Robin Zelenka Research Paper Nov 2011 Space: Real or Illusion Genre and medium are the key

choices that an artist manipulates to translate their creative expression: although it is the space within the work that makes the interpretive information the strongest for the viewer. Rationally speaking, the word space has a multitude of definitions which can be categorized into two main categories: time and its duration, and an area or extension. As artists we consistently deal with the space within and around our work on a daily basis, but which of these ideas concerning the inclusion of space become the driving force that pushes the direction of the work. Many artists choose to create space by using the principles of color and illusion. Painters who wish to portray depth on a flat surface must work continually with adequate choice of line and color to achieve the sense of a third dimension. Zdenek Koeib is one such painter that works under the guideline that the presentation of space as a concrete dimension is justifiable in nonconcrete abstract art. (Koeib) He has divided the dimensional space within his paintings into three different categories; positive space, negative space, and quasi-negative space. In this reference, the positive space within a painting refers to the concentration of the dynamic energy or aesthetic manifestation of applied work to a piece. In contrast, the negative space within the work is passive and subordinate to the positive space. Without the use of negative space to add a balance to the work, a piece with only positively activated space tends to appear flattened. Koeib makes a distinction within his work that he refers to as the quasi-negative space. This space refers to his integration of linear or geometrical based designs into the negative space of his paintings that add a dimensional value to an otherwise passive area of the work. His inclusion of the quasi-negative space enhances the effectiveness of the paintings by creating a greater variety in the composition and strengthening the visual tension.

Robin Zelenka Research Paper Nov 2011 Other artists like Opy Zouni have expanded beyond the two dimensional plane. Due to her preoccupation with the representation of three dimensional spaces she started expanding her work by creating pieces on constructed surfaces. Zouni attributes the direction of her work to the influences of the vast deserts and seascapes of her homeland, Egypt and her current home of Greece. (Zouni) These influences become apparent through her strong use of contrast and geometrical images. For painters the use of color contrast is a widely used practice, but Zouni also plans her contrasts by the use of different surfaces and textures to add into the work or as the foundation of its construction. Geometrical planes or linear patterns are used frequently with the work to assist in the overall illusion to create a feeling of depth. Similarities exist between the use of line and contrast to create space in the work by both Zouni and Bridget Riley. Riley, who was also known as the queen of Op Art , based her work primarily on the optical illusion that is created by both contrast of colors and linear planes. The end result of Riley s work had the appearance of depth and movement, because of how the eye reacts to the illusionary space created within the painting. Various artists like Zouni, have used this type of technique within their work to enhance and create space without focusing solely on optical trickery. In addition to the use of color and contrast to create the illusion of space, two dimensional artists have used three dimensional objects in a variety of combinations to achieve similar results. Interesting spatial effects are created when two separate types of visual vocabularies work together to form a single unit. Daria Dorosh relies upon the activation of two separate entities to create dynamic relationships in her work. She chooses to convey the transitions between art and object, illusion and reality, abstraction and realism by releasing the autonomy of her paintings in her juxtapositions to create a new vantage point. (Dorosh) In some of her work, she achieved these results by adding a chair positioned in front of the painting which placed it into the role of the background. This

Robin Zelenka Research Paper Nov 2011 new situation made the painting less iconic and because of its interaction with the space the combination made the work more powerful for the viewer. Considerable amounts of two dimensional artists who search to create the space of the three dimensional genre have grown out and away from the standard placement on the wall with their work. Artists that are motivated by the need to include more space or a sense of depth tend to feel limited by adhering to the standard use of perspective and contrasts within the two dimensional plane. Darius Lipski is one of the artists who gave up trying to base his work upon the two dimensions to experiment in the third dimension, because of his strong desire and motivations to achieve a greater sense of space. Space, with its constant changes and limitless character, allows an artist to consider a variety of creative solutions. (Lipski) His work has moved far beyond the walls or the gallery space into nature. Lipski feels that the changes that take place within the biological atmosphere of nature allow him the inspiration to create work that more closely resembles infinite space. When one works in the three dimensions they become more aware of the importance of the creative process, because it will reflect a truer state of life that we encounter daily. This state of existence is constantly undergoing change depending on time, weather conditions, the season, place and the mental state of the artist. The state of the artist in turn is driven by their own perception or mental space; which is in reality an image of a physical space. Mental space is then the result of a constructive process that usually causes the perceiver to view the world not as it is but in a way that is conditioned by the conventions of his culture. (Patricios) Since space is a product of the individual mind and is driven by an artist s cultural conventions, can we actually know whether it is real space or an illusion?

Robin Zelenka Research Paper Nov 2011

Dorosh, Daria. "Art and Context: A Personal View." Leonardo (1988): 361-366. Koeib, Zdenek. "Quasi-Negative Space in Painting." Leonardo (1986): 141-144. Lipski, Dariusz. "Seeking the Image of Space in the Infinity of Nature: Installations." Leonardo (1988): 1923. Patricios, N. N. "Concepts of Space in Urban Design, Architecture and Art." Leonardo (1973): 311-318. Zouni, Opy. "Space Through Color and Illusion." Leonardo (1985): 96-99.

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