Richard Dawkins, famous British Scientist and emeritus fellow in Oxford, with a materialistic and anti mystical view of life, cited the British biologist Peter Medawar, saying some people "like to wallow sordidly in a reassuring understanding." "I want to understand" added Dawkins emphatically "and understanding means to me scientific understanding." Dawkins is talking about the big question: Why do we exist? Or Why is there something rather than nothing?.
Bravo! That itself is a clear and forceful declaration of principles.
Can we make such a powerful statement in the field of art, in abstract painting?. Not only we can, but we should say: "I want to understand," to answer the question: Is Abstraction the end of painting?.
I’d also add that understanding should mean a serious and thorough analysis of the current situation of painting and its evolution. An understanding also, in a way, we may call "scientific". Ducking, appealing to pleasure or impulse that painters feel about blank canvas, painting and painting one picture after another without asking questions, "wallowing sordidly in a reassuring understanding", we won’t progress, we will not open new paths and abstraction will be doomed to a huge ark of thousands of paintings to be swallowed up by time (tempus rerum edax). I want to leave that damned circle and understand, first if there’s a way out and then if where we're headed is where I want to go.
It is not contempt, but rather love of painting. I like what I see and the beauty it contains, but we should try to advance in the field of painting, whether academic or digital or of any kind. But it must be clear what is what we do, because abstraction is a catchall name with plenty of false seekers of truth and beauty.