UA is the taking-to-the-extreme of any of conventional abstraction’s principles.
the first aspect is that an UA picture will have no reference to any representational-reality and will, therefore, be totally non-representational as a totality though representational objects like color, language, form, variation, and all possible combinations of these aspects can be included.
it is not a parlor game, though it can have rules—all meant to be provisional and non-binding.
ultra-abstraction is not conceptual art—the art is in-the-object, not in-the-idea-of-the-object.
like all quality art, it must satisfy a certain visual quality i’ll call temporarily ‘having-character’.
this ‘having-character’ is a quality of the picture or the object primarily—how an artist’s personal development courses through his/her life UA is ‘considered’ and without doubt, has the most carefully planned importance.
this pre-planning is not from the beginning of the exemplar’s existence.
the best way to talk of this pre-planning is: choosing the parameters of the piece, namely the tools to be used—perhaps that would be enough.
if we’re talking of a painting, perhaps a palette to be used, a type of ground, a means to apply color, and any other means the artist deems important, for instance, some music to enhance creativity—anything to make the artist feel painterly.
compositional aspects are in ‘free-flow’—there is no ‘one [or many] true’ compositional form[s] that will be guaranteed to work successfully in the making of this art-form.
in some manner, UA, like the quality that makes any art-piece ‘of-quality’, cannot be taught.
unlike developing talent by ‘practice’, the sort of experimental aspect that comes into play in UA is more of a poetic, irrational quality.
‘free-flow’ in this case means, considering compositions as structures, any structure can be considered to have this ‘of-character’ quality, but how that is determined is of the utmost importance.
chaos is not UA, which has some intentional-inner-structure that is recognizable.
by ‘taking to the extreme’ and ‘poetic irrationality’ is meant the unplanned, accidental, surprise occurrence that can come up in a painting.]
these, most definitely, as not ‘errors’—rather are opportunities-for-changing-direction-in-the-painting’s-midstream, so to speak.
a simpler way would be to encourage on-the-spot-improvisation.
this is and has been all along the touch-stone of jazz-music.
one must be open to ’the moment’— in this case the pictorial/compositional moment.
so, throw away ideas of ‘balance’ as a sure-fire way to enhance a picture; but keep aware of color-values, so dark-medium and light work together in a new way.
what i mean when i wrote earlier of ‘poetic irrationality’ as a thought to have in-the-back-of-the-artist’s-mind when creating is probably the best way describe UA is free-flow composition with the spontaneous improvisational aspect of utmost importance—or—if it’s different that what’s been seen before, it is worth considering—not necessarily ‘of-character’ but worth considering.
the poet, ezra pound, told poets to ‘make it new’ while some wise people would say, ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’— i do not claim to have an answer to the discussion but think it’s valuable to consider it.