sabato 30 ottobre 2010

The curved line in visual art

The curved line appears first in architecture and only later in the visual arts. In particular, the Baroque painting is characterized by swirling curvilinear trends that make it dramatically expressive, just think of Caravaggio, the Carracci, Rembrandt, Lanfranco, Velazquez and many others. The English painter William Hogarth (1697-1764) creates a composition like a S called "line of beauty" and find the secret of harmony in the double curve.
In the nineteenth century William Morris (1834-1896), founder of British design movement "Arts & Crafts", rediscovers the curved line through the revival of Gothic, in a style that involves the fine arts, applied arts and crafts.This is the century of the artistic movement called Art Nouveau in France, Secession in Austria, Jugendstil in Germany, Liberty in Italy, Modernism in Spain.
In general, it can be said that the curved line is suitable to represent the natural elements in a stylized way, as in the Liberty, which adopts a curved line known as "whiplash," but it is also well suited to suggest the idea of spiritualistic nature force so as in the Symbolism.
Among the modern artists, Paul Klee uses the curved line in many of his designs "childish" in which the curve grows at infinity; Gustav Klimt instead proposes flat and curved shapes, stylized as arabesques, elegant dancers, and still lifes. Oskar Kokoschka, a member of the Secession, favors a curved line to better express his troubled relationship with the life suffered, while Edvard Munch uses the complex curved line of A­rt Nouveau to express his poetic anxiety. In Italy Gaetano Previati, one of the greatest artists of the Liberty, use a wavy and serpentine line.
Finally, Sol Lewitt, famous for its murals with bands straight, vertical and horizontal, feels the need to introduce the curved line in his last wall drawings to expand its discourse on art as a metaphor for the complexity of life.

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