In trying to explain the value of abstract expressionism to my teenage daughter…

…I had a difficult time conveying what makes a Mark Rothko or a Barnett Newman painting great. 

However, seeing these three painting from the wonderful blog 2 or 3 things I know might do a better job of explaining it visually than my words did.

Here we have “green”:

and “black”

and “white”

Each image has a different feel to it, and the relationships of the colours to each other affects the way we perceive the works, as well as how the viewer relates to these colours generally. But having an image of a house on a horizon makes that somewhat easier to comprehend somehow than if we remove the house. The house gives us a bridge to appreciating the expressionistic nature of the paintings. Indeed, the paintings are practically abstract, though the iconic nature of a house makes us think otherwise.

 At least it seems that way to me. What do you think?


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