The Alphabet of Art
|| Resulting Attributes
Spatially in depth
Shapes can be divided into naturalistic shapes and geometric shapes.
In a landscape, naturalistic shapes, such as trees, usually predominate
in contrast to manmade, geometric shapes, such as houses. Landscape
architecture is the art of reconciling the two extremes of landscape
and manmade shapes.
Geometric shapes express minimum contrast and are thus more decorative
than naturalistic shapes. Multiple or repeated use of geometric
shapes increases and enhances their decorative effects.
One way of making a geometric shape more decorative or less contrasting
is to employ the Golden Mean Rectangle. You construct such a rectangle
- Draw a square.
- Use the diagonal of half the square as a radius. Rotate this
radius to the base line, then extend the rectangle to the point
where the arc meets the baseline.
The resulting area will be 1 as to 1.618. The ratio of the width
to the length will also be 1 to 1.618, and the ratio of the extended
base to the original base will also be 1 to 1.618.|
Marcel Duchamp's famous painting, "A Nude Descending a Staircase"
shows the repeated use of geometric shapes. The multiple use of
the same geometric shape was not only decorative, but demonstrated
how a painting could show movement. The picture created a furor,
as it was a new way of using Shape.
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