Subjective Forms

Discussion in 'Art & Design' started by gius, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    written by Johannes Itten
    from Design & Form: Basic Course @ the Bauhaus


    In my Vienna painting class of 1918 I had a talented student of a most characteristic type.
    She was delicate, small, shy, and soft-spoken. Her eyes were like moonstones, and her pale skin was transparent.
    She wore her hair loose, and while she worked it sometimes fell over her face like a veil.
    Her drawings and watercolours were without lines, in gray tones as if veiled;
    they conformed exactly to the appearance of the artist.

    This observation led me to recognize subjective forms and colours also in the works of other students.
    Simple people, unspoiled by schools, nearly always work in their subjective forms and colours.
    Where false instruction had destroyed the aptitude for original form,
    I found exercises which led the various students back to their appropriate forms.

    The subjective character can appear in various ways:
    in the proportions, the form character, in light and dark,
    in lines, in textures, in colours, and often in combination of these means of expression.

    There is a relationship between the shapes of man and the forms which he designs.
    The same forces which produce the specific shapes of a man
    according to his physical, spiritual, and intellectual constitution are able to influence the man's work.
    When a man is genuine, everything he does becomes a reflection of his own formative powers.

     
    #1 gius, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 2, 2009
  2. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Fig. 184 illustrates the problem of these forces in a moving way.
    A curiously twisted figure sits on a cube, it seems unbalanced and lopsided.
    The student actually suffered from a hip ailment. All her drawings lacked balance until I pointed this out to her,
    and she was able to correct the fault rationally.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Another student never used tones in her compositions and drawings, always lines -- crinkled and curly, if possible.
    She was blonde, fair-skinned, with strands of curly hair.
    Everything simple became complicated in her mind; she did not easily find her way in life.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Figs. 187 and 188 represent a student with broad, large-scaled features, black hair and eyes.
    Her strong, simple, and large-scaled appearance is clearly reflected in the two designs which she made at the beginning of the first lesson.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    The first goal of all teaching should be to develop genuine seeing, genuine feeling, and genuine thinking.
    Empty, superficial imitations should be removed like warts. Encouraging a return to original creativity frees the students
    from the constraint of mere outside learning. Every subjective form is genuine when it corresponds to the temperamental constitution of the artist.

    I distinguish three basic types, the naturalistic-impressive, the intellectual-constructive, and the spiritual-expressive.

     
    #5 gius, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 2, 2009
  6. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Figs. 189 and 190 show a clear example of the naturalistic-impressive [type]. The drawing is the result of sharp visual observation
    and precise representation to the smallest details.
    The naturalistic-impressive type starts by observing the natural varieties
    and represents them realistically without expressive additions.

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 gius, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 2, 2009
  7. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    The intellectual-constructive type starts from the construction of an object
    and tries to grasp and geometrize everything clearly (Figs. 193, 194).
    [​IMG]
     
    #7 gius, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 2, 2009
  8. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    The spiritual-expressive type is guided by intuitive feelings; he neglects the constructive forms
    and studies the tone values with special care (Figs. 191 and 192).
    When we compare the two portraits, Figs. 192 and 194, we can easily see that these two students have entirely different temperaments.
    They worked side by side.
    One experienced the variety of light and dark tones emotionally;
    the other sough concise, clear, and constructively secure forms.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    .-->
    more later ! :lucky:
     
  10. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    Conclusion

    In teaching drawing from nature I often gave the following assignment: Interpret the object first expressively, then constructively, then naturalistically, and finally in a generally valid design synthesis. Naturally, the student always succeeds best with the assignment which conforms to his own temperament. Such exercises shed a clear light on the strong and weak points of each constitution. Through his reason, man is able to recognize the impersonal principle and to use it objectively. In a deeper sense, all measuring and constructing is a method to overcome personal limitations and shortcomings and to arrive at an objective and generally valid statement.

    When dealing with subjective colours or subjective forms, it is valuable for teachers and artists to know and consider these facts. Such study leads us to recognize our own powers and to respect the other-ness of our fellow men.

    Teachers should be careful not to urge their own forms and colours on the students. Every student's own subjective gifts should be unlocked. The objective principles of form and colour help the student to strengthen his own powers and to expand his creative talent.
     
  11. Crying Diamonds

    Crying Diamonds Geometric Discharge

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    7,297
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is so interesting - referring to the first half: could it then be possible to predict what sort of expression the artist would use by merely looking at them?
    If I had to place myself in one of the three given styles it would have to be intellectual-constructive (not that the former is necessarily true) but I am obsessed by straight and bold lines and even in life drawing the person drawn always appears with corners and geometric shapes.
    It pleases me, but others don't like them at all.

    I want to see more Gius.
     
  12. Estella*

    Estella* a dim capacity for wings

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello gius {you really are doing a great job here, all of the threads you open are worth visiting and such an inspiration - merci!}

    it's so funny because i only just came upon this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoversol/page2/

    and people always do tell me i look like one of my drawings.
     
  13. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    ^ i would say the same thing to you too :heart: looking like your drawings
    very nice to see you here again btw! & thank you

    C_D that is a good point
    Being able to see what they are like by looking at their face
    but faces can sometimes be deceiving i think...
    i can't say if people would say i look like my work. they seem maybe more, pleasantly surprised

    i notice my drawings in high school look very much like the girl in post#3 and i had curlier hair back then haha. i don't think i was complicated though.
     
    #13 gius, Feb 6, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 6, 2009
  14. gius

    gius chat~

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    10,858
    Likes Received:
    6
    subjective colour harmony

    In my design class we made colour harmonies/ colour palettes;
    The story is based on something about ourselves

    This was mine (circa early 2007)
    I wrote that most of them were tinted or shaded to express a reservedness in behaviour, and also that the majority of the colours were blue and grey blue. Then here and there few sparks of saturated colour scattered throughout: unorganized and unpredictable. Unexpected changes in mood.
    In the centre complementary red and green like "yin and yang." The red is softened to say that the contrast or opposition between the two colours is not very extreme. They are almost 'friends.' There is also a very, very light red near the corner to show an imbalance/ instability.

    Camera's not very good on this computer so the streaks are lost in the photo. They also change, horizontal and vertical all over the grid.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"