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Unformatted text preview: s. They are unemotional;
in fact, they may express a total lack of
feeling. Geometric forms in artworks
appeal to viewers’ minds rather than to
their emotions (Figure 5.30). Density
The density or mass of an object refers
to how compact it is. Dense materials
are solid and heavy. Granite and lead,
for example, are very dense. They are so
solid and firm that you cannot make a
dent on their surfaces when you press
on them. Dense forms seem unyielding.
They resist impact. For this reason, you
may associate them with the idea of
protection. In two-dimensional art, you
can depict dense objects using shading
techniques and hard-edge contours.
Soft, fluffy forms are less dense. When
you press on them, you can make a
dent. These forms have air inside them,
and they look more comfortable than
denser forms. In two-dimensional art,
you can depict soft forms by using shading techniques and curved contours. FIGURE 5.30 The artist has transformed
a soft, feathered bird form into a dense,
abstract, bronze form that represents the
flowing movement of a bird.
Constantin Brancusi. Bird in Space. 1928. Bronze
(Unique Cast). Height 137.2 cm (54 ). Museum of
Modern Art, New York, New York. © 2003 Artists
Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. 118 CHAPTER 5 Shape, Form, and Space FIGURE 5.31 To Wright, form and function
were inseparable, so a chair, which functions for
sitting, should be considered along with the
whole architectural environment.
Frank Lloyd Wright. Armchair for the Ray W. Evans House,
made by Niedechen and Walbridge. c. 1908. Oak.
221 2 ).
57.1 cm (341 4
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Fahrenwald, 1970.435. Openness
An open shape or form appears inviting. It seems to say, “Come in.” You can
see into or through it. An armchair is an
open form that invites you to sit (Figure 5.31). An open door invites you to
enter. An empty cup invites you to fill it.
Transparent objects, such as a glass wall,
invite you to look inside. When you
extend your hand to invite someone to
join you, the form of your outstretched
hand is an open form.
Open spaces in sculpture invite your
eyes to wander through the work.
Weavers leave openings in fabrics and
hangings to let you see through them. If
you remove an oak table from a room
and replace it with a glass table, the
room will seem less crowded. Architects
use glass walls to open small spaces.
Windows open up a building and bring
in the outdoors. Closed shapes and forms look solid
and self-contained. Windowless buildings look forbidding. Closed doors keep
people out; closed drapes and shades
keep light out. When you make a tight
fist, your hand is a closed form that
seems to say, “Keep away.” Folding your
arms tightly to your body closes you off
from others. Open arms invite people to
come closer to you. The plumed deity,
or god, in Figure 5.32 is a closed form.
Even its feathers are pulled tightly
against its body. FIGURE 5.32 This carving represents...
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- Fall '13