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Art Since 1948 – History of Abstract Art

Written by: Laura Chong

How do we tell stories? For these 3 artists, their stories were told through abstract art. Integrated with their life experiences in the 1900s, these are truly interesting art pieces.

Art talk series: 3 artists & their abstract art pieces

This art talk made me appreciate abstract art so much more. I realized they are about the engagement of materials, the process when creating the art piece and the stories you are trying to tell.

Artist 1: Louise Fishman, 1995

Louise Fishman is a Russian Jewish Lesbian woman who arrived in New York in the 1960s. Her abstract expressionism emphasizes black, white and minimalism. In this painting, she used different materials to transfer the paint away from the canvas. I could see a woman leaning backwards, which could be a representation of herself and the society.

Artist 2: Purvis Young, 1990

Purvis Young is a African American self taught artist. His life mission was to visualize injustice, therefore, he studied protest art. His style of painting was the use of anything as a canvas, including plywood. In this painting, he used carpet as the borders and painted on a plywood. The ship could represent a move into a collective society.

Artist 3: McArthur Binion, 1990

McArthur Binion is a African American born in 1956. He has a DNA series where he used materials that tells his story into his work. In this painting, he teared up his birth certificate and used it in the grids. There is an oval drawn in the middle which represents how the background and foreground is playing with each other – just like our life stories.

All in all, abstract paintings take a long process and is very labored. There are a lot of thoughts put into it and it is up to individuals on how you interpret the painting. I really enjoyed this art talk as it opened up my mind to a much deeper world of abstract art.