On Tuesday 13 March, the group of SASA members who attended were privileged to have Hayden Proud, curator of the exhibition, showing us around “Assessing Abstraction” at the National Gallery.
He gave us the benefit of his vast knowledge of the history of art and especially pertaining to this particular exhibition. We were shown new ways of looking at abstraction and given a certain understanding, which allowed us to see what we might, without his guidance, otherwise have missed.
We learned that abstraction began, not in modern Europe – it’s usually accepted birthplace – but in the more ancient cultures of Africa, Australia and America, where the native people have always used non-representational mark-making in many different forms.
We were shown how abstract canvases became free from the square and abstract art, free from the canvas. Colour is often used just for colour’s sake, for the enjoyment and interpretation of both artist and viewer.
A wonderful morning. Thanks to Hayden Proud, for your time and knowledge and to Lynne Menge, for arranging it for us.