Increasing abstraction

Nan Adamson's "The Heart Tree at Bosque del Apache" is one of several series of images that is part of the Rio Rancho Art Association's Fourth Abstraction show on display at the Inn at Rio Rancho for the remainder of the month.

The latest art show at the Inn at Rio Rancho will feature the Fourth Abstraction from the Rio Rancho Art Association.

"It's a particular melding of realism and abstract, created to force the artists to do more and extend their artistic abilities," said Sue Hanauer, association president and the show's curator.

"Many artists have one way of painting and can't seem to break from that mold. This idea takes that mold and breaks it up and stretches it out. It makes the ‘artist's eye' enlarge to include more than it actually sees," she said.

This work will hang through the remainder of the month, with an artist's reception Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m.

This hanging will be a bit different from other works the association has hung, she said.

"The artist can see a specific piece of scenery and recreate it in a plethora of mediums," Hanauer said. "Or the artist can see a face and create a portrait.

"Some artists take a brush to recreate, or some take a palette knife, and some will even use their hands and fingers as we have seen on various YouTube videos - the kind where the artist just grabs handfuls of paint and seems to randomly splash a canvas and finishes up with a full portrait of someone.

"Some artists see just the light, colors, and movement without specific rocks, trees, mountains, or faces of individuals," she added. "They see the continuity of these three items and use them as an evaluative instrument in creating a piece of art that inspires careful thought or just plain beauty."

The 4th Abstraction merges these two concepts to form an abstract from realism," Hanauer said.

"It's a process of taking an original painting or photograph and then magnifying a section out to four new pieces of art, with the fourth piece truly becoming the abstract of the original," she explained. "Taking one fourth of the original and painting it on a 12-by-12 inch canvas, then taking that new painting down to another one-fourth and painting that on a canvas ... Doing that another two times will create a true abstract."

A renowned Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, described abstract art thusly: "Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for color, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential."

Despite her use of the medium, Hanauer said it can be difficult to explain.

"Realism artists look at a subject and paint it, using their own tools and medium," she said. "Abstract artists seem to take the ‘essence' of something and create with that. It's really hard to explain in words. I am so much better at explaining with the painting itself."

One of the artists, Nan Adamson, explained her work, "The Heart Tree at Bosque del Apache," like this: "I took a photo of the heart tree at Bosque del Apache in early spring before the leaves appeared. I just loved the shapes of the branches silhouetted against the early evening sky. It was soooo cold that evening. Imagine my surprise on beginning the third abstraction picture when the birds disappeared from view and the sorcerer began to appear."