Yesterday I left off with the thought that if lines and circles were a bit much to handle, perhaps I should have a better look at the good old dot.
Then Dad sent me this…
Oh boy. I’d say mine is more… colourful? Clearly I have a lot to learn about dots. Bridget Riley was born in England in 1931 and became one of the big names in the Op Art movement. She was also the first woman to win (in 1968) the painting prize at the Venice Biennale. (More about her here.)
Dad was not done with lines, though… and also sent this:
Thankfully, he also sent an explanatory comment about the Golden Section which was, apparently, the point of the series of boxes. I’ll try to explain in case you aren’t right up on your geometry. Top left – a square. Kind of boring. (I’m paraphrasing Dad here… there were a series of texts and then a lengthy phonecall before I got this all straight in my head). Next box – a square cut in half. Also kind of boring. Next up, a square cut in half in the other direction. Also not so interesting. Then, bisected squares bisected to make smaller squares. Ho-hum. And then, in the bottom row, things get interesting.
Basically, you take a square and bisect it (see bottom row, square on the left). Take the diagonal of one of the halves. Add that distance to the bottom line of the square on the left… the resulting rectangle (I’ve added some red lines to my version below) is roughly 1.65: 1 (length to height) ratio.
Mine isn’t super accurate as I didn’t use a compass or set square, so my measurements are not quite right, but you get the idea. Anyway, that basic rectangle in those proportions pops up over and over again in architecture dating back to those clever ancient Greeks. Even before that, the ratio appears in snail shells and the way in which the spiral pattern is formed in the seeds of a sunflower head. Those complex examples are waaaaaaaay beyond my capacity to draw, but the basic principle of the ratio remains the same.
Unrelated to the Golden Ratio, I was also determined to have a look at basic three dimensional shapes…
The boxes are a bit wobbly and the one on the table top/flat surface to the right is all wrong as the two surfaces are on two different, incompatable planes… Which led us into a discussion about perspective that was accompanied by another flurry of diagrams from Dad. Which will have to wait until tomorrow as those messages spun off into a discussion of perspective, various other artists, primary colours, and art-themed movies not to be missed…
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