husband loves.

”I don’t like this painting,”  I told Belinda,  “where my husband sees energy and excitement,  I see only chaos.”

“Of course you don’t like it,”  she said,  “you’re an organizer so when you see a mess you want to clean it up.”

She was right!   But tell me honestly,  which painting do YOU like better?

This one ..

… or this one?


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