City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Abstract Art Exhibition Hopes To Induce Well Being For Beholder


By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 10 December 2015

John Bissett has a show of new work opening at Creative Spaces in Gayfield Square, running from 11 to 17 December.

As with his previous showings, Bissett remains committed to ensuring that what is abstract nonetheless communicates itself, albeit in ways viewers themselves may not be able to fully articulate.

Does this matter? Bissett quotes the sculptor Anthony Caro’s riposte to a questioning ‘what does it mean?’ (the ‘it’ being one of Caro’s steel sculptures) ‘What does breakfast mean?’ came the reply. Flippant, perhaps even arrogant, Caro seems to suggest that if we need something explained to us, we risk missing any underlying meaning.

Bissett wishes us to regard any exhibition of abstract paintings as a series of encounters, each of which may become a visual dialogue between canvas and viewer, and in Bissett’s case, to imbue the viewer with a sense of well being, rather in the way a piece of music, even if heard for the first time, can produce in the listener a sense of harmony which has as much to do with their own state of mind and willingness to be receptive as it may have to do with the music itself.

As with ‘atonality’ or ‘minimalism’ in music, there will, presumably, always be those for whom non-representational art will be another country, which they would prefer not to explore, but for those whose taste for adventure has not been blunted, Bissett’s work affords an opportunity to explore their own immediate or more enduring responses without the need to find words for their reactions.

Bissett’s primary focus, beyond expressing the personal in paint, is the pleasure and satisfaction of the viewer, so should you find yourselves with time to spare at this busy time of year, consider spending some of it in the company of the works of this modest, thought-provoking artist.

"Stand" runs at Creative Spaces 11-17 December

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