Sayre woa ch07_lecture-243770

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  • Learning Objectives1 of 2Define symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance.Explain the relationship between emphasis and focal point.Differentiate between scale and proportion.Describe the relationship between pattern, repetition, and rhythm.

  • Learning Objectives2 of 2Discuss the traditional relationship between unity and variety, and why postmodernist artists have tended to emphasize variety over unity.

  • Introduction1 of 3Leonardo da Vinci's Study of Human Proportion: The Vitruvian Man embodies all the qualities of design.Symmetry, proportion, and ratio derive from the perfection of the human figure.The figure's limbs fit perfectly within their frame.

  • Leonardo da Vinci, Study of Human Proportion: The Vitruvian Man. ca. 1492. Pen-and-ink drawing, 13-1/2 9-5/8". Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice.CAMERAPHOTO Arte, Venice. [Fig. 7-1]

  • Introduction2 of 3In contrast, the Rasin Building in Prague seems to teeter in its playfulness. It is nicknamed "Fred and Ginger" for its seemingly dancing frame.However, both parts of the building balance each other out like a dialogue.

  • Frank Gehry and Vlado Miluni, Rasin Building (a.k.a. the "Dancing House" or "Fred and Ginger"), Prague, Czech Republic. 199296. Curva de Luz/Alamy. [Fig. 7-2]

  • Introduction3 of 3In the creative process, even such "rules" as created by the Vitruvian Man are meant to be broken so that artists can discover new ways to express themselves.Media are the materials that artists use to create their works.

  • BalanceBalance refers to even distribution of weight in a composition.In works, balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial.In sculpture, actual weight is the physical weight of materials in pounds.All art deals with visual weight, or the apparent "heaviness" or "lightness" of the forms in the composition.

  • Symmetrical Balance1 of 4Symmetrical representations recall Leonardo's Study.When each side is exactly the same, it is called absolute symmetry. When there are minor discrepancies but the overall effect is symmetrical, it is called bilateral symmetry.

  • Symmetrical Balance2 of 4The Taj Mahal is one of the most symmetrically balanced buildings in the world.Each facade is identical with openings that give the building a sense of weightlessness.

  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Mughal period, ca. 163248. 2015 Photo Scala, Florence. [Fig. 7-3]

  • Symmetrical Balance3 of 4Enguerrand Quarton's Coronation of the Virgin is a composition featuring small details at its edges with a cruciform shape dominating the whole.Father and Son flank Mary with near-perfect symmetry.

  • Enguerrand Quarton, Coronation of the Virgin. 145354. Panel painting, 6' 7' 2-5/8. Muse de l'Hospice, Villeneuve-ls-Avignon, France.Bridgeman Images. [Fig. 7-4]

  • Symmetrical Balance4 of 4Frida Kahlo's Las Dos Fridas is symmetrically balanced.A Frida dressed in native Tehuana costume is connected to the mirrored Frida rejected by Diego Rivera by a vein, which the rejected Frida cuts off with surgical scissors.

  • Frida Kahlo, Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas). 1939. Oil on canvas, 5' 9-15" 5 ft. 9-15". Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City. 2015. Photo Art Resource/Bob Schalkwijk/Scala, Florence. 2015 Banco de Mxico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 7-5]

  • Asymmetrical Balance1 of 3A composition that lacks symmetry can still be balanced if sides possess the same visual weight; this is called asymmetry. While there are only a few ways in which a work can appear balanced, but there are no "laws" about how this can be achieved.

  • Some different varieties of asymmetrical balance. [Fig. 7-6]

  • Asymmetrical Balance2 of 3Johannes Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance contains several references to balance, yet retains asymmetry of subject matter.The central axis of the composition shows a woman weighing her jewelry with scales; behind her is a painting in which Christ weighs all souls during the Last Judgment.

  • Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance. ca. 1664. Oil on canvas, 15-7/8 14", framed 24-3/4 23 3". National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Widener Collection. Photo 2015 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art. Photo: Bob Grove. [Fig. 7-7]

  • Asymmetrical Balance3 of 3Childe Hassam's Boston Common at Twilight features a central axis left of the middle, where a woman and her daughters feed birds at the edge of a tree-lined expanse of Boston Common.Tension between light and dark as well as the open Common and the street reinforce asymmetrical balance.

  • Childe Hassam, Boston Common at Twilight. 188586. Oil on canvas, 42" 5'. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Miss Maud E. Appleton, 1931.952. Photograph 2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. [Fig. 7-8]

  • Radial BalanceIn radial balance, everything radiates outward from a central point.The "rose window" above the south portal of Chartres Cathedral is an example.The Villa La Rotonda by Andrea Palladio also features radial balance.The central domed rotunda is flanked by four symmetrical reception rooms.

  • Rose window, south transept, Chartres Cathedral. ca. 1215. Chartres, France.Angelo Hornak. [Fig. 7-9]

  • Andrea Palladio, Villa La Rotonda.Begun 1560s.CAMERAPHOTO Arte, Venice. [Fig. 7-10a]

  • Andrea Palladio, Plan of main floor (piano nobile), Villa La Rotunda. [Fig. 7-10b]

  • Emphasis and Focal Point1 of 3The focal point of a composition is an area to which the artist draws the viewer's attention the most.Strong contrasts of light and color can create a focal point easily.Still Life with Lobster uses complementary colors with the focal lobster in red and everything else in green.

  • Anna Vallayer-Coster, Still Life with Lobster. 1781. Oil on canvas, 27-3/4 35-1/4". Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio.Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1968.1A. Photo: Photography Incorporated, Toledo. [Fig. 7-11]

  • Emphasis and Focal Point2 of 3Light in Georges de La Tour's Joseph the Carpenter draws attention away from Joseph and to the brightly lit face of Christ, symbolizing the Divine Light.It is also possible to make a work that is afocal, or without a single point of focus.

  • Georges de La Tour, Joseph the Carpenter. ca. 1645. Oil on canvas, 18-1/2 25-1/2". Muse du Louvre, Paris. Inv. RF1948-27. Photo RMN-Grand Palais (muse du Louvre)/Michel Urtado.[Fig. 7-12]

  • Emphasis and Focal Point3 of 3Lucas Samaras's Room No. 2 is an 8-by-8-foot space lined entirely with mirrors.Only two visitors are allowed inside simultaneously.Viewer and work become inseparable; the viewer enables the work, yet loses their individuality.

  • Lucas Samaras, Room No. 2 (popularly known as the Mirrored Room) (detail). 1966. Mirror on wood, 8 8 10'. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1966. Lucas Samaras, courtesy of Pace Gallery.[Fig. 7-13]

  • The Creative Process1 of 2A Multiplication of Focal Points:Diego Velzquez's Las MeninasAn obvious focal point is the infanta Margarita at center, but figures outside of her central group gaze away from the infanta.Their focal point appears to be the King and Queen, who are reflected in the mirror at the opposite end of the room.

  • Diego Velzquez, Philip IV, King of Spain. 165253. Oil on canvas, 17-1/2 x 14-3/4". Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.Inv. 324. 2015. Photo Austrian Archives/Scala, Florence. [Fig. 7-14]

  • Diego Velazquez, Portrait of Queen Mariana. ca. 1656. Oil on canvas, 18-3/8 17-1/8". Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Alger H. Meadows Collection. MM.78.01. Photo: Michael Bodycomb. [Fig. 7-15]

  • Diego Velzquez, Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor). 1656. Oil on canvas, 10' 3/4" 9 3/4". Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. 2015. Image copyright Museo Nacional del Prado Photo MNP/Scala, Florence. [Fig. 7-16]

  • The Creative Process2 of 2A Multiplication of Focal Points:Diego Velzquez's Las MeninasEither the royal couple is the actual subject of the painting or they have entered the room to see their daughter being painted; or, in fact, their images are a double portrait rather than themselves reflected in the mirror.The painting depicts a work-in-progress, although it is unclear what that work is.

  • Diego Velzquez, Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor)(detail). 2015. Image copyright Museo Nacional del Prado Photo MNP/Scala, Florence. [Fig. 7-17]

  • Scale and Proportion1 of 7Scale describes the dimensions of an art object in relation to the original object or objects around it.Julie Mehretu's Mural is "large-scale" at 80 feet long and 23 feet high.When looking at a textbook or screen reproduction, it is important to consider the actual size of the work.

  • Julie Mehretu, Mural, detail. 2010. Acrylic on canvas, 23 80'. Goldman Sachs headquarters, New York.Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. [Fig. 7-18]

  • Scale and Proportion2 of 7Comparing Do-Ho Suh's Public Figures and Kara Walker's Subtlety, both artists have manipulated the scale of the object depicted.Do-Ho Suh's work shows the people carrying the pediment in a diminished scale.The expected figure atop the pedestal is purposely absent.

  • Do-Ho Suh, Public Figures. 199899. Installation view, MetroTech Center Commons, Brooklyn, New York. Fiberglass/resin, steel pipes, pipe fittings, 10 7 9'.Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York. [Fig. 7-19]

  • Scale and Proportion3 of 7Walker's work is a large, exaggerated homage to carved sugar cente