Shapes and Space

From the earliest days of childhood, geometric shapes construct the foundation of how we understand much of the world around us. Not only do they allow for the neat categorization of countless organic forms, but they also inform how we perceive space and the interplay of objects within it. It is through the intentionality of these shapes that we can see beyond the standard figurative images that populate our everyday lives.

Swiss-German painter Paul Klee devised a signature style inspired by the cubist movement of the early 20th century. Klee used geometric shapes, often in saturated tones, to render human figures, animals and architecture. The extreme flatness of his works (counterintuitively) created depth in his compositions. Alma Thomas developed a technique of short brushstrokes to give traditional circles, triangles and squares a dynamic sense of movement that appears to swirl around the canvas. Piet Mondrian employed a different approach to his extremely geometric works allowing the simplicity of form to highlight the relationships between colors.

Minimal forms are far from simple. Being stripped of extraneous detail means they allow us to assess the essence of an artwork and challenge us to rethink art's fundamentals.