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Shapes and Volumetric Form

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Joy Zahr

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Shapes and Volumetric Form

Shapes and Volumetric Form
Chelsea Greene, Preye Okara and Joy Zahr
Shapes and Volumetric Form
Negative and Positive Shapes
Figure and Ground
Geometric Shapes
Organic Shapes
Volumetric and Geometric
Cubic and Organic form
Spheres and Squares
What is a Shape?
is a two-dimensional area that displays both width and length and has relatively clear boundaries" (Nemett 52).
Flat shapes are easy to distinguish and identify
The bolder the edge, the more it stands out
Wiktor Gorka
"Contrast on a page draws our eyes to it; our eyes like contrast" (Williams 80).
Negative Shapes
: the empty spaces formed by the lines and boundaries of other objects

Figure and Ground
: a solid shape
: the background of an image
Arnold Newman's Igor Stravinsky
The Photo Idea Index states that, "Visual dominance is relative. Sometimes less is best when it comes to an image's presentation" (Krause 96).
Krause, J. (2005). Photo Idea Index. Cincinnati, OH: HOW

Nemett, B. (1992). Shape and Volumetric Form. Images,
Objects and Ideas: Viewing the Visual Arts.

Williams, R. (2008). The Non-Designer's Design Book
Third Edition. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.
Henri Matisse's Venus
The Photo Idea Index states that, "Asymmetrical compositions give the viewer's eyes and mind more to consider and contemplate than static, symmetrical arrangements" (Krause 136).
The Non-Designer's Design Book tells us that, "Nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily. Every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page" (Williams 33).

Remember: "physical closeness implies a relationship" (Williams 15).
Alignment and Proximity
Conveying Ideas through Architecture
Boston City Hall gives a sense of authority and permanence
-Large overall cubic form sitting alone in an empty plaza
-The use of patterns and geometric perfection shows order and formality
-the disruption of patterns and unpredictability of some cubic forms is off-putting, yet the building displays overall order
Geometric Shapes
The Photo Idea Index, pg 100
"Geometric shapes, like instances of symmetry, are easy for most viewers to wrap their heads around and can lend a sense of familiarity and simplicity to a composition."

-simple shapes give order and sense
The Cube and the Sphere
Many attributes of the man show stability and cubic solidity
Proportion, placement, and position of the man portray him as grand and unmovable
He sits on a big box and his body is very square

The girl is on top of a ball, the sphere
her body shows curvature and motion, fluidity

The opposite but connected
The spheregirl and cubeman portray:
young and old
active and passive
ephemeral and grand
Connection with right angle of girls arm and opposite right angle of the man's leg
"Geometric shapes
are usually bordered by straight lines, precise angles, or uniform curves as is the case in such simplified, geometric shapes as squares, circles, and triangles." (Nemetts 59)
Volumetric form:
A three dimensional equivalent of a two-dimensional shape.
The Cube and the Sphere
Shapes form ideas which are easy to grasp
Picasso uses the cube and the sphere to give the figures identity
-The man's placement and proportion
-square shape of his body and box he sits on
-stability and cubic solidity
The girl is on a ball: the sphere
-her body is curved form and shows motion
The opposite but connected
The 90 degree angle of the girls arm shows relation to the opposite 90 degree angle of the man's leg
The cube and the sphere show:
old and young
passive and active
grand and ephemeral
Organic Forms
Casa Mila in Barcelona by Antonio Gaudi
Compare to the rigid cubes of the Boston
City Hall- blocks vs. sinuous curves
Mftume Figure from Cameroon-organic curves vs. rigid nature of cubism
The Interaction of Organic and Geometric Forms
Interweaving a wide range of organic and geometric forms, also three dimensional volumes with flat shapes creates a rich piece of art
-the rigid geometry of the columns and floor carpet assert themselves from the organic forms around
adding a new form can cause a visual conflict
and challenge for the artist
Geometric shapes and Organic shapes
"Organic shapes
usually curvilinear in nature. tend to display irregular outlines or contours" (Nemetts 59)
"Contrast is created when two elements are different..... Robin's Principle of contrast states.
If two items are not exactly the same,then make them different. Really different."
(Williams 65)
One flat form (the spinning wheel) and one three dimensional form (Ghandi)
This pictorial representation shows the important differences between the two
-the wheel has sharp parts, hard light, and conveys a threatening presence
-the soft light on the more organic form of Ghandi shows him as the opposite of threatening
-with different lighting and composition there could be different meaning
Geometric Form:
precise lines that are sharply defined.
Volumetric and Geometric Form

"Cycladic Harpist"
Cycladic Harpest was carved from a marble block between 2600-1500 B.C. in an area called Cyclades of the coast of Greece.
Repetition in Geometric Form
Robin's Principle of Repetition states,
"Repeat some aspects of the design throughout the entire piece."
(Williams 51)
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