Week 11

Week 11 :

Wednesday, November 7

Today projected a short presentation attempting to clarify what I meant when I related your quotation to "positive space". Some of this explaination is written in last week's class summary. I will summarize the main points below.


  • As visual artists we are faced with the challenge of making abstract ideas and concepts into visual imagery. There many ways to approach this challenge. My intention these past three weeks was to visualize an idea (the brief quotation you were to find) from three different directions.
  • First we "illustrated" the idea by making an image that was a more literal representation of the quotation.
  • Second I had you collect scraps that were somehow related in your mind to your quotation (colors, other quotes, images, etc.) You made a painting using or referring to these associated images. We can visualize an idea by identifying things we associate with it.
  • Today was the third approach. Using the idea of "positive" and "negative" space as a metaphor I asked you to think of your quotation as the positive space of a composition. Then I wanted you to consider what negative space (or context) you could surround your quotation with. This context could be in opposition to your quotation, to create contrast. The context could also be analogous or a repetition of your quotation to emphasize through repetition or association.
  • We talked about several things that might be considered "negative" space - or context. For example it could be an actual background image (literal negative space) but it could also be the medium we paint with (wax, oil paint, acrylic or collage). Historical context or other words or quotations. The point here is that we can do a lot to enhance what we are trying to visually communicate by considering what surrounds the main content or focus of our communication. Altering negative space or context can do a lot to make a stronger visual statement.
  • NEXT WEEK: I will be demonstrating how to use Frisket Film (see the picture below).

Artist Antony Gormley relied heavily on context to explore and expand the meaning of his forms.

Joseph Kosuth's  One and Three Chairs