Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Thanksgiving Gratitude List: Formal Elements
It is the Thanksgiving holiday this week in the US, which means that Americans tend to focus on things for which they are thankful. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the formal elements in art for which I am grateful. In other words, these are all of the physical (formal) aspects of art which I find aesthetically pleasing. To me, these things make art beautiful:
Van Gogh, detail of Wheat Field with Cypresses, 1889 (Metropolitan Museum)
an illusion of the human figure.
(Look at how Pluto’s fingers press into Proserpina’s body!)
Bernini, detail of Pluto and Proserpina, 1621-22 (Borghese Gallery)
I am grateful for flat planes of solid color.
Gauguin, Self Portrait with Halo, 1889
I am grateful for monochromatic backgrounds.
Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1871
I am grateful for the luminescent colors afforded by oil paint.
Robert Campin, detail of the Merode Altarpiece, 1425-28