CAN'T THEY DRAW?• COULDN'T A CHILD PAINT THAT?• WHY DO THEY DISTORT THINGS? • WHY DO THEY PAINT SQUARES AND CUBES?
In an effort to help answer these and many other similar questions that are overheard in the modern art museums around the world, authors Mary Rathbun and Bartlett Hayes put their noodles together and dreamed up the book (that is conveniently available at Amazon) Layman's Guide to Modern Art, and we have posted some of the more helpful portions here, as well as 17 assorted illustrations to help illustrate their explanations.
The authors insightfully point out that abstract images are not simply confined to museums and galleries but surround us every day and we willingly recognize their meanings without hesitation:
"Lines picturing the force and direction of motion are a familiar device in cartoons... The cartoonist frequently draws a head in several positions to represent motion. Everybody understands it. The painter multiplies the features in the same way... Everybody abstracts. The snapshot you take with your [camera] is an abstraction - it leaves out color, depth, motion and presents only black-and-white shapes. Yet its simple enough to recognize this arrangement of shapes as your baby or your mother-in-law or whatever..."
From Amazon: Art for Dummies