Form is what physically makes up the art work. The form integrates...A• Composition:•   Formal Elements (visual elements u...
In the early 20th century artists and teachers at a German art school called the Bauhaus identified, and standardizedfor t...
These Formal Elements then have to be put togetherand INTERACT in some way for our brain to makesense out the arrangement....
•   Scale•   Unity and variety•   Proportion•   Balance•   Movement•   Emphasis
SCALEScale refers to how big or small something is
Michelangelo is                                                        playing with scale in                              ...
In contrast, Charles                  Simonds creates little                  intimate buildings                  inside o...
Here James Rosenquist                   messes with our heads by                   changing the scale of objects          ...
UNITYOur brains need to find recognizable patterns to find consistency andmake sense of the world.                     V  ...
In this sculpture the artist creates                  both unity and variety. The color, the                  repeating re...
Louise Nevelson often dressed in all black (many of hersculptures were all black as well). I saw her speak once when Iwas ...
Notice how David                      uses the arches and                      the color to create                      un...
These ideas hold true                for sculpture as well.                The material                (bronze), the color...
Proportion refers to the relationship to size in  a composition. It may be within the object itself or the relationship of...
Michelangelo made this sculpture at the age of 26!               I could barely tie my shoes by then. In Florence,        ...
Here Henry Moore exaggerates              the features of the woman. The              delicate feet could never           ...
Ah, the infamous Barbie. If a real womanhad these proportions she would beunable to walk. Yet many girls play withBarbie d...
Botero                   Enough said????Leonard Da Vinci
Two main types of balance• Symmetrical - the elements in the artwork  are equally balanced on both sides of the  compositi...
Examples of symmetrical balance
Examples of symmetrical balance
Examples of asymmetrical balance
Examples of asymmetrical balance
Sandro BottecelliAnother artist from the Renaissance, Bottecelli wants to create a balanced composition toshow how balance...
Sandro BottecelliWould you say this was symmetrical or asymmetrical balance?
Sandro BottecelliThis figure of Venus (the lady on the shell) also has a sense of balance. What attitude doesthe figure di...
Sandro BottecelliThe red line represents what is known as an “S” curve. The weight is on one foot and onefoot is relaxed. ...
Willem DeKooningAbstract painting needs to have these design principles as well. Balance can beachieved by shape, color, t...
Let‟s not forget              other art forms.Edgar Degas
Claes Oldenburg
Any balance            here?Mou Boyan
This is           called an           “installation”           where the           artist fills a           whole         ...
Mom e n                     t  Movement in an artwork can mean different things. Here are        three examples.
Umberto BoccioniBoccioni was an Italian artist and member of a group of artists known as theFuturists. They wanted to show...
Vincent Van GoghAgain, van Gogh is creating a feeling of actual movement of the heavenlybodies, the wind and the light.
Jackson Pollock"[Hans] Hofmann said to Pollock on seeing his painting for the first time,„ Ach! You work by heart, notfrom...
Wassily KandinskySometimes movement refers to the way an artist moves the viewer‟s eye around the pictureplane. Notice how...
emp     HasisEven though everything in the composition of  an artwork is important, not everything isnecessarily equally i...
Emphasis                                                              Cezanne                 BronzinoHere the figures are...
Josef AlbersSometimes the artist wants to emphasize one of the formal elements. Why should wecare about squares? Albers us...
Mark RothkoRothko was a master colorist, but claimed he didn‟t care about color at all. His focus was onthe mood or feelin...
We‟re going to track three artworks in our exploration into Form, Theme, andContext.On the next three slides you‟ll be ask...
What strikes you                                                  about this painting?                                    ...
Find anything interesting                                                                    about this painting? Again   ...
Chris BurdenWhoa! Wait a second. Is it possible for the principles of designplay a key in this artwork??? Comment on why o...
Discovering Art - Form
Discovering Art - Form
Discovering Art - Form
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Discovering Art - Form

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Part 1 of a three part series on understanding how Form, Theme and Context come together to make art. Based on the work of Dr. Renee Sandell. Visit the ISB Art History channel (http://vimeo.com/channels/isbarthistorychannel) and my website (http://mountains.brianreverman.com/) for additional resources.

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Discovering Art - Form

  1. 1. Form is what physically makes up the art work. The form integrates...A• Composition:• Formal Elements (visual elements used by the artist)• Principles of Design (how the artist arranges these visual elements)• Dimension (how the artwork occupies space and time)• Media/ Materials (what the work is made of)• Processes/Methods (how the work is made)• Technique/Skills (how the artist manipulates the materials and processes)• Style (is the work abstract, representational, conceptual, etc.)
  2. 2. In the early 20th century artists and teachers at a German art school called the Bauhaus identified, and standardizedfor the sake of teaching, certain elements that are common to visual phenomenon. They called these the Formal Elements. They are… Line Shape Color Texture Value (light and dark)
  3. 3. These Formal Elements then have to be put togetherand INTERACT in some way for our brain to makesense out the arrangement. In art, we want thatarrangement to communicate some meaning. Thisintentional arrangement of elements is called Design(or Composition).Again, artists created the Principles of Design so thatthey could talk about design concepts.
  4. 4. • Scale• Unity and variety• Proportion• Balance• Movement• Emphasis
  5. 5. SCALEScale refers to how big or small something is
  6. 6. Michelangelo is playing with scale in a number of ways here. First, the painting fills the ceiling of a chapel so it is quite large to begin with. Secondly, the story is big – the story of man‟s covenant with God. But if you look closely you can see that he has figures that are large and some that are small. This adds to the richness of the visual information. When looking up at the heavens here one feels very small andMichelangelo, The Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508 - 1512 insignificant.
  7. 7. In contrast, Charles Simonds creates little intimate buildings inside of empty lots, damaged buildings and other places where if you‟re not paying attention you might miss them. The sculptures seem like small villages which makes us quite giant in comparison. Just the opposite of what Michelangelo wanted.Charles Simonds
  8. 8. Here James Rosenquist messes with our heads by changing the scale of objects within the same painting. The moon, the spoon, and the wheel of the car are all about the same size, when in reality they would be quite different.James Rosenquist
  9. 9. UNITYOur brains need to find recognizable patterns to find consistency andmake sense of the world. V ARIETY And yet, without differences we would get bored.
  10. 10. In this sculpture the artist creates both unity and variety. The color, the repeating rectangular and circular shapes both provide us with a structure which Nevelson then fills with a wild variety of shapes and shadows. The combination allows our brains to feel secure while we explore the chaos and visual fun.Louise Nevelson
  11. 11. Louise Nevelson often dressed in all black (many of hersculptures were all black as well). I saw her speak once when Iwas in college. She had these huge false eyelashes and was alittle scary. Louise Nevelson
  12. 12. Notice how David uses the arches and the color to create unity. He uses the position of the figures and the light to create variety.Jacques Louis David
  13. 13. These ideas hold true for sculpture as well. The material (bronze), the color and the size of the figures provide us with the stabilizing unity while the gestures of the figures (and the negative space around them) gives us plenty of interesting visual stimulation.Auguste Rodin
  14. 14. Proportion refers to the relationship to size in a composition. It may be within the object itself or the relationship of objects in the art work.
  15. 15. Michelangelo made this sculpture at the age of 26! I could barely tie my shoes by then. In Florence, Italy at the time a period called the Renaissance was blooming. The Florentines were coming of age as a city state. The had just defeated their stronger northern neighbors and were feeling their oats. They saw themselves as the heirs to the Greek sense of rationality and human dignity. The story of David and Goliath was a perfect metaphor for them. The underdog, a young boy, defeats the enemy giant. Michelangelo represents David as someone with almost ideal proportions, mimicking the ideals of the Greeks. But he sneaks in some visual clues to the fact that David is still just a boy. Look carefully at the head and hands. They are just a bit too big. Like a puppy, David is still growing into his manhood. Just like Florence was still growing into a powerful state.Michelangelo
  16. 16. Here Henry Moore exaggerates the features of the woman. The delicate feet could never support the body‟s weight and the waist is too thin to support the breasts and shoulders. Moore uses this tension to create visual interest.Henry Moore
  17. 17. Ah, the infamous Barbie. If a real womanhad these proportions she would beunable to walk. Yet many girls play withBarbie dolls when they are young. Does ithave an effect on their body image lateron? Some people think so.Although a toy and not an art work itshows that proportion is a powerful visualelement.
  18. 18. Botero Enough said????Leonard Da Vinci
  19. 19. Two main types of balance• Symmetrical - the elements in the artwork are equally balanced on both sides of the composition, almost a mirror image.• Asymmetrical – the elements don‟t mirror each other, but create an overall sense of balance in the composition. This requires a more intuitive approach.
  20. 20. Examples of symmetrical balance
  21. 21. Examples of symmetrical balance
  22. 22. Examples of asymmetrical balance
  23. 23. Examples of asymmetrical balance
  24. 24. Sandro BottecelliAnother artist from the Renaissance, Bottecelli wants to create a balanced composition toshow how balanced the Florentines were. The artists from this period often used balance tocreate a sense of harmony. They often used a triangular compositional device (a trianglebeing a very stable shape). Would you say this was symmetrical or asymmetrical balance?
  25. 25. Sandro BottecelliWould you say this was symmetrical or asymmetrical balance?
  26. 26. Sandro BottecelliThis figure of Venus (the lady on the shell) also has a sense of balance. What attitude doesthe figure display?
  27. 27. Sandro BottecelliThe red line represents what is known as an “S” curve. The weight is on one foot and onefoot is relaxed. The body language is saying “I‟m cool.” That‟s also how the Florentinessaw themselves. Go back and check out the sculpture of David. Is he cool too?
  28. 28. Willem DeKooningAbstract painting needs to have these design principles as well. Balance can beachieved by shape, color, texture, all the formal elements. Notice how the color in thesepaintings creates balance. Symmetrical or asymmetrical?
  29. 29. Let‟s not forget other art forms.Edgar Degas
  30. 30. Claes Oldenburg
  31. 31. Any balance here?Mou Boyan
  32. 32. This is called an “installation” where the artist fills a whole space with something in order to transform the space somehow. Any balance here?Ma Liang
  33. 33. Mom e n t Movement in an artwork can mean different things. Here are three examples.
  34. 34. Umberto BoccioniBoccioni was an Italian artist and member of a group of artists known as theFuturists. They wanted to show the speed of modern life. Here Boccioni uses theshapes and angles of the figure to present a literal feeling of movement.
  35. 35. Vincent Van GoghAgain, van Gogh is creating a feeling of actual movement of the heavenlybodies, the wind and the light.
  36. 36. Jackson Pollock"[Hans] Hofmann said to Pollock on seeing his painting for the first time,„ Ach! You work by heart, notfrom nature. And Pollocks answer: I am nature. “ Here the painting is a record of the artist‟s gesture(this type of painting was dubbed “Action Painting” by art critic Clement Greenberg). If Pollock isnature, then the paint splatters are a record of natures existence. We can follow Pollock‟s movementaround the canvas.
  37. 37. Wassily KandinskySometimes movement refers to the way an artist moves the viewer‟s eye around the pictureplane. Notice how Kandinsky uses the color and the line to make us visit all areas of thiscomposition. When we get to one edge there is something pointing us back the other way.
  38. 38. emp HasisEven though everything in the composition of an artwork is important, not everything isnecessarily equally important. Sometime the artist wants to emphasize certain points.
  39. 39. Emphasis Cezanne BronzinoHere the figures are what‟s emphasized Same with this painting. There aresince it is a portrait. Notice how all the other no “dead” spaces, but it is clear theelements in the painting (like the dress objects are the main emphasis ofdetails, the modeling of the background) the painting.show care and thoughtfulness, they do notovershadow the figures.
  40. 40. Josef AlbersSometimes the artist wants to emphasize one of the formal elements. Why should wecare about squares? Albers uses them because his emphasis is the color and the colorrelationships. By choosing squares to paint he doesn‟t have to think about compositionand can focus on color.
  41. 41. Mark RothkoRothko was a master colorist, but claimed he didn‟t care about color at all. His focus was onthe mood or feeling that the painting evoked in the viewer. That was his emphasis although hehad to use the formal elements to get there.
  42. 42. We‟re going to track three artworks in our exploration into Form, Theme, andContext.On the next three slides you‟ll be asked to comment.
  43. 43. What strikes you about this painting? Choose two items from our list and comment on how David uses them to create visual drama. Formal Elements (visual elements used by the artist) Principles of Design (how the artist arranges these visual elements) Dimension (how the artwork occupies space and time) Media/ Materials (what the work is made of) Processes/Methods (how the work is made)Jacques-Louis David, Death of Socrates, 1787 Technique/Skills (how the artist oil on canvas, 129.5 cm X 196.2 cm manipulates the materials and processes) Style (is the work abstract, representational, concep tual, etc.)
  44. 44. Find anything interesting about this painting? Again choose two things from our list and comment on how Mondrian uses them in his painting to achieve visual effect. Formal Elements (visual elements used by the artist) Principles of Design (how the artist arranges these visual elements) Dimension (how the artwork occupies space and time) Media/ Materials (what the work is made of) Processes/Methods (how the work is made) Technique/Skills (how the artist manipulates the materials and processes)Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue and Black, 1921 Style (is the work Oil on canvas, 59.5 cm X 59.5 cm abstract, representational, conce ptual, etc.)
  45. 45. Chris BurdenWhoa! Wait a second. Is it possible for the principles of designplay a key in this artwork??? Comment on why or why not theformal elements and principles of design can be useful inhelping us understand this artwork.

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