I agree with Picasso’s dismissal of abstraction, and simple mathematics can explain why. A brushstroke that renders some particular thing does more than a brushstroke that sits on a canvas wanting to be admired for itself, so it’s a better brushstroke. Figurative art does more with the same means (which naturally don’t have to be brushstrokes) and therefore it is better. So why am I an abstractionist? Not for any logical reason.
Maybe I’m a sucker for the future. The unknown. In any case, for its own sake abstract art had better allow figuration. Stella, for one, has recognized this.