Figure Ground and Printmaking


Robert Morris
(American, born 1931)
Untitled, 1965-66
Fiberglass and fluorescent light; 24 x 14 x 97 in.
Courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art,

In design, the concept of gestalt is something like the whole is different than the sum of its parts

You can think of the following shapes as they are:

O ) . .

or you can think of them as a smiley face.

This is the beginning of a big concept called gestalt.

Major components as to why this works are: figure ground relationships, proximity (composition and balance), similarity (repetition and unity), and closure (implication as in implied shapes, lines, etc.).

This week in class we will be looking at balance and proximity via compositional message and will also talk about figure/ground relationships.  Your homework will be to work on a figure ground composition as well as to begin thinking about a design you will print to use in a larger composition.

studio: Notan Squares

+/-design you will use for next weeks printing session.


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