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Lesson Plans

Re:big & small

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Fri, 5 Feb 1999 14:52:49 -0600

scale is a tool artists can use to manipulate the behavior or experience of
the viewer. Part of the purpose in making wall-art large is sometimes so the
viewer's entire range of vision is engulfed by the image. The frame and the
wall don't interfere.
Also, in work that uses broad physical gestures, like that of Franz Kline -
the sweeping arc of the arm holding the brush is, in a way, a description of
human scale.
Another use is to cause the viewer to step far back in order to see the full
image. That's an important part of viewing, for example, Monet's waterlilies
or Seurat's big well known park scene (the title of which I grossly
misspell, but you know the one!) . Known for large work, Chuck Close also
uses a comparatively smaller format with techniques that can be "read" from
a closer view - like photogravure & mezzotint. But like Seurat, Close's
large scale pieces force the viewer to step way back in order to allow his
optics to work.