Point:

Stuart Davis

American, b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1892-1964

Tropes de Teens

1956

Oil paint on canvas

With the proximity of the objects toward the top right corner of the painting, the mind uses it as a point of orientation for the painting.  The eye continues to travel through the painting by orienting the movement through points of the same color, such as going from the blue abstract objects in the top right corner to the object that looks like an “x” in the bottom left corner.

Line:

Oscar Bluemner

American, b. Hanover, Germany 1867-1938

Morning Light (Dover Hills, October)

1912-16

Oil on Canvas

In this painting there appears to be a grid of lines which go through the painting horizontally and vertically. However, when one pays close attention to the photo they realize the lines are implied through a contrast in colors. For instance, the tree on the left side of the painting appears to have a line going through it, however there is only a contrast in color between the green and yellow with the blue and green. Although implied, the liens are of high quality which present the painting as one that was completed in the studio and was drawn from the artists mind rather then actual life.

Form

Sol LeWitt

American, b Hartford, Connecticut, 1928-2007

Wall Drawing #365 BB: Cube without a cube

2003

Acrylic paint on wall surface

Through the use of contrasting horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines the figure appears to be three-dimensional.  From the larger figure there are lines that go through the painting in such a way the present a cube. However, within the cube there are more lines that present another cube shape, as if the larger object is missing a piece of itself, which adds to the three-dimensional form.

Movement

Clyfford Still

American, b. Grandin, North Dakota, 1904-1980

1950-M No.1

1950

Oil paint on canvas

This paitning has compositional movement rather then literal movement. Through the use of contrasts in shades of blue there is dynamic movement throughout the painting.  A viewer’s eye transitions from one point of painting to another seamlessly. The actual way the contrasting colors connect with each other  has a “handing off” effect on the viewer, the shape at the end of one color slides into the next color.

Color

Larry Poons

American, b. Tokyo, Japan, 1937

Northeast Grave

1964

Acrylic paint and graphite on canvas

The values of the blues and green seem be mute or flatten out each other at times until the viewer looks at the next color. However, the contrast in the value of red versus the value of the blues and greens helps the blue and green shapes to stand out. The red in this painting gives a positive and lively feel to the work., as if it is energized.

Pattern


Larry Poons

American, b. Tokyo, Japan, 1937

Via Regia

1964

Acryclic paint and graphite on canvas

As a result of the contrast between the purple, blue, and green ovals with the red background there is an organization to the painting. The oval-like shapes provide a point of reference for which the eye follows. Through the pattern of the ovals a path of low resistance is created and thus the viewer’s eye flows easily through the painting.

Texture


Arthur G. Dove

American, b. Canadaigua, New York,

1880-1946

Haystack

1931

Oil on canvas

The colors used within this painting present a somewhat smooth, soft, and warm texture. The shade of yellow contrasted with the strong greens present a strong Earthly tone. There is a calm feeling to the painting, as if the scene, although somewhat abstract, is at rest.

Balance

Carmen Herrera

American, b Havana, Cuba, 1915

Rondon (Blue and Yellow)

1965

Paint on canvas

There is absolute balance within this painting.  The painting is symmetrical in regards to both shape and color. There is an even amount of blue and yellow, as well as the shapes used.

Proportion



Ferand Leger

French, b. Argentan, 1881-1955

Nude on a Red Background

1927

Oil Paint on canvas

The woman depicted in this painting is rather large in regards to her bodily proportions.  She is the focus/subject of the painting but there is emphasis on her feminine and motherly qualities.   She is holding her hair, an object of womanly beauty. She is also holding her breasts which are used to feed her children, presenting a nurturing soul.

Rhythm

Larry Poons

American, b. Tokyo, Japan, 1937

Day on Cold Mountain

1962

Synthetic polymer, graphite, and fabric dye on linen

The blue circles contrasted with the yellow of the painting created a rhythm of the work.  Although there isn’t a perfectly predictable pattern to the use of blue circles, they still create a pattern that the viewer can follow. There is linear movement in which the viewer goes from one blue circle to another, allowing them to view the entire piece.

Emphasis

Yves Tanguy

American, b. Paris, France, 1099-1955

Naked Water

1942

Oil on canvas

Through the use of a neutral and lite background, emphasis is placed on the objects in the foreground.  There is also a haze to the scene except for the objects in the foreground; they are clear, present, and colorful.  This keeps the viewers eye focused on those objects for a longer period of time which lets them try to figure out what the abstract objects are.

Unity

Jesus Rafael Soto

Venezuelan, b Ciudad Bolivar, 1923-2005

Eight Silver

1968

Wood, paint, and metal

There is a coherence in the painting through the balance of black and grey, as well as all the squares. The equality and balance of color and shape provide for a harmony within the work. Through this pattern/consistency of the quadrilaterals and shades of color there is a “completeness” of the work.

 

Critique

Sol LeWitt

American, b. Hartford, Connecticut,

1928-2007

Wall Drawing #1113: On a wall, a triangle within a rectangle, each with broken bands of color

2003

Acryclic

 

 

The title of the art work is “Wall Drawing #1113: On a wall, a triangle within a rectangle, each with broken bands of color.” It was created in 2003 by Sol LeWitt, an American painter who was born in 1928 and died in 2007. “Wall Drawing #1113” is an example of a piece of modern art. In particular it is a minimalist piece of work in that the painting is “reduced to essential forms without embellishment or complication” (“The Development of Modern Art In the US”). This piece of work, much like others done by LeWitt are examples of conceptual art. A characteristic of LeWitt’s work that seperates him from the rest of the artistic community is that fact that all the drawing are ”conceived by the artist but usually executed by others, not the artist himself”(http://www.nga.gov/press/2004/releases/spring/lewitt.shtm). One “sees’ a collection of various shapes and colors that contrast with each other to form a pattern. There are numerous rectangles that differ in color. The difference in direction of these rectangles helps to form a triangle that isn’t actually present. The triangle that is created from the rectangles also has a three dimensional form because of the rectangles directional orientation. When I first look at the photo I notice the large triangle at the center of the photo because it disrupts the color rectangles flowing from top to bottom (vertically), seemingly turning those objects into the background of the painting. As a result of the vibrant colors used there is a positive and lively mood created. The vibrancy creates and energetic sense that radiates from the painting.

LeWitt utilizes Point, line, form, movement, color, and pattern. As a result of the rectangles apparent convergence within the triangle, there is a point of center created in the middle of the triangle. The lines that are formed from the three smaller triangles meet at this center point, but they also help to create a three-dimensional form. The triangle itself seems to be separated from the other parts of the painting because it breaks the pattern of the vertical rectangles that create the background of the piece. The direction and color of the rectangles serve other purposes as well. They create a pattern and “flow” for the piece so that the viewer’s eye can travel dynamically. The colors used help to create a vibrancy that gives the painting its energetic character, and also help to create lines that structure the shapes. As for the principles of design, the artist utilizes proportion, rhythm, and unity. In regards to proportion, the rectangles are all of the same size, and when they are not it is done purposefully to create the three dimensional form. There is also a balance of color, in that one color does not seem to dominate the painting.  Although there isn’t a entirely consistent pattern to the color used, the actual colors are constant and thus help to create a rhythm within the paining. The viewer’s eyes follow the colors, and as the colors are followed, shapes are recognized in regard to the whole of the painting. By using the same colors and shapes there is a sense of unity and “togetherness” of the painting. Though there is a rectangle created in the painting, it appears to fit in because of its parts (rectangles) and color composition. The combination of the elements and principles formulate a lively painting, with varying colors and basic shapes that create a three dimensional form.

I believe the artist is trying to make a statement about the execution of the painting. LeWitt’s style is characterized by verbal directions given to another individual in order to create the final piece. This presents an idea that there is in some sense a science to art, in that things can be recreated or made from conception by others. Under the artists name and title of the work there is a list of individuals who actually helped make this piece. By extension, although I still believe it takes a certain person with certain talents, I get a sense of an idea that anyone can be an artist. This is to say that there can be beauty in direction, organization, and proper adherence to instruction.  As for the art itself, the vibrancy radiates a happy or lively mood to me. The colors and pattern present a simplicity to the work, but when the painting is appreciated in its entirety, one notices the detail. The painting itself doesn’t appear to be symbolic of anything but the purpose in presenting beauty by showing a fusion of simplicity and complication/detail. This message of coexistence of the principles helps to convey a message of a societal scale. There are two ways to view things, in a broad sense of simplification or in a more complicated and detail oriented way. The message may be the necessity for both views in understanding.

 





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