Shape is one of the six elements of art which is, in many ways, often defined by the other elements – line, space, color, texture, composition. In its most basic form, shape is “the particular physical form or appearance of something; an arrangement that is formed by joining lines together in a particular way or by the line or lines around its outer edge” (Cambridge Dictionary Online). Shape has height and width, thus existing in the two dimensional realm whereas form has height, width, and depth – existing in the three dimensional realm. Shapes are usually categorized as being geometric – manmade, mathematical origin or organic – found in nature, typically asymmetrical. Repeated shapes create patterns.
While isometric means to have equality of measure, an isometric drawing challenges the visual in terms of space, volume, and surface area by eliminating the distortion of typical perspective drawing. Isometric drawing paper (as seen below) doesn’t contain horizontal lines. It has a grid of triangles running vertically and diagonally. In normal perspective drawings, all lines converge towards the vanishing point; however, in isometric drawings that is not the case. They are supposed to show as much detail as possible because the lines do not converge. Isometry is employed to visually depict objects of three-dimensions in two-dimensions. Artists such as MC Escher explore principals of isometry and isometric drawing.
The artists’s book is understood as “almost always self-conscious about the structure and meaning of the book as a form…ultimately, an artist’s book has to have some conviction, some soul, some reason to be and to be a book in order to succeed” (DruckerThe Century of Artists’ Books). In its initial production, between the 1890s and 1900s, the artists’s books appealed to society as collector items. Two Parisian art dealers, Ambroise Vollard and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, created the livre d’artiste “deluxe edition book” which involved a collaboration not only between artists, but between artist and typographer, designer, printer, poet, and dealer. Ultimately, the artists’s book createshybrid forms of media which “circulate around the concept that art is primarily about ideas and secondarily about aesthetics” (Drucker). (see http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/artbooks/browse_books.php for a library of artists’ books…)
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