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Posts Tagged ‘values’

If you go back to post August 3, 2012 you’ll see the still life that Gaby was working from for this drawing.  There was a second wooden mannequin, this one reclining with all fours  reaching up, and also some plastic fruits, a pear and an apple.

This marvelous drawing emerged only after much struggle and daring invention.  The pear and apple, being in the foreground, were originally quite worked out with shadows and highlights. As the artist/student got more into the work, these objects lost their importance even though they were in the foreground.  Their literalness had to give way to the workings of the composition as a whole. They still read as foreground, the pear especially by virtue of its continuous, uninterrupted contour.  But the pear is now both foreground and a vacant space and that’s a wonderful paradox.

The background—the white and  the black—is pure invention. Notice that both non-referential surfaces have textures, to give them visual interest and make them, paradoxically, come forward.

The composition with its dramatically worked out values establishes layers: foreground, middleground, background and then far background. We’ve looked at foreground and background.  Now, what is that in the middle?  It seems to radiate from some point behind the pear-vacancy.  These three rays are  what the drawing seems to be about, for the simple reason that they invite identification more than any other element in the drawing.

Everyone in the class loved this drawing.  Everyone knew, of course, what Gaby had been looking at.  But the drawing is clearly not about identifiable objects.  It uses the pear and the wooden figure as a point of departure.  The drawing becomes a work of the imagination, a DRAWING.

Somebody said, it looks like an insect’s legs.  Well, yes, that will come up in your mind, but try clinging to that interpretation.  The drawing takes you far beyond that.

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

www.khilden.com

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This drawing conveys a sense of depth even though at first sight it may appear to be a simple line drawing.  I don’t mean depth in the sense of perspective.  There’s none of that here.  I mean depth in the sense of complexity of perception.  The subject matter is easy to read.  It’s a plant in a pot and on the table next to it is a figurine.  What gives the drawing depth is the variations on the theme of black-gray—and–white.  All possible combinations are documented, as if in an encyclopedia: white on gray, white on black, gray on white, gray on black, black on white, black on gray.  I doubt that the artist/student, Monte, set out with an encyclopedic intention.  If he had, the work would probably not be as intriguing and fun to look at.  It’s a smart, witty drawing.  Uncanny, once you see the play on values, the technical term for shades.

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

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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