[Music] [Music] welcome viewers to MOOCs online course on visual perception and art a survey across the cultures it is the lecture number nineteen and it is an extension of a previous topic that is abstract art as it is called abstract art – now we have already seen that abstract art or abstraction generally tends to pose certain problems with regard to visual perception and our general habit or the familiar process about interpreting art about making meaning a sense of meaning of some artwork has to take a very different route altogether in order to reach the whole idea of any obstruction nevertheless right from the beginning of 20th century we see a whole lot of artists from different ideas and based on different parameters we’re working out abstraction in their own ways so we have somebody like lovely battling a Russian artist who belong to a movement called constructivism and because they were kind of focusing more on the idea of construction or the idea of the structural entity of a form rather than what it represents or rather than what it be works emotionally hence the kind of outcomes that we see happening in early 20th century in many places in Europe can be termed as very good significant and wincing examples of abstract art like this one and we also know that first two decades of 20th century witnessed the development of a new visual language that privileged independence of form over object recognition as opposed to the earlier example which belong to constructivism movement and this one for example cubism or for ISM though in these movement we see a very strong preference for obstruction they are primarily not completely removed from any kind of representational connection now the representational representational connection became of course very weak and because emphasis as I said is now more on independence or form or independence of color or independence of shape but in the earlier artwork by blood without lean if we go back and see it again we shall see here not only that he has nothing to do with representational together he has nothing to do with foremost he is moved into exploring the construction and structural possibilities of a visual entity now cubism was certainly one of those movements where the privilege was given more to the independence of form over object recognition so when you look at these paintings by Picasso titled guitar player or this painting titled girl with a mandolin of course the paint presence of recognizability the faint presence of identity or identification science whether it is the human body human figure or the mandolin or an object are still there but artist is also trying to supersede these recognizing elements and bring forth the idea of independence of form now the process of creating obstruction by breaking an object or figure into its fragments or units also happened in sculpture as we have already seen in the previous class now henry mode should be considered as one of those sculptures below belonging to the early phase of 20th century who did some hundreds of experiments where he innovate dismantled a figure in two units to the extent that though you might have a faint recognition of a figure or a reclining woman or a warrior or something like this but when you look at the details of the sculpture what you find is simply unrecognizable abstract shapes and forms now quite a few of these concepts of abstract art emerged from clear-cut theoretical concerns walked out within a very specific theoretical frameworks apart from division constructivism and minimalism are two such more examples where abstraction was a preconceived well-planned theoretically grounded idea not a spontaneous pictorial outcome of an explanation of visual perception cubism was rather spontaneous outcome of a visual exploration so was for visible but certainly not constructivism or minimalism which had a very very strong theoretical base to the extent that they not particularly the constructivist artists and the minimalist artists were not thinking in terms of representation or art as a subject matter representing subject matter at all they’re thinking about something else either about construction of an object or about the structural clarity and the structural character of an object so in all these above art movements it was not visual perception but an intellectual perception that was the prime thing at a prime concern however intellectual perception ultimately left a huge impact on the visual perception as well for example this this is slightly late work by Picasso where he obviously intends to establish the identity of the form there is no intention whatsoever to do away with any identity or any recognizing elements yet it is very clear that is earlier engagement with cubism has now left a very strong impact on his later works as well like these two sculptures or for that matter these two sculptures as well now if you look at the works by constructivist it will feel that constructivist proposed to replace ours traditional concern with composition with a focus on construction so if you find many works by constructivist artists are compositionally slightly I will say this balanced but slightly incoherent let us say not very symmetrical not very visually pleasing it is due to the fact that they are not looking at a work of art whether it is sculpture or painting in terms of a need well balanced and well-organized composition they’re looking at a work of art as a construction so objects were to be created not in order to express beauty or the artists outlook or to represent the world according to the constructivist but to carry out a fundamental analysis of the materials and forms of art one which might lead to the design of functional objects it’s interesting that as I mentioned in the context of Mondrian in our previous lecture here do you find that many of this hard core abstract art it’s like constructivist they were also thinking in terms of functional design so abstraction got associated with functional design in the domain of minot right from the beginning of 20th century because for many constructivists this entails an ethic of truth to materials we are talking about the truth of materials they were talking about the authenticity of the materials used and the belief that materials should be employed only in accordance with their capacities and in such a way that demonstrated the users to which they could report for example this one if we are trying to derive some meaning in relation to the real live visual experiences it is bound to happen that we will be completely miss reading the whole sculpture or work of art here so we need to enjoy construction we need to enjoy the structural capacities we need to enjoy the material capabilities and the material character and authenticity in this cultures and in this culture as well so it is not very unlikely or very surprising that one of these artists would declare one day that beauty lies not in curvatures but in strict geometry and beauty might also live in an apparently blank canvas almost blank canvas like this one painted by Casimir Malevich as early as 1918 it’s a kind of but though he uses the word composition in the title white square or white but this composition has got nothing to do with the representational world of whole life or the emotional life of the world it is an independent art form completely or for that matter this one it is these are all sharing the similar concern about form shape object geometry and most importantly independence of abstract shapes and ideas so when Malevich uses color shapes of various dimensions he is not ultimately trying to reach an object or a recognizable form he is simply leaving it there now it is a difficult task for a painter because coming back to visual perception as I told you repeatedly that visual perception tends to identify form it tends to give meaning to forms it tends to give some real-life Emilia identities to and apparently abstract shapes and forms and an artist would also carry a similar kind of visual perception so an abstract painter has to fight the struggle very strongly against this normal flow of the visual perception which always tries to give meaning and identity to abstract shapes and when an artist like Malevich gets a grasp over this technique and over this medium and over this method of painting obviously he could explode and create a hold of the radiations out of it like this one now constructivist are often aimed to demonstrate how materials behaved to ask for instance more different properties had material such as word glass and metal the form and artwork will take would be dictated by its materials not the other way around as these in the case in traditional art forms in which the artists coat on coat transforms base materials into something very different and beautiful for some these inquiries were a means to an end the goal being the translation of ideas and designs into mass production and for others it was an end in itself a new and archetypal modern style expressing the dynamism of modern life so interestingly though they were talking about the independence of form independence of geometric shapes forms ultimately there is of course no representation but definitely there is an association with the real life for constructivist and later on for even minimalist like this work they believe that this kind of structure this kind of construction this kind of art ideas reflects the contemporary modern lives more than anything else so there is a meaning inherent in the idea though not representational but the meaning is certainly philosophical and it is certainly there so minimalism if you look at minimalism as another area or another art movement where abstraction developed very rapidly and with the great ambition then this very denial of expression an emotional expression or representation coupled with an interest in making objects that avoided the appearance of fine art led to the creation of sleek geometric works that purposefully and radically askew conventional aesthetic appeal so when you look at any minimalist art walk or any constructivist artwork it is true that you don’t find any conventional aesthetic appeal even the very notion of Beauty changes but our visual perception is habituated or is conditioned by a certain notion of beauty which gets again challenged by these art movements so minimalist created works that resembled factory built commodities and upended traditional definitions of art whose meaning was tied to a narrative or to the artist so this is also interesting that not only the abstract works created by constructivist or minimalist are devoid of representation they are also devoid of any kind of Neri for example when you look at these works by Donald Judd you don’t expect any story to unfold in this works you don’t expect any representation to be identified here you simply have to understand the meaning and significance of these works in terms of what they physically visually geometrically are like this one or for that matter this one or this one so you can always ask at which point it how does a simple geometrical structure like this become a work of art it is here that we need to look back at history and know the context a little bit which I have already discussed and then only we’ll be able to see that it becomes a work of art by various kind of claims and assertions and all these assertions are very meaningful very significant here assertion of form geometry shape construction culture not as a representation as an object and at the same time the very idea the very field that now the time has come that this kind of works very appropriately express or relate ourselves with our life nothing else so that also gives a lot of faith and strength to the artist to carry on with this kind of artworks so in another art movement which is popularly known as of art because it deals with optical illusion and optical riddles and optical kind of methods and strategies to create various kinds of works of art so we have solid we have Josef Albers here all of them again in their works has nothing to do with narration nothing to do with representation even nothing to do with emotion or artists own life it is about exploring geometry and optical illusions it is about exploring the possibilities of using line shapes in a way that they create a very is not very disturbing but definitely a very mesmerizing impact on our eyes and that is what these artworks are all about so when Alvers paints a painting like this square in a square in a square you don’t you not supposed to see a room within the rumor within a room in this painting you simply have to respond to the subtle tonal variations in the relationships these shapes and squares create with each other now how do you do that it’s a matter of practice it’s a matter of training or visual perception along this line only that is how that you can enjoy to say the list understand and you will intellectually engage with this works of art and of course we have plenty of such abstract works all over the world in Western art in Indian art where exception is an outcome of passion very impulsive drawings very impulsive application of colors very passionate engagement with your basic elements of painting like line color shape form space etcetera can lead to a kind of abstract art which is not certainly geometrical not minimalist not constructivist but definitely very expression mistake though it is not a presentational of course in this abstract painting there is a little bit of representational element but similar kind of abstract and passionate impulses that drive a painter towards this kind of painting will have like this one by Franz Kline will have no such literal narrative representational Association at all or this painting by Dubuffet again or this painting by the famous painter Jackson Pollock obviously she paintings do not have anything to do with any representation but it will be wrong to say that his paintings do not have anything to do with emotionals no definitely and a kind of emotional engagement is there a passionate engagement is there and for many of these painters this passionate and emotional engagements have resulted in beautiful abstract paintings abstract cultures very different in appearance in look than the abstract artworks created by the constructivist or the minimalist or even the cupid thank you [Music] [Music] you [Music]