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- Read Chapter 5 and look at the PowerPoint presentation; specially focusing on Balance.
- You are assigned to a discussion group. However – you may switch to another group if it’s open.
- Each group member should provide four examples they found in the textbook (or if you have your own original work of art that you want to share) for the following types of balance in a work of art:
- Symmetrical balance
- Relieved symmetry
- Radial balance
- Asymmetrical balance
Unlike my examples – your examples should not be from Chapter 5.
- After you discuss the examples of your group members and see if you agree with them or not, you should choose ONE out of your four and explain how the form (type of balance) affects the content (theme, meaning etc) of the artwork.
Example for Step 3
- Symmetrical Balance: Haruka Kojin, reflectwo (detail), 2007
- Relieved Symmetry: Georgia O’Keeffe, Deer’s Skull with Pedernal, 1936
- Radial Balance: Chartres Cathedral, The South Rose Window, 1225
- Asymmetrical Balance: Gustav Klimt, Death and Life, 1910/15
Example for Step 4
Gustav Klimt, Death and Life, 1910/15
The balance in this painting is asymmetrical. It contains one large and light amorphic shape on the right side, which is balanced by a smaller and darker elongated shape on the left. The composition is balanced since small but dark shape can balance a larger light shape.
Klimt creates a composition that on first glance appears like its sides are totally unconnected – they have different shapes and colors, different sizes, they have defined boundaries and there is a distance between them. On first view seems as life and death are totally seperated. However, in a closer look the gaze of the viewer follows the gaze of the skull on the left to find that among the sleepers one woman is awake and gazing right back at death – waiting for him. The disturbed viewer realizes the connection between the two groups. While the living are asleep and not aware of his presence death is always awake and ready to take someone.