“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”

-Edgar Degas

FROM LINE TO FORM
– Harlow/Kleven Collection
Exhibit: July 13 to September 23, 2020
Harlow|Kleven Gallery

On display are selected works from the Harlow/Kleven Collections that showcase the ability of line and form to evoke emotion and develop emphasis through variations and distortions.

Line, Color, Space, and Form

Like written language, artistic language is composed of elements that give meaning to an image.

Written language consists of an alphabet, syntax and punctuation; the arrangement of these items creates meaning and emotion in text.

If you compare the visual elements to the written language elements, color, space and form are the words, the pauses, and expressions, and line is the tone of voice, the speed, and the emotional speed of the author.

Artists use these art elements to create images that tell a story or speak to an issue that they have reflected upon. They use these elements of art to evoke emotion in the telling of their story.

The way an artist lays down a line or changes the shape of an object can change the reading or the meaning of the image. Basquiat stated of his work, “Every single line means something.”

As you look at the pieces in the gallery take note of lines and the forms that are created and ask yourself:
  • Notice the variation in line thickness and direction, how does these variations change the artists voice?
  • What emotion is created by the variations in the lines and forms?
  • Notice how your eye moves around the piece, do you focus on certain lines or forms?
  • How does the object’s form influence your understanding of the piece?
An artist will use variations in line thickness, direction and length to evoke emotions and develop emphasis in the composition. They may also distort forms in unique ways to get the viewer to see familiar items in different ways. This will hopefully get the viewer to think about and experience the world in a different way.