Most Americans do not know what to do with abstraction in general. To be able to fully appreciate abstraction, you must be able to turn off your thought, or at least be able to put your thought into the background. This is not as easy as it might seem. In modern art museums, most people’s minds are dominated by thoughts like: “Even I could do this.” Or, “Why is this in a museum?” Or, “This looks like my bed sheet.” Etc.. They are unable to let the abstraction affect their emotions directly; their experience must be filtered through interpretations.
I agree that most Americans are more comfortable with representational art than abstract art, and like pop music with lyrics better than instrumental jazz. But jazz used to be much more popular in America than it is today. What happened? Did Americans have a greater ability to appreciate abstraction in the past? How did they lose it?