2013—Abstraction: Works from the Permanent Collection

arnold moveable feast detail for LP

Kathryn Arnold | Moveable Feast (1996), detail | Oil on canvas (1996.4)

female figure c 1970 stoneware nigeria

Female figure c. 1970. Abuja, Nigeria. Stoneware, artist unknown (2001.35.08)

What is abstract and what is real? When you look at a great painting, it’s like a conversation. It has questions for you. It raises questions in you. ― Kenneth Noland, painter

Abstraction features works of art from the Library’s Permanent Collection. The subjects depicted in these pieces have been simplified or altered from their original form. Some of these abstractions are minor, like using a circle to represent the sun. Other abstractions are more complex, like using a color to represent an emotion.

The works on display are grouped by theme: cityscape, landscape, still life, the female form, and non-objective. In each piece the artist has chosen a level of abstraction. Looking at these common themes helps us learn to “read” these works. This skill can then be used to understand and interpret other contemporary art.

Abstraction runs through November 3, 2013 in the Front Gallery.