Monday, January 26, 2015

Coexisting: Decorative and Naturalistic Spaces

Alice Neel

Alice Neel

Alice Neel 

Egon Schiele

Henri Matisse

Gustav Klimt 

David Hockney

David Hockney

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Visual Dominance & Goya

Which part of the composition do you look at first and why? Despite the sometimes shocking and graphic nature of the subject matter it is primarily a formal game of contrasting visual elements that allows Goya to achieve visual dominance in one region and not another. Wherever the greatest contrast exists (contrast of Scale, Shape, Placement, Orientation, Value, Edge, Pattern/Texture) the viewer's eye will look first. Most of us can agree on where we look first but we could also probably agree on where we look second and third (as contrast slowly diminishes). The artist can choose to reduce attention to a given area by reducing contrast and increase contrast elsewhere. More on Francisco Goya here.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Play The Grid: Albers, Knifer, Reith

Josef Albers / Provocative Percussion Album Covers

Julije Knifer

Louis Reith /

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Razzle Dazzle: Geometric Abstraction's Link To World War I

Dazzle camouflage, also known as razzle dazzle or dazzle painting, was a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I and to a lesser extent in World War II and afterwards. Credited to artist Norman Wilkinson, though with a prior claim by the zoologist John Graham Kerr, it consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other. Unlike some other forms of camouflage, dazzle works not by offering concealment but by making it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed and heading. Norman Wilkinson explained in 1919 that dazzle was intended more to mislead the enemy as to the correct position to take up than actually to miss his shot when firing. (source: wikipedia)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Judy Chicago / Breakthrough Years / 1972-1975

"After struggling for a decade in a male-dominated art community, I decided to take the risk of being who I was as an artist and as a woman. I attempted to reconcile my personal subject matter and style with a formalist visual language. Finally I threw off those earlier, more abstracted methods in favor of a clearer and more accessible imagery." - Judy Chicago

Monday, November 17, 2014