Abstract to Abstract

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presently has an exhibition titled “Four Abstract Classicists.” The show consists of works from LACMA’s own collection, focusing on works by Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. These artists worked at a time when the nature of Abstract pieces was shifting from the energetic styles of Abstract Expressionism toward a more analytic outlook shown in Minimalism and Pop Art.

The works of these artists feature a hard edge abstraction that differed from the previous works. The intention was to be less subjective than what went before.

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“Round A Round” by Frederick Hammersley

The question for the view, of course, is whether any art can be entirely objective. Both expression and viewing of abstract art engages a subjective experience.  Hard edge abstraction might be considered an abstract of abstraction, given the desire to move away from subjective content. These works are worth exploring to see examples of the intellectual exercise of abstracting a concept or impression or experience for the usual visual shapes of the world around us.

The LACMA exhibit runs through June 29, 2014.

Once this exhibit has been explored, the viewer can then examine other abstract artists with a new eye. What goes on in a Jackson Pollock work, for instance? Although most abstract art does not present the viewer with expected recognizable shapes, some aspects of organization and subjective expression are occurring.

Diana Hobson’s work defies the viewer who wants to maintain an analytical distance from the work. She likes to use bold color as a means of engagement, not disengagement. By using strong color and mixing the “hard edged” shapes with restless forms, she instills her works with a high degree of energy.

Zippo 2010 oil on canvas.jpg

“Zippo” by Diana Hobson

Diana’s work can be seen in her studio space in Venice on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach California. They can be seen during business hours every day.

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