Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Modernist Grid

The grid is a ubiquitous sign of modernity. It is a schematic that is a universe tool in organizing visual information although it is more associated with modern art and architecture, science and technology, and modern cities.

The grid can mirror the vertical and horizontal edges of a page, canvas or screen.  It emphasizes flatness, straightness, and the materiality of its support. It can function as an organizing structure as in the case of Chuck Closes painting Emma, or as form itself as in the case of Mondrian's and Martin's paintings.

 Emma, Woodcut print 2002  Chuck Close

Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow, Piet Mondrian

On A Clear Day, 1973, Agnes Martin

As an organizing tool it guides the disposition of elements within the two-dimensional plane. It can function as an invisible or visible structure. It activates the entire space into a structured field. It is a rationale for why and how parts are placed within the space.

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