FAT 2: Visual Research (part 3)

My friend Sio Yean, who is an Illustrator and lecturer in teaching art, share with me this 1965 animation entitled The Dot and Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. The story is about a line falls in love a dot and how it overcomes the obstacle to win the dot’s heart. It’s fascinating to see how the artist stretching the possibilities of using simple graphic elements like dot, line and shape. The transformation from a single line of various shapes describe the versatility in using the simplest graphic element.

There are also a number of artists express their idea with the simplest form with the practice of geometric abstraction. Their painted world are purely translated by  a stark pictorial language of shapes, lines, and angles. Beside of the forerunner Wassily Kandinsky, there are plenty of geometric abstraction practitioners intensively contributed in this particular field, e.g. Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers, Dan Flavin, El Lissitzky and the founder Kazimir Malevich. Malevich suggests his simple but theoretically dense “Suprematism” approach as the primacy of pure feeling in creative art. The images below show some of the masterpieces which might be helpful for my project. In Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, the composition of mainly using rectangular shapes present a dynamic, vibrant yet balancing composition. I find Josef Albers’ art pieces (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4) more engaged simply because of his layered composition which is related to my theme – figure and ground. In a sense that the layered shapes presented are contrasted by using the depth of colors.

Fig.1, Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism, 1916, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazimir_Malevich

Fig. 2. Theo van Doesburg, Composition VII, 1915, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_abstraction

Fig. 3, Josef Albers, Homage to the Square, 1965, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Albers

Fig. 4, Josef Albers, Proto-Form (B), oil on fiberboard, 1938, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Albers


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