Any notion or idea that abstract art is the pinnacle of artistic expression, or somehow superior to figurative art, is completely absurd. Abstraction is simply another form of expression. Bay Area artists like Richard Diebenkorn and David Park took a huge career risk when they returned to figurative work in the 1950s and 60s.
I’m not expressing a preference for figurative work, even though my body of work is figurative. I have a tremendous appreciation and love of abstract art. In fact, I admire artists like Diebenkorn, in particular, who are able to paint beautiful ideas through figuration and abstraction.