"1. Having no reference to material objects or specific examples. Not concrete.
2. Not applied or practical; theoretical.
3. Hard to understand; recondite (requiring special knowledge to be understood. Abstruse (not easy to understand, esoteric).
4. Fine Art. Characterised by geometric, formalised or nonrepresentational qualities.
The following by Kenneth Martin (1951) demonstrates the difficulties of definition that varieties of non-representational art created for the practitioner-theorists of 'abstraction'.
"What is generally termed 'abstract' is not to be confused with the abstraction from nature which is concerned with the visual aspect of nature and its reduction to a pictorial form, for, although abstract art has developed through this, it has become a construction coming from within. ... Just as an idea can be given form, so can form be given meaning. By taking the severest form and developing it according to s strict rule, the painter can fill it with significance within the limitations imposed. Such limitations have been constantly used in poetry and music ... The square, the circle, the triangle etc.m are primary elements in the vocabulary of forms, not ends in themselves ... The painter attempts to create a universal language as against a private language ... Heroic efforts have been made towards the creation of this language". 'Terry Frost Six Decades'. RCA p.17.
I have been interested in Ellsworth Kelly's work for some time, feeling the simplicity of his flat plains of colour, his black and white. His inspiration often comes from fleeting visions through doorways, windows or shadows falling across structures. His paintings have an extraordinary poetic vision and sense of geometric clarity.
He experimented at one time with working clinically to the rules of the Golden Section but he found that his work conformed to perfect balance when working intuitively.
"I like to work from things that I see, whether they are man made or natural. Once in a while I work directly from something I have seen, like a window, or a fragment of a piece of architecture: or the space between things, or just how the shadows of an object would look. With a rock and its shadow, I am not interested in the texture of the rock or that it is a rock, but in the mass of it and its shadow." p.17
Waldman Diane, Ed. Ellsworth Kelly: a Retrospective. Guggenheim Museum.Black Square
A version of Mondrian's Tree. - a spiritual journey.