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Unformatted text preview: s, and wallpapers. Floors and walls are
two-dimensional shapes; so are tabletops, book pages, posters, and billboards.
The images you create with your computer and the images in the handheld
and computer games you play may have the illusion of depth, but they are
also two-dimensional shapes. Geometric Shapes
All shapes can be classified as either geometric or free-form. Geometric
shapes are precise shapes that can be described using mathematical formulas
(Figure 5.2). The basic geometric shapes are the circle, the square, and the
triangle. All other geometric shapes are either variations or combinations
of these basic shapes. Some of the variations include the oval, rectangle,
parallelogram, trapezoid, pentagon, pentagram, hexagon, and octagon. Circle Octagon Square Parallelogram FIGURE 5.2 Geometric shapes. 98 CHAPTER 5 Shape, Form, and Space Triangle Trapezoid Oval Rectangle Pentagon Hexagon Geometric shapes are used for decoration, uniformity, and organization.
Notice the decorative quality of the geometric shapes in the artwork shown in
Figure 5.3. How many different simple
and complex geometric shapes can you
find in Biggers’ painting?
Road signs are examples of uniformity. The same kind of sign must always
have the same shape. Do you know the
shape of a stop sign? Which shape is
used for “Yield”? Which shape is used
for TV screens? Why do you think ceiling tiles and window panes have geometric shapes? Free-Form Shapes
Free-form shapes are irregular and
uneven shapes. Their outlines may be
curved, angular, or a combination of
both. They often occur in nature.
Another word that may be used to
describe free-form shapes is organic.
Organic is used when we talk about the
shapes that are silhouettes of living
things such as animals, people, or trees.
Look at the difference between the decorative patterns of geometric shapes in
Figure 5.3 and the free-form, organic
shapes painted on the vases in Figure
5.4. Which looks more organized? FIGURE 5.3 Biggers uses the women in this work to represent the
African civilizations of Egypt, Benin, and Dogon. The crowns are symbols
of these civilizations. The cloth on their laps represents the geometry
that has brought order to each culture.
John Biggers. Starry Crown. 1987. Acrylic, mixed media on Masonite. 155
49 ). Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas. Museum League Purchase Fund. FIGURE 5.4 Notice the free-form, organic qualities
of the dragons and clouds that were painted on this
matching pair of vases. Although the forms of the vases
are perfectly matched, the paintings are not exactly
alike. Look closely to find the differences between the
Chinese, Pair of Vases. 1426–1435. Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration. 55.2
111 2 ). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City,
Missouri. Purchase: Nelson Trust, 40-45/1,2. LESSON 1 Shapes and Forms 99 FIGURE 5.5 What kind of relationship do you see between the two-dimensional shap...
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This document was uploaded on 09/23/2013.
- Fall '13