Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 73

Form is the manifestation of the state of equilibrium attained at a given time.
The inherent characteristics of content are movement and change.
We might, therefore, though it is certainly a simplification,
define form as conservative and content as revolutionary.

Ernst Fischer – The Necessity of Art: A Marxist Approach 

For me, it’s always about getting down to basics…

Just jotting down a bit of a ramble that I had to put on paper. This time it’s about: form and content.

Form or specifically the elements of line quality, colors and shapes, even the size of the work, are what communicates its impact.  And since my work does not represent any subject, any difference in content is hopefully the result of the form.

DRAWING 3B - 2012Content on the other hand is usually an attempt to portray something and/or the actual success, based on viewer reaction or comment, in doing so. Regardless of the attempt or the execution, the viewer will react to it based on their immediate and past experience NOT what I the artist supposedly meant to portray or actually portrayed.

And, in my case, I never intended to or meant to portray or actually portrayed anything. I only made decisions regarding the form, its elements while hopefully maintaining some principles of design.

It really is all C.R.A.P. as defined by Robin Williams in her book. Why then does it take such of a leap in imagination to understand the concepts behind what I do or how I do it?

It really is as simple as can be. My work is about nothing and yet each piece is something.

The content within my work is not influenced by my emotional state, spiritual stance, religion, past or current politics or, for that matter society in general. It simply is what it is because I made it so.

Burt Bacharach’s A House Is Not a Home kind of always conveyed, to me at least, a good example for form and content.

A chair is still a chair
Even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house
And a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight…

One person’s chair is another’s prison. A house to one is a home to another.

Ernst Gombrich said that, “All artistic discoveries are discoveries not of likenesses but of equivalencies which enable us to see reality in terms of an image and an image in terms of reality.”

Mondrian, spoke of the …possible disappearance of art. Reality would, he believed, increasingly displace the work of art, which was essentially a substitute for an equilibrium that reality lacked at present. “Art”, he said, “will disappear as life gains more equilibrium.”

Interesting word equilibrium. It is, according to dictionary.com, “a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.” The forces of form – balance versus content as change.

Gombrich also said, “One never finishes learning about art. There are always new things to discover. Great works of art seem to look different every time one stands before them. They seem to be as inexhaustible and unpredictable as real human beings.”

 

Posted on: 05/01/2016, by : Ron Fortier
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