Skip to main content

Why I Don’t Like Abstract Art

Today while meandering with my husband through the Norman Rockwell temporary exhibit at the American Art Museum (works on loan from the private collections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas) I realized what I don’t like about modern art: it lacks a storyline. Artists such as Rockwell, Monet and many of my favorite Flemish artists are masterful storytellers and through their art they craft amazingly rich tales in a single frame. Modern abstract art instead typically attempts to convey an emotion [or several] or a philosophical/political statement. Frankly, I’d rather be pulled into a story than a statement.

Another powerful realization that came to me this afternoon is how much of an impact American art has the world over. One of the visitors to the exhibit signed the guestbook and provided his personal testimony to Norman Rockwell: as a child growing up in poverty in Columbia he glimpsed the bright and beautiful America that Rockwell depicted in the Saturday Morning Post and knew he was destined to be a part of it. (His father had brought back several years of the Post with him from a visit to New York City.) His mind was filled with the stories told by Rockwell’s art and he dreamed often of being in our country where one can relish the four freedoms - according to FDR these are:

The first is freedom of speech and expression.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way.

The third is freedom from want.

The fourth is freedom from fear.

This young man from Columbia set his life about the goal of migrating to the States and becoming a citizen and in the 1960s his dream came true. His entire life – changed forever by the impact of an American artist. What a beautiful story.

The Rockwell exhibit is on display until January 2011. If you get a chance to make it to the Washington D.C. area before then, I recommend you make time to take in the collection.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach.At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He …

Board Game Review: Shoot Cows

Saturday afternoon at GenCon I came across a demonstration of Shoot Cows getting started at the designer’s booth. The little cow cards looked interesting, so I volunteered to participate and within 5 minutes we all had the rules down. I picked up a copy for myself and vowed to play it within a week. Yesterday I did just that. My husband, myself, and our 13-year-old daughter gathered around our gaming table at lunchtime for a quick game.
Opening the box and examining the cards, I found them to be of average thickness. Not impossible to bend, but thick enough to stand up to repeated usage. The artwork inside the box compliments what’s on the cover – a black and white cow palette that fits the game’s theme.
I don’t often delve into step-by-step gameplay in my reviews (too complicated; read the rules) but as the rules and play for Shoot Cow are rather simple, it’s reasonable to given them some coverage. Two survivor cards are distributed to each player and put face up in front of them, si…

Spirit Island Jagged Earth Preview: A First Look at the New Kickstarter Expansion from Greater Than Games

Exciting news this week! The Spirit Island Jagged Earth expansion launches on Kickstarter October 16th, 2018. I had the chance to preview and play this upcoming release from Greater Than Games multiple times this week, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Update: the Kickstarter is live here.


Our Spirit Island collection keeps growing. First there was the base game, which debuted in 2017 and turned the traditional narrative of the conquering colonists on its head, allowing players to take on the role of island spirits determined to keep the colonists at bay through any means necessary to preserve the serenity of the island. My husband and I picked up the game at retail (having missed the Kickstarter window) and fell in love with it immediately, enthused to work together as powerful spirits and put the invaders down. Next, we added the Branch and Claw expansion. This expansion (also part of the original Kickstarter) expanded the board, added new spirits and powers, new blight card…