Consciousness of Abstraction

James Eli Bowden, Shelley Gilchrist, Margot McMahon, Howard Schwartz, Diane Thodos

Thru July 16

ARC Gallery
1463 W. Chicago Ave.
Gallery Hours: Thursday & Friday 2- 6 pm
Saturday & Sunday 12- 4 pm

The terms “Abstraction” or “Abstract Art” are perhaps among the most common references describing particular way(s) of understanding and perceiving the cosmic and daily realities in which we find ourselves. (We might note, too, that the terms are often mis-applied as though they are necessarily in opposition to “Realism” or “Realistic Art”.) The truth is, however, that the abstract art “movements” of late 19th and early 20th century (Impression, Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, etc.) were driven by a passion to get closer to the complex realities of nature and human condition, not depart from them. Later, Minimalism, Neo-Dada, Geometric Abstraction, Conceptualism, Art Povera and other developments continue this “Big Bang” inquiry. Put simply, “Realism in Art” could no longer be described as an explicit fidelity to direct, observed, experience. This basic axiom remains, arguably, just as valid today: Reality is often far beyond simple, static appearance and can be highly counter-intuitive. Over the decades, the concepts of Relativity, Quantum Theory and the advent of photography – among many other ideas – have helped clarify, how and why this is so. Abstraction, of course can be many different things, driven by many different principles and suppositions: some conscious, some intuitive.