The Power and the Puzzle of Abstraction

Diana Smith gave our first presentation, The Power and the Puzzle of Abstraction, on April 28, 2022. It was an event supplementing the group show Sub Text: The Message in Art, a juried art show that featured text incorporated into art in some way, held at Metchosin ArtPod, Victoria, BC.

The main point of the talk was to offer ways in to abstract art that could deepen a viewer’s appreciation. Instead of saying what abstraction is not, the conventional definition, it is much more fruitful to consider what it is. And one thing it is, is a way to see reality differently, to appreciate a thing for itself, rather than for what it does, or does not, resemble. Although it is possible to have a once or twice in a lifetime transformative experience when encountering an artwork, a more reliable and sustainable power of abstract art is to see it akin to regular meditation practice. The more often we practice seeing reality differently the better we will become at it…sort of like change-by-a-thousand-seeings.

And to note: the name of the Teenager With Promise, the focus of the artwork by Alexandra Bell, referred to in the talk, is Michael Brown.

Watch the presentation on YouTube here: