Abstraction: Franz Kline

Yesterday I started thinking about abstraction and how much I wanted it to play a role in this new series of work. I have to admit that I’ve always had an unsteady relationship with abstraction; initially as a student I was highly skeptical of abstraction, and I would like to think that in more recent years I’ve been able to maintain a more open mind to it.

In terms of this project, it’s a tricky balance for me to pull off. On one hand, part of me sees so much potential for abstraction in terms of how I visually choose to represent the water. The other side of me grows concerned that too concentrated of a departure from the original subject matter will cause confusion and detachment from what got me interested in the work in the first place. I suppose ideally I’m looking to walk the finest line possible between the two so that really, depending on how you look at it, the work could easily fall into either category.

Someone commented a few entries back that the work reminded them of Franz Kline paintings. I think for me this is a really interesting reference, as it relates the work to someone who is for the most part, purely abstract in their work. I have to say this is probably one of the first times where I can directly see the correlation between abstract works and my own. To date, this is most likely the project I’ve done so far that has the most potential to branch into abstraction.

Painting by Franz Kline

I look at the drawings done with the Chinese ink on rice paper and I want to maintain their fluidity and ability to break apart in certain areas. Simultaneously, part of me is drawn to the specificity of the ink wash drawings done with India ink.  For now, I want to keep working on these drawings and experimenting with different formats and techniques.

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