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Paperback Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques Book

ISBN: 0823095428

ISBN13: 9780823095421

Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes...Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas." - Arshile Gorky Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques is a comprehensive guide to the history, methods, techniques, materials, and study of abstract art. It is illustrated with...

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

First class, but not for the beginner

It's a pity to dismiss Vicky Perry's book if you have done absolutely no abstract painting, because you may well find it invaluable further down the track. The text provides advanced theories that will be well beyond someone who is a complete beginner, but will be a mine of information for the experienced amateur as well as the art student. I purchased this book before I found Brian Ryder's "Beyond Realism" (see my review of this book) and was initially as challenged by Vicky Perry's text as other reviewers. However, having now worked my way through Ryder's book (and two other's I mention at the end of this review) I found that the concepts and techniques in "Abstract Painting" began to click, and even found them refreshing and exciting. What is more, the examples of abstract art in Perry's book are from professionals, which are hardly open to criticism from amateurs. Okay, so I don't like them all either, but that can only be a plus: you can ask yourself - how would I express the artist's idea myself? (You can't do that with the one's you like - they've already made the definitive statement!) This is no paint-by numbers book for two reasons: firstly, by its very nature, abstract art cannot be taught literally, in formal steps - as is technical drawing, for example. Secondly, the author quite reasonably assumes that the reader has some experience, not only in the fundamentals of art making, but also in basic forms of abstract expression. If you are short on either of these skills, you need to start elsewhere. Contrary to what other reviewers claim, there are plenty of books available that can get a beginner started on abstract painting. It is just that such books are not necessarily titled "abstract." They tend to come under the cateories of design, or creativity. Even collage books like those of Gerald Brommer are a good introduction to abstract principles - with instruction included. For the absolute beginner, I would recommend beginning with Mary Todd Beam's "Celebrate your Creative Self." All the exercises in this book are abstract, and clear instructions are given as to materials and techniques. You even get to copy to some extent! Next, I recommend Maxine Masterfield's "Painting the Spirit of Nature." That also gives techniques, but assumes more experience. Try Vicky Perry's Book after you have cut your teeth on these two - or something similar. I am sure you won't be disappointed.

complete & concise concepts

a book for post art school impetus--- the serious could work and experiment from the contents of this book forever... ..the negative reviews I have read here seem to come from those who were looking for a how-to short-cut to art making in a hurry... there is no such device this is a highly intelligent resourse--if, as an artist, the contents seem beyond your grasp, then keep working/seraching/researching and try reading it again...

this is THE best book on abstract methods and motives I have found! -especially for teaching

an excellent resource for students, artists and anyone curious about contemporary abstract painting well researched and clear: a good balance of concept & technical information highly reccommended

Perhaps Not for the Absolute Beginner...

The authoress, herself an artist, makes many excellent points. The one that stands out to me most strongly is that the whole point of abstraction/non-traditional working is to develop a technique of conceptual expression that is uniquely your own through trial. I bought this book to help me through a creative block. I must stress that painting is my job, which means I come in with certain knowledge and experience. Having read the book and the complaints of some readers, I suspect I understand the disconnect (leading me to write this review). The book might be somewhat frustrating for someone who is a dabbler (even a serious dabbler, mind you) because I think it makes certain assumptions about the reader's knowledge and confidence with paint. If one has the knowledge, the techniques and ideas presented are open-ended enough to gently guide one towards conceptual experimentation! I think this book is great for people who are comfortable enough with their painting to move into tackling conceptual problems with paint, rather than "how to paint". Her writing is snappy and concise and there are a lot of illustrations, which, in a visual medium, I appreciate. This book is one I will keep close at hand in my studio.

An Inside Look at the Creative Spirit

This book is full of excellent illustrations and details. It is not a how-to book nor does it give step by step directions. The inspiration comes from looking at the variety of possibilities and variation in styles that contemporary artists are working with. It is a sophisticated look at painting, and if the reader gives it a chance it can be both educational and motivating.
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