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Understanding modern and contemporary art in 5 steps

You like art, but sometimes you don’t know how to approach it? You are not alone in this. This article will give you the tools you need to deal with art that is incomprehensible at first sight. You don’t necessarily need a master’s degree in art history for this. A good approach is half the battle.

Art does not give answers, but asks questions

The art professor describes how the viewing of contemporary art can become a source of annoyance if the viewer demands answers, but art does not provide any answers but asks them even more questions.

We can now understand this as the spitefulness of contemporary art. Or we can use this special characteristic of art to become a little bit smarter yourself. When we the aesthetic object as a tool for new insights, it can enrich our intellectual repertoire.

The usual scenario

As a rule, we judge works more or less consciously according to two criteria and that even before it has its full effect on us can unfold.

“Do I like it?”

Can we not meet this criterion with the necessary satisfaction, we discard the work and move on to the next one, which will better or with which we can do more. On the personal taste, I would strongly recommend you to listen to art for your living room. I also have works that and I love them. During a visit to an exhibition it should not be primarily about a favor or no favor.

“What is it supposed to represent?”

The second common question is what it is supposed to be. This question was first brought to us by classical modernity and the abstraction. As art still consistently realistic and was objective, it was easier to answer. In this context the associations should be mentioned too. Confronted with the abstract, the viewer’s mind often produces hosts of images. With these interpretations, the human intellect tries to classify this and to interpret what he does not understand at first. To my own abstract works I get from viewers so hear regularly a lot of representational associations, which are important to me in life would not have come up with them themselves.

In and of itself, both the question of taste and also the desire for interpretation perfectly in order and legitimate. Most often but we do it too early, connected with an evaluation and thus misrepresent ourselves the way to really understand the work. Associations are also great. We
should only be aware that they are our own, and as such are first of all subjective.

The five steps

Art works best when we express our values and put interpretations first of all behind. That could look like this: Take a work that especially appeals to you. Then observe and analyze leave it in the following five steps. There is no wrong or Right. Rather, it is a matter of pure observation.

  1. remain objective
    The biggest challenge is to go beyond familiar patterns of thought
    to grow out. So take your time and try to be as work to remain completely objective and open.
  2. describe the color
    Which colors are included in the work? What quality do they have? Are there Contrasts? Are they gaudy and jump at you? Or are they discreet and restrained?
  3. describe the form
    What forms are present in the work? Is everything angular and wild? Or does it flow everything harmoniously together?
  4. explore your feelings
    In your opinion, what is the atmosphere in the factory? How does it affect you and what does it do to you? Do you feel enveloped? Or does it make you aggressive? Do you have spontaneous associations to the work?
  5. a pinch of background knowledge
    Read a little social and art historical background knowledge. In which society does the artist live? What occupies him or her? This does not have to be a whole textbook, often the Exhibition flyer, an article in Art Magazine or Wikipedia. You can also take part in a guided tour. Most museums regularly offer free guided tours, which are included in the museum entrance fee are. Or look for a nice companion who knows a little bit about the place. Me even spiky exhibition visits with a few key data and anecdotes about the artist. This makes the work more tangible and even People who would not have gone to the museum on their own initiative.

For paintings and sculptures this kind of Art contemplation basically always. With a little practice you can also do it for apply installations, conceptual art and other genres. But one thing is certain, you will grow quite a bit beyond yourself. Therefore: To the Works of art.

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