Pictured above: Artist Gary Giordano in his studio. Photo Credit: Contributed.

An Artist Op-Ed on Nonrepresentational Painting

Arts News Now shares a local artist’s Op-Ed on Nonrepresentational Painting, contributed by Gary Giordano.

I’m frequently asked to explain what nonrepresentational painting is, it’s important to acknowledge that a receptive observer must be open to embracing alternative modes of expression and interpretation. This involves relinquishing conventional norms and parochial notions concerning painting. I advise those experiencing a work of art to unshackle themselves from provincial definitions and preconceived expectations, urging them to reside in the present moment and embrace the unfolding tableau. This mandates a disposition receptive to insights and exempt from judgment. A viable approach to comprehending abstraction involves contemplating the dynamics of relationships—our connections with ourselves and others. When standing before a painting, the dialogue of connection commences, and the depth of engagement correlates with the willingness to invest and surrender. The experience of viewing a painting is deliberate and calm, warranting an investment of time in its presence. Oftentimes, emotions and responses establish, or transform, and evolve over the time spent in front of or revisiting the work fostering a continuous visual and emotional odyssey. A substantial portion of our encounter with art and painting is shaped by our emotions; it transcends mere observation to elicit feelings.

Pictured above: A painting by Gary Giordano. Photo Credit: Contributed.

Nonrepresentational art avoids condescension and the imposition of predetermined perceptions or emotions. Instead, it affords us the privilege to embark on an introspective voyage and consummate the encounter on our own terms. This marks the inception of an engagement with the artwork—a venture that involves an element of risk, as it hinges on the extent to which the viewer is prepared to relinquish control and permit immersion. The reciprocity of this interaction mirrors the principle that what is invested is invariably what is gained.

Pictured above: “Within You, Within Me,” by Gary Giordano. Photo Credit: Contributed.

Numerous artists maintain that once an artwork departs from the artist’s studio, the artist’s dominion over it is relinquished. The artist’s bond either assumes a distanced form or morphs into a new connection, commencing between the viewer and the artwork. During the act of creation in the studio, reality undergoes a transformation into a living occurrence, as the artist enters an alternate realm of consciousness. This is a domain where the creator interlaces with alternative metaphysical dimensions, permitting internal emotions and memories to be conjured and then conveyed through the artistic medium onto the canvas. A dance of sorts transpires as primal energies meld to generate a force propelling the artist through the creative process. Much like the visceral engagement accompanying activities such as dancing to music or cooking, intuitive sentiments and responses guide the endeavor. This profound encounter is often shared among artists, serving as a consoling connection over the intricate interplay of technique and process. It’s important that the artist’s studio practice primarily functions to contextualize and illuminate the work for the viewer, although an independent connection —distinct from the artist’s connection—exist for the between the viewer and the artwork once it occupies a space of observation.

Understanding and appreciating nonrepresentational work entails allowing oneself to be receptive to exploring new frontiers and undefined boundaries.

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