Saturday, 18 March 2006

How To See - A Beginner's Guide

Josef Albers - 'Variant' (1948-52)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy - 'A 19' (1927 - detail)

Josef Albers was one of the inspirational teachers at Black Mountain College (see below), tutor to Robert Rauschenberg whose series of 'White Paintings in part inspired John Cage to think about silence and write 4'33", so I just had to see this exhibition of his work along with Moholy-Nagy.

To change something or at least your experience of something, you don't have to change the thing itself, simply change the things next to it, or what is experienced before, or after it, or indeed at the same time.

Albers illustrated and explored this idea in his monumental work 'Interaction of Colour' (1963), a comprehensive study of the effects of combinations of colours on eachother - ground-breaking and important and relevent to all creative disciplines!

I didn't expect to be blown away by Moholy-Nagy's abstract shapes and colours, but I was! How do my eyes and brain make sense of what I am looking at. Is that a red rectangle on top of a black one, or a red shape beside a brown shape beside a black shape - aha so that's how my mind is working!

Life is full of illusions!

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