Chap05shape and form

Their lines contours and surfaces are clean and crisp

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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. 23 221 2 ). 87 58.4 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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