What is in a name? Pondering a title on abstract artwork.
I created the above abstract piece of art recently and have been thinking about a name for it.
I thought about Untitled because every one I asked saw something different in the piece. But, I then thought about how confusing and uninspired it felt to me to have lots of works named Untitled. Kandinsky uses a generic name (Conception No. 11 etc) on many of his works. This fits in with his theories of art coming from the subconscious and without a specific definition in the real world. Which is a nice theory. If I was working on a series of studies I think naming it that way wold be great. But since this is a one off piece, I like the idea of a name, it helps me as a viewer to see the meaning behind the art and look at it in a new way. Naming a work I have created indicates that the work means something to me, the artist.
So, in my quest for a name, I remembered there was a cool online abstract art title generator I came across awhile back. I flipped through some titles and then one stopped me. It was Meditation and Energy. It struck me. The meditation being the the very still, focused feather and the energy being all that is going on around it. That also summed up the last few weeks. I have been putting myself to bed with nightly meditation to help calm me down from my action packed and inspiring days of energy. Using that as a jumping off point, I have played with words that are similar to “meditation” to see if something else says it better. Stillness and Serenity keep popping in mind for the feather but maybe Muse and Focus fit too. I settled on the title Energy and Stillness last week but, now that I have some space to think on it am contemplating the name again. Stillness explains the calm but, it doesn’t necessarily say “focus” as much and the focus feels important to me. The title Zen Feather appeared to me this weekend and the more I say Zen Feather the more it feels right. I’m going to sit with that title for a little bit longer.
I was wondering what you think about naming works.
Does naming an abstract piece give away too much about the painting, and tell the viewer what to see. Should the viewer come to an artwork and view it fresh from their own perspective, without the artist telling them what it is. Does naming a work in a defined manner constrict the possibilities that being abstract offers? Do you think naming adds to the work, bringing a sense of poetry and deeper meaning to the piece?