1/6 The Rules Of Abstraction With Matthew Collings

english this is a program about abstract art
it’s a subject that can be as heavy or as light as you like for me it’s just
natural because I’m always doing it so thinking about it all the time but i also think about basic questions
that many people have how do we respond to abstract art is it
supposed to be hard or easy is it about something or does it exist
entirely on its own see abstract artists chucking paint
around why be so vague but then when their precise how does that help these could seem unanswerable questions
but abstract art has been around 400 years now and is an ongoing thing by
exploring the private world of living abstract artists and looking at some key
figures from abstract art history i’m going to show you that in fact there
are answers amid complicated and potentially
confusing works there are hidden rules you might not expect hey how matter lovely can see you every
see it no gap okay I’m gonna get you to take
some of it all folk I work every day in a studio paint
abstract paintings based on patterns together with my painting partner mr biggs you know how sometimes you get
scraped into it yeah can you get some great yes yeah I like that yeah okay but that m is
really the generator of the colors she thinks the mark she physically mixes
them she mixes up the paint and she places
them on I’m the applier it’s it’s a kind of
double act which most of the time the main emphasis on what comes out of his
head yeah that’s better yeah yeah the history abstract art is really a
history of experiments so you a lot of things come up for experimentation you know you’ve got color theory art
people who do very honorable and serious type of art based on scientific ideas of
what makes colors zing together then you’ve got abstract
art which is all about accident but all of them are trying to find some kind of
visual metaphor will be which we rich enough for what one might call reality art is partly ideas and theories but
it’s really only anything at all because of how it looks looking is something have to get used to here are some abstract squares the kind
of thing people often glance at and then turn away from battled the one on the
left is by mondrian a famous figure one on the right is buy lube off pop over
who is less well now we’ll be meeting both those artists later each painting as shapes that echo the
basic shape of the thing they appear on the square shape the canvas in hers you’re seeing squares stretched out
fragmented morphed into triangles tilted so the seam flying or full of movement in his abstract squares that color is
stark based on contrast rehearse the color is continuous and
sympathetic gray and the pink kura softer version of the harder black red white relationships the gray
and the pink take the I back gradually making space throughout seem three
dimension so opening up to abstract values is an adventure and you
start by being willing to look the dynamism of the way in which shapes are
placed prevents you from reading that white as if it were home can be seen
through the reeds clearly as over the other colors it’s not easy to pull off it depends on
the minor displacement of angles everywhere pink follows red and grey has a blue
green character but also complements the red it’s the color in proposals painting
that contributes more than anything else to the difference between her squares
and mondrian squares if abstracts have got something to do
with reality but the artists are gonna picture reality why not and what reality but we talking
about art had been expected to picture reality
according two approaches and styles that were acceptable to most people a lovely
landscape by Rubens then in the 19th century new ideas about
reality meant says an could picture reality as patent shapes in the early
20th century the cubist painter Brock responded to Suzanne by picturing
reality as flattened space a few years later abstract art responded
to cubism with shapes and spaces only people sense of what was real was up for
grabs because everyday existence is full of
rapid change caused by science artists or spirituality as both a challenge to
the power of science and a way of harnessing it this counter intuitive idea came from
the spiritual movement of theosophy which was founded in new york in 80 75
by helena blavatsky about ski took aspects of Eastern religion and aspects
of science mostly evolution and came up with a
spiritual movement based on evolution of the soul abstract art started at the very peak of
theosophy his popularity people thought spirituality was like x-rays or infrared
radiation or electricity it could be revealed there were a lot of different artistic
takes on the spiritual but the strangest was the earliest helmet of Clint who was
born in 1862 and lived and worked in Sweden these are paintings by her from 1907 yeah for decades nobody knew about them but
recently they’ve emerged and started to be exhibited all over the world yeah yeah from totally invisible she’s become the
main excitement about historic abstract art a woman doing abstraction plus doing
it so it’s full of meaning yeah kind of meaning abstract artists were into spirituality
but I’ve Clint thought of herself as being in touch with actual spirits she conducted séances in this room and
received messages from spirits who were called the high masters yeah she produced twenty-three thousand pages
of notes working out what the high masters were telling her to paint it was
all theosophical meaning theosophy says colors and shapes can
symbolize the souls journey the tip of a colored pyramid is the sole
arriving within the golden circle of pure spirit and there’s pure spirit losophy claims when dark is balanced
with light masculine with feminine all Afghans paintings are profoundly
philosophical the not the esophageal thing about them is the general look and
this doesn’t come from spirits because to risk controversy for a moment there
is no such factual thing as a spirit they are mental projections have the
ability to create such a mental projection without suffering
debilitating mental illness is a fantastic thing but when it comes to
creating a work about a mental projection alone isn’t sufficient
because art is a maid just from visions it’s made from visual traditions the
other abstract artists rooted in the visual traditions of painting explain
themselves only partly by spirituality with her it’s everything it was beamed down to
her by a high master on the astral plane who commissioned paintings from her she
knew what the reason was so that those down on the earthly plane if they’ve
enlightened themselves enough might benefit from them that could be used to
keep an open mind Oh it was only recently decades after her
death in 1944 82 that Africans became known now her work is categorized as the first
abstract art but there’s very little evidence she thought of it as art at all
rather than abstraction type of art that didn’t exist in 1907 she thought it was
direct meaning to us it looks like abstract art but it’s really diagrams
explaining theosophical ideas to see what else there is to abstraction you have to look elsewhere yeah the russian artist Vasily Kandinsky is
the lord of abstraction yeah he said it was created from in a
necessity and it didn’t need nature to picture it contained all of nature
anyway just in abstract art shapes and colors yeah he meant the artist sensitivity his
feelings and memories are full of nature’s impressions can be got down
onto the canvas in a completely abstracted way this is a painting by kandinsky from
nineteen twelve its title painting with black arch encourages you to think about only what you’re seeing that black arch
is unmistakable but kandinsky knows that seeing art is a
heightened seeing it’s made loaded by you being very visually a lot and by
your thoughts and expectations being primed by some kind of theory the book
of the Lord is called on the spiritual in art and in ski published it in 1911
and it was read throughout Europe it was the first moment of abstract art
becoming widely known like hilmar Clint kandinsky was inspired by theosophy
these notion of ur coming new age of the great spiritual convinced his artistic
approach was different to Homer Africans though she thought paintings were
diagrams to be interpreted by study he thought the actual materials of
painting color shape line could be manipulated to affect the soul yeah ok yeah his line moves across the paper it’s
captured on film in the nineteen twenties he’s in his sixties and has been
painting abstractly since was in his late forties making a mark he doesn’t know in advance what’s gonna
happen because he’s not copying anything that is instinct for making is guided by
his experience of making judging what works what doesn’t

Comments 100

  • no such thing as a spirit? are you the final voice on that? the definitive way you say that, annoys me. how do you know? i'm not a religious man, but spirits exist. to say otherwise in such a way, tells me how closed minded you are. which mean i cannot take anything you say seriously now. at all. your words have become garbage. never speak on things you do not know. and you don't know spirits.

  • Nahhh !,,,,,, I don't think so. Bye !

  • This video is rife with sexism. I found it hard to listen to the whole thing.

  • When you go to the gym and cant do squats but do chest instead

  • The music is fucken creepy, it was hard for me to concentrate

  • perhaps abstract painters have their own world or just pretending to be crazy. even my lowly dog can do an abstract painting for which i can write some baloney descriptions for it, then voila, it's a work of art already. the key here is the marketing of the work. get some credible critique write you in a magazine, get the best art gallery, pay them the right amount of money, and that's it.

  • but the thing is, each of us has its own so-called "interpretation" of any abstract art. you just have to be good at words to impress viewers and art fanatics alike. a marketing strategy of sort.

  • She tells him where to put it !

  • The only part I didn't like about this video is the part where this guy mentions that there is no spirit but only mental imagination. I didn't like it because he is not the authority to tell us whether there is Spirit or not especially if the artist believed it is there and he is showcasing the artist's work. I didn't like him forcing his beliefs (that there is no spirit) to us while presenting the artist's work. It was highly unprofessional and unequal of him. He denied and rubbished the artist's freedom to believe in spirits from which the art came forth.

  • Helmet of Clint, one of my favourite artists.

  • There is far too many words used to describe a visual image. If it doesn't give meaning by looking at it, then all words used are merely propaganda.

  • Painting a quilt

  • Patterns are the opposition to abstraction

  • Just look at the head scratching idiots that fall for this shit, and you find everything you need to know about this "art". Most of the people who enjoy it, look like they are on a day pass from the mental hospital.
    Helena Blavatsky was a Satanist piece of shit, and these are the type of people that inspire "artists" like Klint? The "the high masters" that inspire them are demons in league with Satan. You can keep that Satanic shit. These people worship Lucifer. Theosophy is Satanism. It is literally Satanic Art.

  • There are rules to abstract art?!! Wth

  • There are no rules to abstract.

  • the messy subtitles added needed humor and charm in an often annoying yet also interesting film-a-mum-mum! matthew cannot DOES totally not get THE GODDESS, Hilma Af Klint, but as long as her work is being talked about and shown, HALLELUJAH !

    "She was the first to make abstract art, but Kandinsky was Lord" where's my upchuck bucket?
    F*&$#^& that!

    VK might have written on the the Spiritual in Art but Klee and Miro are so much more joyful to view and memorable, and Hilma was in a class with much higher peers, like Blake…

    and what's with this ending in a total cut off moment and there's no part 2 or 6 appearing in my feed?

  • Notice Blavatsky presumed the existence of a "soul" that would evolve. She never bothered to show evidence of its existence, but instead developed a whole imaginary system based on the idea. The fact that meaningful work came out of her and Clint's movements merely means that the work would have been meaningful anyway. Theosophy is the imagination at work.

  • Love how English man sell and promote which is not abstract really. (Ironically said)
    • Perfect imperfection on a canvas.
    ▪ No rules
    ▪ Energy throu brushes, colours, metal, light, music, whatsoever.

    However as an artist I can really critic someone who produce and does a paycheck doing what he/she loves…but! Just don't like how some people think they are so accurate and perfect when in 《《Art…there are no mistakes.》》
    Like art is nature, and nature is on us.. is always changing and developing.
    Only those who stuck in theory never gonna grown openly to understand that..
    ●●Judge and Artist●● that's life so guess who does art who's not.

  • maybe this man should stop labeling everything as autistic…

  • @ 10:20 mark he said there are no such things as "spirits"… well he absolutely wrong about that… just last week I went down to the local and bought myself a whole bottle of "spirits" … 90 proof spirits at that

  • Art is a mirror for the artist, and hopefully, the viewer. If the viewer doesn't understand it, that is fine. Most will not.

  • Some of this art is complete shit.

  • The most tedious part of this video is the critical comments.

  • Thank's! Steven Miller

  • Has abstract art "been around for a hundred years" as the narrator says or "400 years" as the caption presents?

  • Matthew Collings is like your favourite Uncle explaining something tremendously confusing in a very understandable matter.
    Every time i watch him explain something, i would like to paint a canvas with him cause we are so complementary in our styles.
    Would be a great experience!

  • The subtitles are hilarious

  • Isn't this stolen content? Did the BBC give the uploader permission to post this here?

  • Who ever thought this up is obviously not a visual Artist –

  • Let’s see the paintings not them speaking

  • Verbal exchanges between two or more people, (including insturctions) that stand up to light and ether, versus the impulses and signals from the dark waters of the mind and body of isolated persons, like little dinghies bobbing about in endless oceans. Who knows what is drawn out from such depths, where they come from or intend to take us to?

    A case for transparency then? As well as chain of command and hierarchy?

    But even after amnesty and possible decriminalization is offered to those who fear making objectives manifest (because they are misaligned to set standards – when the subconscious is the mirror image of the intellect – as modern people like Freud and Jung explored, or even older metaphysicians and spiritualists examining the bowels of Life discovered), then what?

    Not all desires and impulses are equally valid after all. Including the drive to equalize, after centuries worth of repression. So a case for female empowerment also, a major Western agenda of the last 200 years?

    The male aspect the censorious the female the sensorial, as the new shoot, once rooted enough, will always strive to overtake and then overthrow it's progenitor? Only if the latter is not properly attuned to nature and the natural ebb and flow maybe. And the former, too cut and dry? Lacking in sentiment? Matter of fact, or else driven by pure reflex

    Both hermetically sealed or cemented in some detached and fixed state – a goal not yet achieved perhaps? Yet, such transitions or evolutions need not be turbulent or hostile all the time, humans are not plants after all, nor are we mere animals.

    And art can help in all this?

  • I interesting, but horrible transcription!🙁💐💖

  • "this work is by lube off pop over" I'm dead 😀

  • This is not art at all. it is just waste of materials

  • Vid is much better if one can avoid reading the terrible subtitles.

  • What a load of bullshit!

  • Repeatedly calling non squares squares doesn't make them squares.

  • Whoever wrote the text did a good job on analysis.

  • The one most important rule is: ensure you have (((connections))) that can get you money and renown for making total bullshit, so you don't have to sweat at a real job for your daily bread.

  • It’s his opinion. I respect his opinion. You can disagree and yet be respectful. Try it sometime.

  • who says we’re not in the upside down

  • Do you know of any art galleries in Pasadena California and Alhambra and and Los Angeles.????

  • "Accident?" Bullshit.

  • This guy is an idiot.

  • I did abstract art as a project, and my professor gave me a B lmao
    I honestly put alot of thought into it. Making numerous vague looking white skulls to depict death. Against a splotchy black background.
    But yeah art is subjective, I personally appreciate that art style.
    Every art piece makes you feel different, depending on personal experiences and thought patterns.
    It really depends on the observer to project an emotion or a thought onto a specific abstract art.
    Traditionally I can see why many artists hate it cuz there are no complex shapes and bodies to depict in detail to appreciate or critique.
    Literally anybody can do abstract art but isn't that a good thing?
    I welcome everyone to try it out and have fun with it, like writing poetry.

  • I dig Kandinsky!

  • My new path I think for this year. Just gotten into Abstract Art..in fact I got to obsessed with finding the stuff on the web about 5 weeks ago I was going to bed and lying there almost naturally hallucinating. I found altho I love colour, pen seems to be what my spirit prefers. I went wild when I found out about Kandinsky…what a charming and interesting series. Liked and saved.

  • Matthew… for you (and "those about to commit art") –> really RULE Number One is….. Be Cool; take your mind out of gear & let your backbone slip.

  • website that art galleries what are the rules for us .?

  • I enjoyed the insights presented in this documentary. I've Shared it to the facebook.com/ArtPromotions page. Many art programs are highlighted on the Art Promotions YouTube channel: blessings427 on PLAYLISTS.

  • good night who did these ridiculous subtitles hahahaha #SoDistracting

  • Yeah, I was with you until you began to mansplain and diminish Hilma’s work. Inspiration is what it is – also there are no rules.

  • The spirits ordered me to write this comment, but I can’t finish it because my straight jacket is getting in the way ……

  • Obviously this video is intended to complement "The Operating Manual of Anarchism" and "Simple Activities for a better stasis"

  • Curious—do curators look for similarities/contrasts like Mondrian and Popova pieces when selecting pieces to arrange in exhibits? (I really have no clue I’m a newb to curated art.)

  • In Russia abstract art paints you.

  • In life and art it is the same, that chaos leads toward satanic things, like Theosophy.

  • The first rule of abstraction is there is no rule.

  • Squares "morphed into triangles" ok

  • Rules Abstractact????

  • Wow it's sad that people try to put rules to all sorts of things and that includes abstract art, the sad fact is there are NO rules for abstract art that name was given to any art work that did not follow landscape / portrait etc etc you can paint any shape any brush stroke / liquid running paint? I could go on ………THERE ARE NO RULES FOR ABSTRACT PAINTING IT'S IN THE EYE OF THE PAINTER? The man imagines he is a professor of abstract art he is a fool?

  • The 'painting ' at 2:20 is a quilt! My Granny made them!

  • Here is a list of statements that will anger and delight the postmodern and modern art devotees. It will anger them because it is true. It will delight them because they hate art.

    Art is objective, not subjective.

    Modern and postmodern “art” are not art.

    It isn’t “art” if you just say it is.

    Art is dead, and we have killed it.

    Contradiction is not art.

    Spending millions of dollars on something you pretend is “art” does not make it art.

    The absence of the Divine is not art.

    The impulse to distrust modern and contemporary art is an impulse that ought to be trusted.

    Insanity is not art.

    Art is sanity.

    Angering and confusing your viewers does not make you an artist.

  • Actually there IS such thing as a spirit. GOD is Spirit and every one of us is spirit inside. So, to say there is no spirit is ridiculous. That woman was messing with demons, she was demonic….just LOOK at her.

  • The subtitles are lousy and should be edited, otherwise good

  • Abstract really means ! Im to lazy to do real art or im not worth a shitt at painting ! Then they " intellectualze it and ?? Sales

  • yeah? NO.


  • where is the rest of this doco!

  • What happened? Why did it end so abruptly? I wanted to know more about Kandinsky.

  • Oh come on now. She mixes the color because he, like the majority of men, is color blind.

  • Way to many ads ,,,,,jerks

  • R I P painting. A child with brain damage could paint better than you people. Art is very objective and these kind of art can't give you the feeling of greatness. It's just sad and stupid.

  • A did a Art expo at school once … a senior classmen walks in and calls all my hard work 'shit' and walks out feeling like a bad ass . After finding out who he is i took a blank sheet of paper and doodle his mom on there with a big ass and fat saggy boobs that looked like a scrotum … It was titled … Abomination Origin , With his class , name , role number , and a side note that said 'Spawned from it' EVERYONE saw it …

  • Cool 😎

  • adverts as a pay to view without adverts (1 month free trial) FUCK OFF YOU GITS

  • The mathamatics of fractals have become important in abstract art.
    There are fractals in Jackson Polic's work. and every one knows
    "The Wave" by the japanese artist.

  • Abstraction was present in High Renaissance Italy in the style of Maniera – Mannerism – the father of which was Michelangelo.

  • Abstract art is a direct reflection of one's deepest most intimate subconscious.

  • Collings makes a distinction between Af Klint's work, her work based on spiritual guidance and Kandinsky's work,based on his spirit and soul. Theosophy comes from both, guidance and soul. His comparison completely negates the fact that Af Klint WAS the first abstract painter. That's ridiculous to claim Kandinsky was the first. His conclusion is sexism at its highest level! Pathetic, absolutely pathetic

  • ok here is the truth. abstract art is the artists explosive, frustrated, yet determined attempt to make value out if nothing, or alchemy.

  • Spirits are real! We, are the projection!

  • Great video 🙂 Spirits are all around us and in us. You can feel them each time you get lost in the music, fall asleep at the beach or paint.

  • I like even love some abstract art but for most abstract art the “1/6 Rule of Abstraction” is that it takes 1/6 the talent and skill.

  • Good video, thank you. And thank you for talking about abstract art without using abstract artspeak… but those abstract subtitles were a giggle!

  • Abstract is BS. What do ordinary people see in there? Ordinary people will say, "what the hell is that"?

  • And what am I supposed to do with all this time I have. Said the prisoner

  • People who cant draw, do abstract art. And strangely enough, these very same people will tell you that your photo-realistic painting of 2 Spitfires flying in formation is just illustration, and not really serious art. They are quite obviously very jealous of someone that possesses superior skills. They seem to be nice people, but I just cant bring myself to take them seriously.

  • Artists can be well served by the basic studies/understanding of: Quantum Physics, Philosophy, and basic or intro to Logic, these serve to strengthen the Creative Juices, as the open the mind and support *"Infinite Possibilities"
    Spirit or Soul is energy and energy is eternal – Quantum 0hysics.

    Avoid limiting the possibilities.

    Quantum Physics also proclaims that "Thought proceeds Manifestation", therefore I proclaim, *"The Bang came 2nd"*…

    Limitless potentials when mind is truly – wide open.

  • Not sure I would take a great deal of notice on anything this guy said, on any subject. In the end, it's all about him.

  • All art is just a visual decoration to hang on your cave walls ( your home. ) No more and no less .

  • 0:54 "black square" is clearly hung upside down. They need to fix that mistake.

  • Such a great documentary of Matthew Collings. I like the introduction into the abstract theory and development of various ideas. If you would like to learn about two other abstract styles, be sure to check my channel ShawNshawN. Great video Art documentaries!

  • nice art

  • Abstract art has existed since cave paintings.

  • As soon as the contracted consciousness has become identified with the movements & mechanism of the mind one has entered into a psychological game & is no longer experiencing Art, but is experiencing the mechanical nature of a bias mind.

  • My 5 year old son wants to know how his painting got on to u tube ! !

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