Looking at art has its challenges and its benefits in relation to the brain. For example, abstract art, this may be a challenge as there is usually not the obvious visual object that we can identify and relate. Eric Kandel, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine has studied art history and finds success by working outside the box when it comes to art. He treats artwork like a crime scene. Looking at “formal art” is passive as the artist gives us everything our brain expects and knows how to react. “It looks like real life.”
“Abstract art dares our visual system to interpret an image that is fundamentally different from the kind of images our brain has evolved to reconstruct.” Therefore, we are looking at art in a different way. Peeling away the layers of the work to find the meaning. Looking at a painting in very simple terms or looking at just one item of a painting can solve many questions.
Kandel thinks abstract painting was a reaction to the invention of photography. “Painting and sculpture no longer had to fulfill the role of record of events, likenesses and people — photography could do that. ” This allowed the artists to be free to do other things and allow the observer room for interpretation and opinion.
Abstract art goes back many centuries, and continues to make an impression on our lives and our brains.
Read the full article at www.salon.com