top

 Jenna, reviewing parts, independent investigation 

Watch this space for an elaboration on, and sources relating to, our recent discussion of blindness.
The short movie we viewed was Notes on Blindness, derived from notes taken by theologian John M. Hull in the first three years of his blindness.
Stay with the film through Hull's initial and frustrated desire to reach out toward light which is no longer available to him, and then his growing recognition of the different ways that the world reaches out toward us, notably in his long passage (toward the end) about rain.
 

exercises
exercise specifications, objectives, some examples

14     independent investigation  
13b     lines and masses free-standing on wall, no frame but implication of grid
13a     lines and masses with x-y grid
13     lineages vertical line compositions; thicknesses; grays, textures. repetition/rhythm/anomaly/events.
12a     outside the box, 3 derived from outside the box, 2; selecting areas of interest: move in, reframe
12     outside the box, 2 color compositions with solid and collage materials
11     illusion of transparency with monochromatic, complementary, analogous color
10     knot translations/derivations derivations from visual analysis of knot-tying process
9a     interruption repetition, variation, interruption; inserted into preceding sequences
9     repetition, rhythm, variation horizontal and vertical cuts only; may use magazine material
8a     hue value/chroma continued; all (but one) cut vertical/horizontal; and the inverse of that
8     hue value/chroma four compositions of two hues: variations of value/chroma; one hue predominating; on white, and four more on black
7     hue value/chroma grid exercise: gradations of value 1-9 in black-white, solids, and magazine material;
this was preceded by Munsell hue-value-chroma chip exercise
6a     visual organization combinations/patterns
6     visual organization combinations derived from preceding exercise
4     visual organization curved and/or straight, touching and not touching edge
5     collaborative experiment using prepared shapes, three moves per composition, in teams of three designers
3     outside the box curved shape, containing a counter curved shape, and one straight cut; on wall (no frame)
2     visual organization organic/curved shapes, touching and not touching rectangular frame
1     visual organization straight sided shapes, touching and not touching rectangular frame
 

artists and designers
whose work has come up, in conversation.

    Nasreen Mohamedi
(1937-90)
geometrical drawings, using grid paper, ruler, technical pens, etc. (a means to continue working, whilst suffering from Huntington's Disease)
wikipedia
at The Met Breuer through June 5, 2016
    Bridget Riley
(1931-)
geometrical drawings, paintings. her work is not well captured by the expression "op art" that often is used to describe it.
wikipedia
biography and 31 artworks at the Tate website.
we read Bridget Riley, At the End of My Pencil in the London Review of Books (8 October 2009) : here
    Ronald Davis
(1937-)
artist, geometrician, abstract illusionist, lyrical abstractionist
wikipedia
artist's website
Snapline Series, The Arch (1974) here
Dodecagon Series, Double Ringed Roto (1968) here
    Anni Albers
(1899-1994)
textile artist, printmaker, teacher
wikipedia
Oral history interview with Anni Albers (1968)
Exercise in textile effects in perforated paper
With verticals (1946)
Wall hanging (1925)
    Elizabeth Jennerjahn
(1923-2007)
textile artist, printmaker, teacher
wikipedia
Cross (1949)
    Black Mountain College
(1933-1957)
traveling exhibition
LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK: BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE 1933–1957
wikipedia (1949)
    Bernar Venet
(1941-)
conceptual artist, sculptor
artist's website
wikipedia (1949)
lines, angles and points
painting (better described as flat work
    Agnes Martin
(1912-2004)
painter; grids, repeat stripes and other marks
wikipedia (1949)
Olivia Laing, "Agnes Martin : the artist mystic who disappeared into the desert", The Guardian (22 May 2015); excellent
Who is Agnes Martin? (The Tate; good intro)
    Wolfgang Weingart
(1941-)
typographer, graphic designer
wikipedia (1949)
exhibition (including film) at Museum fur Gestaltung, Zurich
Keith Tam, Wolfgang Weingart’s typographic landscape (2003); pdf with images (many or all from Weingart : Typography ‐ My Way to Typography (2000)) here

El Lissitsky (and some other constructivists)
some architects
Nicolas de Stäel (abstract landscapes; sketches as coding

 

 Carlton, initial stage of independent investigation
 
 
14       independent investigation top      

Identify two or three concepts/issues we have addressed in this class, that you would like to revisit. One of those concepts/issues must relate to color. Others — shape, repetition/rhythm/anomaly, composition, texture, curves/straights, sequences, line and/versus mass, etc.) are up to you. You may use collage materials.

This project will be done in (as well as outside of) class.
It will continue through our three meetings of 20, 25 and 27 April.

On our last day — Monday 2 May — you will make a brief presentation in class about your work, including the issues you are exploring/working with, and what you have discovered/encountered in it;
also on that same day,
bring in all work done over the course of the semester, for a quick check by the instructor.

 Jenna, independent investigation
final, removed from (white bristol and) homasote background
 

 

 Ellie, independent investigation
final
 

 

 

 Lydia, independent investigation
final
straights, values (and one color)
 

 

need identification
straights, collage
 
  
 

references

13b       lines and masses top      

line pictures + masses, free-standing

one only, on wall (not bristol).
instructor will supply black yarn/string on Wednesday.

no borders; but hints (via lines, dots) that a grid exists.
continuing reflections on line vis-a-vis mass
instructor will supply black yarn/string on Wednesday.

Megan Leduke
lines and masses
(subsequently,experimented with repositioning of black mass at lower center)
 
  
 
Jenna Langsmead
lines and masses
 
 two versions
done on the spot
 
Amy Chan
lines and masses
 
  
13a       lines and masses top      

line pictures
vertical/horizontal line compositions + masses/shapes (color aid, magazine material, etc).

  1. four total. 11x11 inches, on bristol or white paper.
    grid. 2 inch (or smaller) columns and rows.
  2. lines on grid; masses align with/or violate, that grid; play off the lines (that may be any thickness)
  3. lines create structure, order. rhythm. texture. grays.
  4. masses play off that.
  5. grid option
    the grid may be established by dots. so that we can see it is there. dots (if you choose to use them) may be of various diameters. but start small. maximum two (of the total four) compositions may use dots.

assigned 6 April, for discussion Monday 11 April.
 

13       lineages top      

grays with lines. textures with lines. structure with lines. repetition/rhythm/anomaly/events with lines.

  1. six total. 9x9 inches, on bristol or white paper.
    regular lines, all vertical. maximum three thicknesses.
  2. for Monday 4 March, 2 compositions.
    think line pictures, with emphasis on the overall picture, not individual lines.
  3. iterations (for Wednesday 6 March) may include as many as five thicknesses, and irregular marks.

This exercise may be done digitally, presumably in InDesign. 9x9 inches (or 54x54 picas).
The edit > step and repeat function will be useful for precise control. For anyone interested in doing the project this way, I will demonstrate in class on Monday.

references

12a       outside the box, 3 top      

using monochromatic, complementary and analogous solids, and textured (newspaper/magazine) material
composition relative to frame

Find two strong compositions for each of the three shapes/shape constellations developed in outside the box, 2

Shapes may touch, bleed beyond or stay entirely with the frame. Rectangular frames, but one frame for each composition may be circular.
 

12       outside the box, 2 top      

Recollect our outside the box exercise. Now, develop three compositions using monochromatic (e.g., single Munsell hue), complementary and analogous colors, respectively, plus other material.

Because there is no external frame, the elements will need to relate to each other by means such as those we have previously examined (continuation of straight cuts across interruption; north/south or other fields, rhythm; use of straight (or other congruent) cuts to establish relationships); and, of course, color.

principles
color (hue, value, chroma; monochromatic, complementary, analogous); texture; repetition/rhythm/variation; shape; structure; use of straight cuts or other means to establish connection between adjacent or distant-from-each other elements.
all components might be rectangular, where emphasis might be on repetition, rhythm, variation; scale changes might be introduced here as well, of course.

looking ahead
We will continue with our compositions by framing them. This will involve use of two black 90 degree corners, to find dynamic arrangements (possibly from color printouts of photographs of selected compositions).
 

11       illusion of transparency top      

Create three compositions, each 6 x 6 inch, using opaque transparencies

  1. 1 monochromatic (different values, or chromas?),
  2. 1 complementary (opposite on color wheel), and
  3. 1 analogous
    adjacent on color wheel.

Do the same with magazine material; transparency won't really be the issue now, just composition (and comparison with the above)
 

10       knot translations/derivations top      

instructions in tying a knot.
analysis of process, presentation in steps
instructional aspect becomes constraint/limit, but form may (even should exaggerate).
knot details can be vestigial.

exercise details — larger views of some student work — at knot exercise page

thumbnail examples

 
 
   
Jenna Langsmead
knot translations
 
 
   
Megan Leduke
knot translations (Slippery Sheet Bend)
 
 
   
Amy Chan
knot translations
 
 
   
 
   
   
Cassandra VanSaun
knot translations, set 1 (thin elements)
 
 
   
 
   
   
Cassandra VanSaun
knot translations, set 2 (thicker elements)
 
 
 
9a       interruption. top      

repetition. variation. rhythm. interruption. (hue value/chroma)

minimum two compositions, 9x9 inch square, that involve interruption of the repetition sequence of the four previous squares.

emphasis on repetition/rhythm, across sequence of four (or more) squares, employing hue/value/chroma development.

some elements of the pre-existing series will naturally be present in the squares subject to intrusion, perhaps at different (brighter) chroma, or other exaggeration. Possibly fewer, stronger, elements. It could be as if the signals need to be fewer, and stronger, to assert themselves.
 

detail p 639 Geometrical Progressions, from
Joseph Schillinger (1895-1943), The Mathematical Basis of the Arts (completed 1942, published 1948)
 

I show the Schillinger as an example of an interruption/intrusion into an orderly composition/progression. In this case, it is the scanner's hand, at the bottom of a diagram demonstrating geometrical progressions in Appendix A., III. Groups of Variable Velocity.

Schillinger relates all the arts formally. The book can be viewed at archive.org (opening to this page). See this tumblr post, and also wikipedia. It is somewhat in the spirit of Denman Ross his A Theory of Pure Design: Harmony, Balance, Rhythm (1907, here). Schillinger developed a theory and system of musical composition; the a school he founded is known today as Berklee College of Music.
 

9       repetition. variation. rhythm. top      

hue value/chroma.

four compositions, 9x9 inch square, using Color-aid or other source (e.g., magazines)
emphasis on repetition/rhythm, across sequence of four (or more) squares, employing hue/value/chroma development.

asides

think pacing. grouping (clumping). prefiguration, echoes. linkages/interpenetration. overlapping (using a shared value, for example).
visual rhymes.
variations of intensity (rather than uniform intensity, or uniform anything for that matter.

references

promo shot, Mad Men (Season 7), from The Guardian (14 March 2014)
here
 
 
 
8a       hue value/chroma (cont.) top      

two compositions, 9x9 inch square, using Color-aid or other source (e.g., magazines)
as before, two hues (the more prominent one may present in more value/chroma levels)

  1. all cuts vertical and horizontal only: with ONE exception (one cut) that can be curved, diagonal, or otherwise irregular
  2. no cuts vertical and horizontal only: with ONE exception (one cut) that is to be vertical or horizontal

background may be white or black.
 

8       hue value/chroma (cont.) top      

four compositions, 9x9 inch square, or 9x12 inch rectangle
cuts may be vertical and horizontal only, no diagonals nor curves. but can be irregular, e.g., L shaped.

minimal (or zero) white background.

  1. two hues, in which one predominates (similar value and/or chroma), and second hue appears in one or two values/chroma only (probably complementary to first)
  2. two hues, but the opposite of no. 2 : now the other predominates (similar value and/or chroma), and it is the first hue that appears in one or two values/chroma only (again, probably complementary)
     
    same as above (different compositions), but now on black background.

    thus, four compositions total.

    Color-aid, or other source (magazines, etc.)

aside
work with a grid, that is, all widths and heights a multiple of .25 inches, and deployed with a grid.

ideally, we would be doing this excise at a loom.
think repetition, rhythm, movement/surprise. systematic.

references

Ishihara Color Vision Test
The Ishihara test is a color perception test for red-green color deficiencies.
(wikipedia)

Pantone Fashion Color Report, Spring 2016
A Transporting and Transformative Canvas
Colors this season transcend cultural and gender norms. Vivid brights give way to excitement and optimism, though quiet stability prevails in this season’s palette...

Anni Albers, e.g.,
Exercise in textile effects in perforated paper
With verticals (1946)
Wall hanging (1925)

Elizabeth Jennerjahn
Cross (1949)
 

7       hue value/chroma top      

For one of the hues you arranged on the Munsell chart,

  1. find closest approximations of one chroma column (specifically, /2, the one on the left; all values) in printed matter (The New York Times Magazine;
  2. apply these (collage ok) on the middle row of distributed sheet, leaving outermost rectangles (for lowest (black) and highest (white) values blank (or filled in with black and white, from source material)
  3. use middle row on 12x18 sheet prepared with three rows of 9 vertical rectangles (each 2 inches high, one inch wide), separated by .5 inches.
  4. gradations should be even, when viewed from distance
  5. depending on hue, the gradations might not require all 7 rectangles
     

on rows above and below the above
create same value scale (but black/white/gray), two different media (ink, pencil, dots, lines, etc.);
here, all 9 rectangles are to be filled, black to white.

three compositions with three values
11 x 11 inches, three shapes (straight and/or curved cut, and/or torn), with attention to scale and value
also potential creation of illusion of depth
may use Color-aid or other paper, including material from printed matter (magazines) where content is obscure/illegible or barely legible.

 
Ellie DeLorme-Novakowski
3 values
 
 same, rotated 90 degrees cw
negative space activated
 
Amy Chan
3 values
 
 same, rotated 90 degrees ccw
negative space activated
 
6a       visual organization top      

and
introduction to hue value/chroma (Munsell)

  1. further compositional variations, employing other areas of the original (for Wednesday 10 February)
    combinations of free and structured forms
    geometric (straight and curved) shapes, in rectangles (16 x 16)
  2. find the correct value and chroma locations for Munsell color chips, for two hues (sheets and chips distributed in class)
     
Amy Chan
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Ellie DeLorme-Novakowski
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Cassandra VanSaun
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Sariah Feehan
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Jenna Langsmead
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Megan Leduke
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Lydia Newbury
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
Carlton Rubie
(Munsell) value exercise
 
 
6       visual organization top      


combinations of free and structured forms
geometric (straight and curved) shapes, in rectangles (16 x 16)

  1. choose one of your earlier rectangles (from exercise 4), and from that identify a square area (at any scale) where there is a relatively even balance between positive and negative space.
    photocopy (possibly scaling up or down) that piece, giving yourself 16 copies. cut these squares out to 4x4 inches. (suggestion: use a framing tool / viewfinder to (1) identify the area of interest and (2) to mark it for cutting; cut maybe 3-4 sheets simultaneously.
    create a composition. you may rotate squares.
  2. same as above, but now use other areas of the originals. and arrange in the 4x4 grid. any orientation. need not repeat same section.
    use black shapes on white rectangles as your original source.
    the result will be two 16 inch squares.
    we are interested in texture, pattern, structure even from unstructured sources.

for no. 2, composition wants to yield overall evenness, with variety.

 Carlton Rubie
combination
 
 

 

 Amy Chan
combination
 
 

 

4       visual organization top      

visual organization in rectangles, geometric shapes
all 9 x 9 inches

  1. two / with one shape (curved, straights acceptable), where the shape does not touch any edge of the rectangle.
  2. two / with one shape (curved, straights acceptable), where the shape where the shape touches at least one side of the rectangle.
     
    optional
  3. one each, for no's 1 and 2 : two shapes, separate from each other (consider scale relationships)

aside
consider relationship of positive-to-negative (figure/ground) shapes, let one not dominate the field or, at the very least, be sure that the negative shape is active, charged.
 

5       collaborative experiment top      

collaborative experiment, all 15 x 15 inches

  1. prepare six geometric (straight of curved) shapes, and arrange three (each) on two 15 x 15 inch white bristol squares. make shapes large enough to work on this larger "canvas," but also give yourself larger and smaller pieces.
    but do not attach.
  2. form three teams of three people (listed below). create 9 designs, each one of which uses one of your six prepared shapes.
    And in each of the six, change the order in which the "player" makes her/his/their move.

a     Amy
b     Carlton
c     Sariah

d     Jenna
e     Megan
f     Lydia

g     Ellie
h     Cassandra
i     John
 

3       outside the box top      

what happens when there are no artificial rectangular borders, with their implication of an infinite cartesian (x-y coordinate system) space?

 Amy Chan
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Ellie DeLorme-Novakowski
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Sariah Feehan
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Jenna Langsmead
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice); version 1 (top), version 2 (bottom)
 
 
 Megan Leduke
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Lydia Newbury
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Carlton Rubie
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
 Cassandra VanSaun
unconstrained shapes (curved shape, containing curved counter, and one straight slice)
 
 
2       visual organization top      

visual organization in rectangles, geometric shapes
originally, exercise 1

consider relationship of positive-to-negative (figure/ground) shapes; let one not dominate the field or, at the very least, be sure that the negative shape is active, charged.
 

1       visual organization top      

visual organization in rectangles, geometric shapes
originally, exercise 1

aside
discussion of framing device (e.g., camera, frame) to find shapes/relationships
centered, off-centered.
scale.
relationship to edge, and what is beyond edge (for example, our pinhole-peppered white wall)