thinking visually: exploring lines and shapes

In this module of “thinking visually”, we were tasked with a number of line and shape-based pieces, based on our work in module 1, urban photography. While I’m not yet meant to publish that work here, I was instead asked to look at artists who use line or shape in an interesting way.

Firstly, I came across Josh Bryan, a young English artist who makes geometric portraits. The pen drawings could really fit in either category, choosing to use only straight lines and shapes to make each portrait. I thought in the end that he fit best in use of line, as his technique is so unique due to his use of line and the precision and certainty with each stroke.

Bryan’s work is beautiful and complex, yet also quite simple, from afar. The fact that they are only black and white allows the viewer to focus entirely on the linework. They are quite astounding portraits.

Images sourced from: https://mymodernmet.com/josh-bryan-pen-portraits-triangulation/

Juan Gris, an artist I didn’t know much about, was a contemporary of Picasso and Braque. His cubism, as in the example provided, relied heavily on shapes and colour to put across his meaning. This piece, Bottle of Rum and Newspaper, tells us what it is in the title, however uses familiar motifs to bring this meaning across in the painting itself. His use of colour compliments this style, just as Bryan above’s lack of colour compliments his own.