Posts Tagged ‘convergence’


In a still life drapery suggests all sorts of turbulence—if you’re in the mood to see it.  There’s nothing still about a still life even though you’re looking at a pile of pottery, stemware, plastic fruit and, of course, bulging cloth.  We’ve talked about that before:


In this post’s drawing, the artist/student selected a portion of the still life on the table that led to an exploding composition on the page.  In my analysis you can interpret the green lines as either emanating from a central point (explosive) or you can see them as converging implosively.  You can shift your view back and forth between the two ways of seeing.  Either way, it’s a trip!


Whether you see those lines as centripetal or centrifugal, the focal point is nothing.  It’s a little triangular black part of the background, a vacancy.  If the lines had been made to converge on a  thing, the drawing would feel like an illustration or a picture with a message.  It would belong to the 18th century or before, at least in Western Art.  But the fact that the convergence is on emptiness makes this a modern drawing. The lines converge on that little nothing, but because it’s nothing, it lets you go again.  And so your eye–your attention–moves all through the image.  That’s the modern sensibility: you have to pay attention to everything. It’s a real trip, man.

For a reference to Diebenkorn and the Parthenon, go back to https://artamaze.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/let-it-be/

Drawing in china marker on gloss paper, ~ 11 x 17,  by Lizzy Mendoza.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.





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Could the artist/student, Patty Cohen, add more paint, scrape some off, glue raw canvas onto the surface, punch a hole….?  Of course, all sorts of things can be done to this image at any stage of its development.  But, it was declared finished in the last class of Spring term.  “Finished” means “resolved.”   Nobody can explain exactly what “resolved” means, but the artist knows—and feels the resolution.
The rich texture cannot be duplicated here.  I just want to point to the dynamic of its composition:  zigzag plus stability.


The three black areas (connected by yellow lines in my analysis) move the eye to read a triangle firmly planted on a 13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalLside that is parallel to the bottom edge of the canvas.  That imparts a feeling of stability, which makes for a solid context in which the zigzags can go wild (blue, green).  Notice also that the upper left section is not as tame as it may at first appear.  It’s in muted tones, but is sectioned (pink) in such a way that its forms converge towards the middle.  This subtle focus also adds to the sense of stability—we like looking at the center of a painting.

Y13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalRou would think that such a turbulent composition would work in another orientation.  If you rotate the canvas, however, you’ll see that the other three orientations don’t work.  My sense is that this is due to the three black areas, which we prefer in the form a triangle (yellow) that’s firmly grounded.

Congratulations, Patty!

A13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalFlipll contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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