Extravagant Claims For Abstract Art Unwarranted

By Michelle Kamhi

"Perhaps more important, the power of abstract motifs of this kind (e.g., the prehistoric abstractions, Native American motifs, mandalas, Asian calligraphy, and Aboriginal painting cited by Mr. Hughey) was always dependent on a repertoire of symbols whose meaning was culturally shared. Such is not the case with the modern Western tradition of "abstract art" – in which it's anybody's guess what the painter or sculptor intends."


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