Abstracted work of art vs. a total abstraction, specifically "Girl in Window" vs. "For the Light" [Written in N.Y.C. on 12/02]

Essay by 124578College, UndergraduateA+, December 2002

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"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential " - Vassily Kandinsky. An abstract work of art could even have many meanings and create a different feeling for in each individual. Whether or not the work is totally abstract or just abstracted, all of these approaches are very interesting and usually tend to open up our imaginations.

A very interesting painting For the Light by Susan Rothenberg is an obvious example of a completely abstract painting. The painting was done in 1979 using synthetic polymer and vinyl paint on canvas. Simply put it is drawn on white with black pain. There are no references to any of the conventional techniques we see in regular works of art.

No aerial or linear perspectives. The brush strokes seem hard and very random. There are no people or objects of any kind depicted in this picture. The only things that are present here are feelings that were expressed by the artist on this giant canvas.

At first this work seems dull, simplistic and simply uninteresting. It is only when you stop and take a good look at it. It pulls you in. Probably the first thing that grabs your attention is its size. The painting stretches from the bottom of the floor to almost top of the ceiling. The black outlines of the huge figure create uneasy feeling of curiosity and obscurity. It is very hard to imagine what is actually shown this work of art. The title For the Light gives us only a small hint what this could represent. Perhaps it is a shadow of a particular...