Sunday, March 3, 2019

An image without a name . . .

I want to explore IDEOGRAPHY today.

Color field artist Barnett Newman wrapped his post-WWII expressionist work around this idea of ideography.

In 1947 Newman was pointing to the development of an American "modern counterpart to the primitive art impulse." It was summed up in the concept of the ideograph, which he described - quoting a dictionary - as a "character, symbol or figure which suggests the idea of an object without expressing its name" Newman was searching for an abstract art form that might do away with all figurative or quasi-figurative motifs. Clyfford Stills and Mark Rothko were simultaneously and independently on similar paths with similar beliefs. They were all considered color field painters.
Barnett Newman 1947
       Clyfford Stills 1947
        Mark Rothko 1947

I like this painting path I'm currently on, and I'm feeling a little kinship these days to Newman's notion of objects without a name in a color field. In my case, I'm left with a sense of a story with abstract characters, or caricatures. 

To get more of a feel for ideography; what it is, and how it's used, we can look to Native American Indian culture, where symbols are still a big part of their artistic expression. These are also considered ideographs.

Here are two new paintings I'd like to share with you . . .

"It's the Journey"  36" x 36" acrylic on birch board

"Reservation" 12" x 12" acrylic on birch board

(click on images for a larger view)

No comments:

Post a Comment