Monday, 3 March 2014

Geometric Abstraction

These are some of the Geometric images that I have made recently. I'll explain how some of them were made.

All of them have used some form of vector graphics.

This first one, for example is simply a 10 by 4 grid of squares each with an axial fill going from black to white. This fill can be in any one of four directions (NS, EW, SN, WE) thus yielding four different squares when pasted into the grid. Each column of four squares contains each of the four possible squares appearing once each. All ten columns are different. This design is based on a sculpture by Mary Martin, owned by the Tate and exhibited a couple of years ago. The sculpture is made of 1ft square steel plates (from memory) and it has 24 columns (all possible arrangements of four things). So it's about 24 foot long. Impressive.

This is perhaps more obviously geometric, in the sense that you can see the influence of vector graphics. It comprises two irregular stars and two irregular curves, juxtaposed. The stars are identical in outline. Each is made from five straight lines. The curves are also identical in outline and each made from six (bezier) curves. The design is influenced by Roy Lichtenstein in two respects. Obviously the dots, but also the perfect/imperfect relationships of the shapes and the edges of the frame.

This image begins as a 22 horizontal strokes. The strokes are not however simply made from straight lines. They are made from many, initially straight, very short curves. A transformation which rotates the centre of the image (within a circle) then stretches these lines into these attractive optical shapes. The transformation is one that is very easy to achieve on a raster image, but that doesn't scale. Doing it with vectors is the right way to go.

Perhaps this is less obviously geometric, but in practice there are more vector calculations involved here than in the earlier pieces. The image is based on a patchwork of irregular cells (called Coon's patches) which have the property that as you pass from cell to cell the curved edges of the cells is (mostly) smooth. The patches are then filled with gradients of colour (here just black and white) to obtain this apparently solid, almost biological, appearance