1/6 The Rules Of Abstraction With Matthew Collings

english this is a program about abstract art
it’s a subject that can be as heavy or as light as you like for me it’s just
natural because I’m always doing it so thinking about it all the time but i also think about basic questions
that many people have how do we respond to abstract art is it
supposed to be hard or easy is it about something or does it exist
entirely on its own see abstract artists chucking paint
around why be so vague but then when their precise how does that help these could seem unanswerable questions
but abstract art has been around 400 years now and is an ongoing thing by
exploring the private world of living abstract artists and looking at some key
figures from abstract art history i’m going to show you that in fact there
are answers amid complicated and potentially
confusing works there are hidden rules you might not expect hey how matter lovely can see you every
see it no gap okay I’m gonna get you to take
some of it all folk I work every day in a studio paint
abstract paintings based on patterns together with my painting partner mr biggs you know how sometimes you get
scraped into it yeah can you get some great yes yeah I like that yeah okay but that m is
really the generator of the colors she thinks the mark she physically mixes
them she mixes up the paint and she places
them on I’m the applier it’s it’s a kind of
double act which most of the time the main emphasis on what comes out of his
head yeah that’s better yeah yeah the history abstract art is really a
history of experiments so you a lot of things come up for experimentation you know you’ve got color theory art
people who do very honorable and serious type of art based on scientific ideas of
what makes colors zing together then you’ve got abstract
art which is all about accident but all of them are trying to find some kind of
visual metaphor will be which we rich enough for what one might call reality art is partly ideas and theories but
it’s really only anything at all because of how it looks looking is something have to get used to here are some abstract squares the kind
of thing people often glance at and then turn away from battled the one on the
left is by mondrian a famous figure one on the right is buy lube off pop over
who is less well now we’ll be meeting both those artists later each painting as shapes that echo the
basic shape of the thing they appear on the square shape the canvas in hers you’re seeing squares stretched out
fragmented morphed into triangles tilted so the seam flying or full of movement in his abstract squares that color is
stark based on contrast rehearse the color is continuous and
sympathetic gray and the pink kura softer version of the harder black red white relationships the gray
and the pink take the I back gradually making space throughout seem three
dimension so opening up to abstract values is an adventure and you
start by being willing to look the dynamism of the way in which shapes are
placed prevents you from reading that white as if it were home can be seen
through the reeds clearly as over the other colors it’s not easy to pull off it depends on
the minor displacement of angles everywhere pink follows red and grey has a blue
green character but also complements the red it’s the color in proposals painting
that contributes more than anything else to the difference between her squares
and mondrian squares if abstracts have got something to do
with reality but the artists are gonna picture reality why not and what reality but we talking
about art had been expected to picture reality
according two approaches and styles that were acceptable to most people a lovely
landscape by Rubens then in the 19th century new ideas about
reality meant says an could picture reality as patent shapes in the early
20th century the cubist painter Brock responded to Suzanne by picturing
reality as flattened space a few years later abstract art responded
to cubism with shapes and spaces only people sense of what was real was up for
grabs because everyday existence is full of
rapid change caused by science artists or spirituality as both a challenge to
the power of science and a way of harnessing it this counter intuitive idea came from
the spiritual movement of theosophy which was founded in new york in 80 75
by helena blavatsky about ski took aspects of Eastern religion and aspects
of science mostly evolution and came up with a
spiritual movement based on evolution of the soul abstract art started at the very peak of
theosophy his popularity people thought spirituality was like x-rays or infrared
radiation or electricity it could be revealed there were a lot of different artistic
takes on the spiritual but the strangest was the earliest helmet of Clint who was
born in 1862 and lived and worked in Sweden these are paintings by her from 1907 yeah for decades nobody knew about them but
recently they’ve emerged and started to be exhibited all over the world yeah yeah from totally invisible she’s become the
main excitement about historic abstract art a woman doing abstraction plus doing
it so it’s full of meaning yeah kind of meaning abstract artists were into spirituality
but I’ve Clint thought of herself as being in touch with actual spirits she conducted séances in this room and
received messages from spirits who were called the high masters yeah she produced twenty-three thousand pages
of notes working out what the high masters were telling her to paint it was
all theosophical meaning theosophy says colors and shapes can
symbolize the souls journey the tip of a colored pyramid is the sole
arriving within the golden circle of pure spirit and there’s pure spirit losophy claims when dark is balanced
with light masculine with feminine all Afghans paintings are profoundly
philosophical the not the esophageal thing about them is the general look and
this doesn’t come from spirits because to risk controversy for a moment there
is no such factual thing as a spirit they are mental projections have the
ability to create such a mental projection without suffering
debilitating mental illness is a fantastic thing but when it comes to
creating a work about a mental projection alone isn’t sufficient
because art is a maid just from visions it’s made from visual traditions the
other abstract artists rooted in the visual traditions of painting explain
themselves only partly by spirituality with her it’s everything it was beamed down to
her by a high master on the astral plane who commissioned paintings from her she
knew what the reason was so that those down on the earthly plane if they’ve
enlightened themselves enough might benefit from them that could be used to
keep an open mind Oh it was only recently decades after her
death in 1944 82 that Africans became known now her work is categorized as the first
abstract art but there’s very little evidence she thought of it as art at all
rather than abstraction type of art that didn’t exist in 1907 she thought it was
direct meaning to us it looks like abstract art but it’s really diagrams
explaining theosophical ideas to see what else there is to abstraction you have to look elsewhere yeah the russian artist Vasily Kandinsky is
the lord of abstraction yeah he said it was created from in a
necessity and it didn’t need nature to picture it contained all of nature
anyway just in abstract art shapes and colors yeah he meant the artist sensitivity his
feelings and memories are full of nature’s impressions can be got down
onto the canvas in a completely abstracted way this is a painting by kandinsky from
nineteen twelve its title painting with black arch encourages you to think about only what you’re seeing that black arch
is unmistakable but kandinsky knows that seeing art is a
heightened seeing it’s made loaded by you being very visually a lot and by
your thoughts and expectations being primed by some kind of theory the book
of the Lord is called on the spiritual in art and in ski published it in 1911
and it was read throughout Europe it was the first moment of abstract art
becoming widely known like hilmar Clint kandinsky was inspired by theosophy
these notion of ur coming new age of the great spiritual convinced his artistic
approach was different to Homer Africans though she thought paintings were
diagrams to be interpreted by study he thought the actual materials of
painting color shape line could be manipulated to affect the soul yeah ok yeah his line moves across the paper it’s
captured on film in the nineteen twenties he’s in his sixties and has been
painting abstractly since was in his late forties making a mark he doesn’t know in advance what’s gonna
happen because he’s not copying anything that is instinct for making is guided by
his experience of making judging what works what doesn’t


  1. artiste1954 June 26, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    What happened? Why did it end so abruptly? I wanted to know more about Kandinsky.

  2. Jim Bronaugh June 27, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Oh come on now. She mixes the color because he, like the majority of men, is color blind.

  3. Relaxation Media June 28, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Way to many ads ,,,,,jerks

  4. mejestic 12 July 1, 2019 at 10:57 am

    R I P painting. A child with brain damage could paint better than you people. Art is very objective and these kind of art can't give you the feeling of greatness. It's just sad and stupid.

  5. Sasha Romano July 1, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    A did a Art expo at school once … a senior classmen walks in and calls all my hard work 'shit' and walks out feeling like a bad ass . After finding out who he is i took a blank sheet of paper and doodle his mom on there with a big ass and fat saggy boobs that looked like a scrotum … It was titled … Abomination Origin , With his class , name , role number , and a side note that said 'Spawned from it' EVERYONE saw it …

  6. Omar Sangiovanni July 1, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Cool 😎

  7. Mike Hoyle July 5, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    adverts as a pay to view without adverts (1 month free trial) FUCK OFF YOU GITS

  8. Gary Lewis July 8, 2019 at 3:23 am

    The mathamatics of fractals have become important in abstract art.
    There are fractals in Jackson Polic's work. and every one knows
    "The Wave" by the japanese artist.

  9. The Shameless Pitchmen for Jesus Christ July 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Abstraction was present in High Renaissance Italy in the style of Maniera – Mannerism – the father of which was Michelangelo.

  10. Upgradde Upgradde July 10, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Abstract art is a direct reflection of one's deepest most intimate subconscious.

  11. Cynthia Talbott-Nelson July 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Collings makes a distinction between Af Klint's work, her work based on spiritual guidance and Kandinsky's work,based on his spirit and soul. Theosophy comes from both, guidance and soul. His comparison completely negates the fact that Af Klint WAS the first abstract painter. That's ridiculous to claim Kandinsky was the first. His conclusion is sexism at its highest level! Pathetic, absolutely pathetic

  12. Bainsworth July 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    ok here is the truth. abstract art is the artists explosive, frustrated, yet determined attempt to make value out if nothing, or alchemy.

  13. Mario Jurinich July 19, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Spirits are real! We, are the projection!

  14. Luna Smith Art July 19, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Great video 🙂 Spirits are all around us and in us. You can feel them each time you get lost in the music, fall asleep at the beach or paint.

  15. NME10E July 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I like even love some abstract art but for most abstract art the “1/6 Rule of Abstraction” is that it takes 1/6 the talent and skill.

  16. Bluell Noel July 23, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Good video, thank you. And thank you for talking about abstract art without using abstract artspeak… but those abstract subtitles were a giggle!

  17. Goddy Carino July 23, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Abstract is BS. What do ordinary people see in there? Ordinary people will say, "what the hell is that"?

  18. liamardo007 July 23, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    And what am I supposed to do with all this time I have. Said the prisoner

  19. steve harrigan July 25, 2019 at 6:14 am

    People who cant draw, do abstract art. And strangely enough, these very same people will tell you that your photo-realistic painting of 2 Spitfires flying in formation is just illustration, and not really serious art. They are quite obviously very jealous of someone that possesses superior skills. They seem to be nice people, but I just cant bring myself to take them seriously.

  20. Beth Bartlett July 26, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Artists can be well served by the basic studies/understanding of: Quantum Physics, Philosophy, and basic or intro to Logic, these serve to strengthen the Creative Juices, as the open the mind and support *"Infinite Possibilities"
    Spirit or Soul is energy and energy is eternal – Quantum 0hysics.

    Avoid limiting the possibilities.

    Quantum Physics also proclaims that "Thought proceeds Manifestation", therefore I proclaim, *"The Bang came 2nd"*…

    Limitless potentials when mind is truly – wide open.

  21. Michael Collins July 26, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Not sure I would take a great deal of notice on anything this guy said, on any subject. In the end, it's all about him.

  22. Philip Lindsay July 26, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    All art is just a visual decoration to hang on your cave walls ( your home. ) No more and no less .

  23. Anne Reilley July 29, 2019 at 5:10 am

    0:54 "black square" is clearly hung upside down. They need to fix that mistake.

  24. ShawN shawN July 29, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Such a great documentary of Matthew Collings. I like the introduction into the abstract theory and development of various ideas. If you would like to learn about two other abstract styles, be sure to check my channel ShawNshawN. Great video Art documentaries!

  25. syam INDONES July 31, 2019 at 7:06 am

    nice art

  26. Captain Obvious August 7, 2019 at 5:13 am

    Abstract art has existed since cave paintings.

  27. Cedar Raine August 15, 2019 at 1:19 am

    As soon as the contracted consciousness has become identified with the movements & mechanism of the mind one has entered into a psychological game & is no longer experiencing Art, but is experiencing the mechanical nature of a bias mind.

  28. Annonomys Person August 19, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    My 5 year old son wants to know how his painting got on to u tube ! !

  29. WOLF SOMMER August 26, 2019 at 6:29 am

    aren't we lucky we have words to describe and define and give dimension to something so senseless as abstraction in decorative surfaces – patterns for wallpaper – confusion and frustration the accumulation and inability – back to the roots where symbolism was what it is symbols abstraction of the essence and core – what? Stupid senseless color smeared on as therapy – for talentless students -calling on the master's appreciation on crap – we have let it go too far -there is an elite calling the Gods, not for faith but for the money it is always the money – rap shit in gold and you have a praline – but do not eat it or dare to – it's your decision.

  30. kanchan September 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    The subtitling is hilarious!

  31. Debra Thain September 6, 2019 at 2:49 am

    I love the comments! Thank you everyone! Truly inspired! Liked the documentary too! ❤️ thank you!!!

  32. LunaSe7en September 9, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Imo abstract is like poetry. It doesn't matter what it was about for the artist, it's all about what it means to you.

  33. ScrapArt September 10, 2019 at 8:51 pm


  34. Annonomys Person September 12, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Abstract art is done by people who cannot paint realistically.

  35. Annonomys Person September 12, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Let’s see the realistic paintings these so – called artists did before the became abstract painters !

  36. Krys Gigi September 14, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Great! 👍 Do not know how to get rid of the terrible cap shinning. 👎

  37. bartakin September 15, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Abstract art is rare and difficult without natural knack scale, distance and effective use of colors and the story can be many in the eyes of beholders !

  38. Myra Sri September 19, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Interesting… but the English subtitles are atrocious and totally misleading…even the poor comma doesn’t get a look in…Oh, I get it…abstract language… must be… because it reads as rubbish. Good video ruined by zero editing and abrupt ending.

  39. I Heard September 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Seriously! What is this? Like really

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