Kandinsky. Which of the two?
Is it really so difficult to understand abstract art?
Until the 1800s, the problem did not exist.
Painting had the task of illustrating, recounting and celebrating events, people and religions; he was also a catechist.
Precise canons imposed on the “workshops” of the masters how things were to be represented. The maximum of the transgression could be the style, but nothing more.
Like architecture that has immovable foundations: the roof is above, the foundations below and the house is in the middle.
Photography is born
In 1826 the French Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first photograph, and everything changes for figurative art.
Portraits, scenes, shots from the real world no longer need months of work and the skilful mastery of painters: a photographer is enough.
Painters find themselves like lamp-makers when the electricity came: unemployed thanks to Thomas Edison they had to give back a sense to their activity.
The smear-cloths arrive
The Impressionists begin. Their paintings are still perfectly understandable to everyone, and today they like them even more than previous works.
But the judgment of their contemporaries on Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and his companions can be summed up in an ironic contempt: they are smeared canvases.
The inexorable extinction of painting shops, because it is better to contact a photographer, accompanies painters on the path of expression and personal communication.
Like poets and musicians.
Express yourself and communicate
And here, free from any academic rule and law, abstract art is born.
Wassilij Kandinskij and Paul Klee are the first who, in addition to practicing abstract painting, write the reasons and theories.
Faced with this expressive novelty, many people dismiss the complexity and commitment of many artists with judgments: they don't know how to paint, I don't understand it, it doesn't mean anything, I can do it too.
Classical painting and light music
Even in music, which fortunately never had to describe anything, there is a similar reaction.
Let's take a fan of Emma Marrone or Tiziano Ferro and let's listen to a piece of Arnold Schoenberg (Austrian composer of twelve-tone music).
He will say that it is not music or that he does not understand it, "he does not like it". Given the complexity of the execution, at least, he will never say that musicians don't know how to play. After all, this specific category of music lovers generally finds Brahms boring as well.
I know how to paint like Raphael.
The side-by-side images of this post are both by Wassilij Kandinskij.
I wanted to show, but we can do it with Picasso and even with Jackson Pollock (the one who dripped the colors onto the canvas on the floor), that these painters knew how to paint very well and, if necessary, nothing to envy to academic painting.
The juice is simple.
Knowing to understand
Before despising and judging an artistic work, let's get information.
Let's try to understand why they work in that way and what is their poetics to which, however, they are dedicating their lives.
Once we know the artist's reasons, we will be free to express our dissent or negative judgment.
Let us make sure, however, that dissent is not just a child of ignorance.