Unity “the connecting tissue”R. Arnheim, The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts, (California Press, 1982) Max Wertheimer: Gestalt psychologist Our perceptual systems have the ability to view the “whole” over the “parts”
Heavily ordered / predictable Is predictability good?
Variety Our perceptual systems focus on informationally significant stimuli. Unexpected changes (novelty) grab our attention!”Tip: Too much variety can feel chaotic and lead the viewer to believe there is no discernible order.
Ways to Achieve UnityProximityRepetitionContinuation
Proximity(Close elements tend to be perceived as a unified group.)
RepetitionReoccurring themes that links otherwise different items
ContinuationSimilar to the gestalt principle of “Closure”: the mind’s tendency to continue colinear points (completing a whole)
Continuity Unifying relationships between things, specifically other works (creating sets of things)• Narmer Palette: circa 3000 BCE • Cleopatra and Caesarion: circa 30 CE
Break into small groups and discus one ofthe images that follows. Present yourgroup’s findings to your classmates: 1. Unifying strategies implemented by the artist 2. The artist’s use of variety to create visual interest