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Figure ground woodblock

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Figure ground woodblock

  1. 1. Figure Ground Positive/negative shape interaction
  2. 2. Figure Ground defined • The figure is the subject (emotional focus) of an image and the ground is the area which the figure occupies • The figure is also referred to as the positive space while the ground is considered the negative space • The figure and ground define each other and are both necessary in an image (puzzle pieces)
  3. 3. • “One can then state as a fundamental principle: When two fields have a common border, and one is seen as the figure and the other as ground, the immediate perceptual experience is characterized by a shaping effect which emerges from the common border of the fields and which operates only on one field or operates more strongly on one than on the other.” • Edgar Rubin, 1915
  4. 4. • Both the faces and vase can be perceived as the figure, but only one at a time. • When one is viewed as the figure it’s surrounding space, ground, is formless and acts only to define the contour of the figure. • Rubin’s work influenced the Gestalt theorists who later studied many of the same principles.
  5. 5. • Gestalt psychology come out of the Berlin School in the early 20th century. • It states that humans perceive major shapes and forms before recognizing the parts and details that make up the larger whole. • The two gestalt systems that most relate to figure/ground relationships are “reification” and “multistability”
  6. 6. Reification: Constructive perception, by which the experience percept contains more spatial information than the sensory stimulus on which it is based. In other words, we see a shape by what is implied in the provided imagery.
  7. 7. Multistability: the tendency of ambiguous perceptual experience to pop back and forth unstably between two or more alternative interpretations. Necker Cube and Rubin’s face/vase are perfect examples.
  8. 8. M.C. Escher • Dutch artist known for designing ambiguous figure/ground relationships in his prints and drawings.
  9. 9. Frank Miller • Author of graphic novels known for harsh subject matter and jarring imagery.
  10. 10. Mimbres Pottery
  11. 11. Robert Longo
  12. 12. Yayoi Kusama
  13. 13. Kara Walker

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