An artwork must therefore be accessible to comprehension at the level of perception. It must be recognizably representative of something because humans see at the level of perception [that is what is meant by using 'particular concrete elements'].
I agree with your above general statement but I think your follow-up specific statements may be somewhat narrow minded. When you say that “a painting that presents a figure or scene is art. Paint splotches are not”, do you suggest that a painting other than “a figure or scene” is “splotches”? When you talk about perception, about “recognizable tones”, I have to ask, perception by whom? and recognizable by whom?
Each of us individual perceives things differently, though I also realize how fundamentally similar we can be even though we may come from vastly different backgrounds. Art that appeal to those universal values apparently would appeal to all of us.
I can almost rationalize my fondness of abstract art. You know, traditional Chinese art is already somewhat abstract. Western-styled Realism is never part of Chinese traditional brush paintings and drawings. The Chinese scholars and artists since the ancient times have always emphasized on capturing the essence, the spirit, or the mood of a subject or a scene through the use of different styles of the strokes, compositions, etc. Symbolism was widely used. This has not changed to this day.
On the other hand, because I didn’t have a Western background, and was not familiar with the ancient Greek and Roman mythologies and Biblical legends, many great Western art works thus did not appeal to me the same way they appeal to the Westerners. Take Michelangelo as example, I like his David, God creates Adam etc. immensely purely because of those beautiful and robust human figures even if I didn’t know the stories behind it. However, I am not really touched by his Pieta and can’t stand just about any crucifixion paintings.
Anyway, it was in China in the 1980s that I first encountered Kandinsky. At the time I subscribed to a small periodical called “English Study,” which provided English study tips, Western culture bits, and some short stories for students of English language in China. Its back cover usually contains a Western art piece. I remember seeing Delacroix’s “An orphan girl in the graveyard” for the first time there. One particular issue had one of Vassily Kandinsky’s composition paintings on its back cover and a short story about the artist. The bouncing circles and shapes, the straight lines, the clean and bright colors exuded a sense of joy, freedom, and harmony, the kind I had never seen before. I was immediately drawn to it and had loved Kandinsky ever since.
I understand that although the appreciation of art is immensely personal, there is certainly an objective boundary between art and non-art. Personally I think that Kandinsky is way over on the artistic side.