BY PAT SUMMERS
Abstract art: you know it when you see it because you usually can’t relate the content of the picture to anything in real life. So it’s often called “non-representational” – it doesn’t present or represent anything we know.
An abstract painting might include appealing colors, shapes, or other elements you like: maybe the thick paint, or wide brush strokes – or seemingly no brush strokes at all and paint applied so thinly you can see bare canvas here and there. Sometimes the title helps you get into an abstract painting; other times, not at all.
Invented in the early 20th century, abstract art was the other end of the line from representational art, which portrayed recognizable people, places or things, as most of art history had done. By the second half of the 20th century, after World War 2, self-aware abstract artists consciously considered process and technique.
Regardless of how they did it, abstract artists were mark-making in their individual ways – which sometimes then included effacing any sign of their marks.