Conversations: The Language of Abstraction
An Exhibit of Abstract Art Curated by Stella Monday

When: May 6 – Jul 1, 2005
Where: Cultural Arts Council of Sonoma County


Eight artists contribute a work of abstract art to eight visually provocative discussions about themes central to art - composition, color, materials, rhythm, meaning, language, and response to world events.


The "conversations" generate an excitement about abstraction, and an understanding of how to look at abstract art and understand its creation.


What is abstract art about? (Statement by Curator Stella Monday)

Representation sometimes confines us to a particular place; abstraction goes to the roots of all the elements that put together the familiar sights of our world, and puts those elements together in new ways. Abstraction imagines the new forms and arrangements our world and relationships and ideas can take. At the same time, abstraction identifies universals – the bottom lines, shapes, forms, textures – of what creates calm, chaos, movement, stability, beauty, distress, meaning, and emptiness.


According to some artists and thinkers, abstraction has been linked with an aversion for the visible world and confidence in the mystical intuition alleged to provide a deeper knowledge than reason and senses.


For others, abstraction is a counterpoint to vulgarity, cheapness and the kitsch of prevailing cultural icons. As Pavel commented, a "fear of Hallmark."


For others still, including those represented in this show, the making of abstract art is an impulse from inside me to inside you.


You may ask, what is this artwork about? Perhaps it’s more useful to ask, what do you feel when you view it? Which pieces simply make your heart pound? Which pieces calm you, which disturb? Is there a resonance between what’s felt and what’s seen? It can be an exploration into the unknown, finding something so familiar that you can’t quite put your finger on: symbols that strike a deep chord inside you but that you can’t quite read; reminders of something, long ago memories; or simply encountering a beauty that brings harmony and connection...


Which images make you want to talk back, or create in response? Join the conversation, please.


Background Image from the Portfolio: Icon Series