abstraction
A small sampling of the abstract art by Michael.

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Hilton Kramer, in his essay questioning “Does Abstract Art Have a Future?”, points out that even the sharpest minds often forget or ignore that abstraction's aesthetics, history, even reason for being are rooted in representational painting. Thus, it may be argued that abstraction always has been about representation(alism). (By the way, by “abstract” he means painting.)

He says that there has been a “fateful shift of priorities away from the aesthetics of painting, both abstract and representational, in favor of a political, sexual, and sociological interest in art-making activities[.]” I would put it less antagonistically that people prefer making art in forms other than painting. Yes, in the larger arena of cultural life the fallout from the 1960s did erase the authority of high art abstraction or equalized painting and other forms of art making. So what? Is abstraction dead? Certainly not. People are doing it. But does it have to cede power to a cacophony of other valid voices? Yes. It is one amongst many, it is a living granddaddy to newer generations and it has to understand that while it remains vital, the young grab center stage.

Another way to think of it is that abstraction is a mode of being, a trope or a method. We continue to speak and use it, but it's invention was a century ago. As one example of a growing child, digital moving images are recent spawn with more room for technological innovation.

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