Monday, January 27, 2014

Three-dimensional design à la Wucius Wong: Serial Planes in repetition and gradation

Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
2014 © Wade D. Vollink
Serial Planes
16" w x 13" h x 7" d
photographs by versluis

This semester at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa a new course in three-dimensional design is being offered. In this student design project, titled Serial Planes, as Wucius Wong states, “Volume is represented by a series of planes, each plane is a cross-section of the volume. Thus, to construct a volumetric form, we can think in terms of its cross-sections, or how the form can be sliced up at regular intervals, which will result in serial planes.” (1)

The serial planes in the design above rely on the effective use of gradation of shape for impact. The positive curvilinear forms are contrasted with the negative circular shapes that move diagonally from larger to smaller and vice versa. The broad curves resonate and enhance the circular shapes.

It’s interesting when the same design is repositioned to a vertical elevation—the effect of the new perspective becomes very architectural.

  1. Wong, Wucius. Principles of Form and Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1993. 247. Print.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Close-cropped letterforms à la Norman Ives on the Paris Metro

In 1960 Norman Ives commented on his type collages by saying, “The forms grow from three considerations: the modular unit and its various directions; the area of the letter to be cut; and the weight, color and value of the letter form in relation to its neighbors. Letterforms are tightly cropped and reconstructed in a specific configuration.”

This photograph was taken in 2010 by versluis.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

An interesting juxtaposition of Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture and Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera’s exhibition mural

An interesting juxtaposition of Isamu Noguchi and Frida Kahlo at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. The mural for the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico is framed by the Noguchi’s Six-foot Energy Void. The Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico was on view in 2013 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Photograph by versluis.

Isamu Noguchi
American, 1904–1988
Six-foot Energy Void, 1971–85
Swedish granite
Collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

During the 1970s and 1980s, Isamu Noguchi often explored the subject of the void, saying it was “like some inevitable question that I cannot answer.” Regarding this work in particular, he wrote: “At the heart of the energy there must be a terrific void.… Energy and nothingness come together.” The concept of the void, or the space permeating a block of stone, is important to both modern Western sculpture and Japanese philosophy. A Buddhist sutra states “Form is emptiness and emptiness id form.” In Six-foot Energy Void, the void defines the sculpture as much as its mass of stone. The slight torque of the sculpture’s form is evidence of Noguchi’s extraordinary skill as a master stone carver. Six-foot Energy Void is carved from a single piece of granite, and rests upon a rectangular slab of the same material. (1)
  1. The statement/didactic above is from the exhibition label and courtesy of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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