At first blush, abstract artwork presents a number of challenges. Without the accessibility of familiar figures, pop culture icons, or even mundane objects, it’s easy to dismiss abstract work as smears, plops, and drips that have no intentionality or subject.
But, there was something to last night’s “walk and talk” event at Plains Art Museum (part of Marjorie Schlossman’s Symphony of Color exhibition) that made this observer (and others in attendance, I’m sure) regard those challenges as opportunities to inject themselves into a visual dialogue with the artist. As individuals and as group, we were challenged to pull something out of Schlossman’s creations, or, and maybe this is more accurate, allow it to impress something upon us. Reactions differed wildly. Where one participant saw a night table and a glass of wine, another saw relationships of size, scale, and color depicted without a represented object. Others looked more deeply into the whole effect of a number of collected artworks rather than a single work in itself.
In the end, Schlossman’s work opened up into more of an exercise or an activity rather than a passive viewing experience. The Museum will host another of these “walk and talk” events on August 9. If abstract art has never really quite grabbed a hold of you, be sure to tag along.
View more photos from the event over at our Tumblr.