I thought it might be helpful to define a few things as I continued to work and talk about certain concepts. These definitions are from the University of Chicago and I found them to be really helpful and relevant.
Abstraction - begins with action, involve “withdrawing,” “separation,” or “removal.”, will always take a different shape according to the binary it opposes, however, regardless of media, the move will be away from a particular and toward a universal notion, Contained in all abstraction is the sense of removal, of paring away, of purification.
Aesthetics - “taste, or of the perception of the beautiful”, it involves how the experience of such material is mediated through the individual sensitivity of the beholder, and the way the experience of it is shaped through presentation by cultural conventions such as the museum exhibition.
Modernism - 1) a belief in progress through technological innovation and rational thought, 2) an opposition to tradition or convention, 3) skepticism, 4) a re-imaging of environment and a willingness to be recreated by it. The aesthetics of modernism attempt to breakdown the traditional, classical way of representing nature.