What is abstract? What is modern? Do they both go together when we look at certain artwork or architecture labeled one way or another? Is the overall word for them “contemporary”? And what is their definition, anyway?
Whatever terminology we use, the fact is, there is a type of art manifesting in various shapes, forms, and interpretations – from paintings to architecture – that makes it somewhat different. And with different, we mean an approach that can only be fully grasped by those who think in different spheres and dimensions (far from conservative, traditional art). Yet, it leaves a lot of room for the beholder to find his own interpretation of what he sees. And, essentially, this is what abstract, modern, contemporary art is, and should be, about: the opportunity to find your very own interpretation while acknowledging that of the artist.
Architectural Form Determines Function
When Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City’s Upper East Side, he had a clear vision of how it should look. Or rather: what its function, ultimately determining the design of the building, should be.
The space within becomes the reality of the building. – Frank L. Wright
Form essentially follows function. It means that the architectural form is determined by the actual function of the building. The Guggenheim Museum is a space for modern visionaries and artists that express themselves differently, in a nonconventional way. It leaves space for the visitor to find their very own interpretation of what the art means to them and their lives. The image is representing exactly this notion. The structure of the building is, to the outside, symbolizing a home to modern art makers and creatives. It provides them with a clear, non-clutter home, both in the sense of non-crammed space and simple patterns, clean materials, and clear shapes used.
Architecture – the Foundation
The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own, we have no soul of our own civilization. – Frank L. Wright
Architecture is the foundation of all other art created. It is meant to be a space – a base – leading the direction for other creative creations. Here, it is a radically modern approach with a lot of freedom to let the mind drift into the abstract world. Looking at the image above, it also symbolizes that our human bodies are the home of our inner feelings. Our beliefs and visions, ultimately determine our actions. We act based on what we have actively soaked in and internalized from what we surround ourselves with. And that, then, has shaped not just our appearance but our innermost visions and the way we live and see life.
Dimensions in Simplicity – The Deep-Diving Mind
Simplicity in the design approach allows for more freedom of imagination and a fresh, open space for the ever-changing, ever-evolving world of art. The great architect realizes that less is indeed more when it comes to freedom of the mind, hence, creative works.
Space is the breath of art. – Frank L. Wright
Just like that, he needs to create a space that looks appealingly simple. A space that is open with soothing or black and white color patterns. Those cannot distract from the actual purpose of the building. He might give certain areas a little twist, just like the photo emphasizes, to inspire the artist’s and visitor’s creativity flow. He does this by creating layers through means of physical design, pattern, or color use. They then allow for an illusion of depth and dimensions to trigger inspiration. What do you see?
Less is More
The Guggenheim Museum is a prime example of how our minds have a space to dive deeper. This is due to less distracting elements surrounding us. Appreciators of modern art will understand that there needs to be room to breathe in order to think, interpret, create, and let the mind wander deeply into different dimensions – leading to even more creativity and inspiration.
Hence, we should not underestimate the power of pure, clean simplicity. It can be just as – or even more – inspiring as plentiful color and pattern combinations. In fact, it is the calm and peace we need in our world. It is crucial to re-energize, find new input, and get a clear vision, once again. It’s a space where our creative minds and souls can align – to eventually create something greater, leaving lasting impressions on the (art) generations to follow.