Saturday, August 14, 2010

L-shaped composition

Klimt was a master of composing in a square format. He probably favoured the square because it tends to bring out the abstract or architectural qualities of a scene. Though the shapes in this L-shaped composition are quite minimalist, he fills them with interesting textures, applied randomly, but the eye is tricked into seeing fine, realistic detail.


The Australian painter John Anderson makes use of chiaroscuro - strong contrasts between light and dark - to give his images power. This landcape is rather like a charcoal study, and indeed chiaroscuro originated during the Renaissance as drawing on toned paper, where the artist worked from this base mid tone towards light, with white gouache, and towards dark, with ink, bodycolour or watercolour. Chiraoscuro can suggest a dream-like world in which images emerge from the dark background of the subconscious.