Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Geometry of Composition


Left: Josef Albers / Right: Chakrasamvara (Buddhist Deity)

Oftentimes what makes a painting, drawing or sculpture work is a hidden geometric framework consisting of rectangles, triangles and ellipses. Some artists instead of hiding this framework seek to present it boldly in the final composition as in the above two examples. Some artists seek to mask the geometric framework with an arrangement of seemingly non-geometric components (see below: Ghiberti and Jan Van Eyck). Even though modern and contemporary artists do not often plan out such a framework, I would argue that the most successful artists are still, even if subconsciously, implementing a basic underlying geometric structure to unify their imagery.


Picasso


Ghiberti


Jan Van Eyck
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