Gallery Essay

For Foundations, the class visited an art gallery outside of Alfred State campus. The class visited the gallery to see what elements and principles of design were shown. The art at the gallery had figure drawings and abstract drawings. All of the drawings had elements and principles of design shown in them. The main elements in the pieces shown were lines, color and shape. The main principles shown were scale and contrast.

Lines were a big part in both the abstract and figure drawings. In the figure drawings, the lines were smoothed, curved lines which created most of the body from. There was no shading for any of the figure drawings. The pieces consisted of only lines. Smaller lines created the smaller details and features of the forms. An even line weight was kept throughout each figure drawing as well. However, in the abstract drawings, the lines had a variety of weight to them. Some lines had a heavier line weight while others had a lighter line weight. Most of the lines had no curvature. The lines were straight. Other lines had slight curves to them, but curves were a small part to each piece of abstract. The lines in the abstract pieces also created the shapes. Most of the shapes were the geometric, and objective shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. However, organic shapes were shown as well with occasional trees and fish. Some of the organic shapes are biomorphic as well because they have curvature to them and came from nature. Each of these shapes are created by lines, and lines are seen throughout all of the pieces.

Color is not shown in the figure drawings, but in the abstract drawings a variety of different colors are shown. Both cool and warm colors are in the pieces because there are series of reds, oranges, yellows, greens and blues. The cool colors and the warm colors contrasted each other. Most of the pieces were warm so those colors made the cool colors more obvious. However, the colors worked well with each other. None of the color mixed together. Each color was compartmentalized by the lines and rectangles in the piece. Occasionally the shapes create a three dimensional effect by slightly changing the color. This strategy is achieved by using monochromatic colors which creates depth in these shapes. There is no blank space in these pieces because the colors are so diverse and no spot is left blank.

Scale is shown in both types of pieces. The abstract pieces had a surrealistic form of scale, while the figure drawings requires human scale, and proportion. The abstract pieces showed the surrealism in it by demonstrating a sense of reality while also clearly showing the piece isn’t something that actually exists. The figure drawings had a much different kind of scale. Proportion was used to make the person not have abnormally big or small body parts. It makes all parts work with the rest of the person’s body. Proportion is what makes the person look realistic as opposed to surrealistic. Human scale in the figure drawings give the person drawn his or her physical qualities. It basically creates the person’s body and features. Each of the pieces in the gallery showed some form of scale. One type was a surrealistic type of scale and the other was a realistic scale.

While visiting a gallery with the Foundations class, we had to search for evidence of both the elements and principles of design. There was both figure and abstract drawings at the gallery. Amongst the abstract pieces and the figure drawings many elements and principles were present. The main elements shown were lines, shapes and colors. The main principles were scale and contrast.

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