Abstracting The Body
How we perceive the physical human body has long been an interest of abstract artists. We’re so familiar with faces and figures, that it’s both easy and disconcerting to challenge our expectations by abstracting their appearance.
Though several paintings in Towards Abstraction feature the human body, the work ‘Four Figures on a Night Bus Between London and Liverpool’ by Simon Welch probably takes their abstraction furthest, implying the presence of people through partial elements of forms. This bears relation to the way that us humans actually process visual information, in key elements which our minds rebuild into a complete image. Welch has also blended these elements into the overall composition. This encourages us as viewers to take in every aspect of the work, searching for where we can recognise the lines of a human body and understand both the positions of and relationships between the figures.