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Archive for April 13th, 2013

13CanistersMeg

A collection of canisters and a mess o’ drapery. Somewhere in this pile of stuff there’s a beautiful composition.  To find it, you 13Canistershave to choose a portion of the still-life and disregard the rest.  In order to choose, you first have to see form.

Meg’s drawing shows virtuosity in rendering the three-dimensionality of the cylinders. The vocabulary of the pencil work is delicate, the result looks solid and convincing.  But notice that she abandons that technique when she gets to the cloth.  The cloth is all lines. No shading, yet we sense the rolling hills of the cloth by the way the “stitching” comes in and out of view and fades into the distance. The fading into the distance creates an illusion that I want to discuss in a separate post, soon.

What interests me now is the very fact that the artist presents the two halves of the drawing, cylinder and cloth, in two different visual languages: shading for one, line for the other.  This formal choice takes the drawing out of the merely representational.  After all, given her skill, Meg could easily have drawn the cloth in the rendering style of the cylinders.  Instead, we get this play on perception and form.  For that reason, it’s art.

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