Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Textbook-Based Blog #2: INTERNATIONAL STYLE

Artist: Armin Hofmann
Title:  Giselle, Basler Freilichtspiele
Date: 1959

Title:  Das Holz als Bau Stoff
Date: 1952

Title:  R. Adams, Skulptur, 7 Junge Englische Maler
Date: 1950-1963

Explain: The International Style is about being clean, neat, simple, professional, timeless, yet artistic and unique. Armin Hofmann keeps true to the International Style.  All of his works shown maintain a limited color pallet and in their simplicity, they are eye-catching and far from boring.  The overall composition is different, and it works.  Another commonality between these three pieces as well is that they are all typography based.  The International Style is about the large presence of type and the style of type.  Illustrations are rare if ever used and photography is used at a minimum.

In Das Holz als Bau Stoff, there is a photo used.  Even though the photo is used, it is kept dark and in black and white.  Only the highlights are apparent, and the highlights are balanced out by "Giselle" being vertical on the other side of the page.  Even in the asymmetrical characteristics of these pieces, there is always a balance found throughout them.  Another example of off-centered balance is found in the second image, Das Holz als Bau Stoff.  Although there is a large amount of text on the left side of the page, the small box of text in the upper right brings it back just enough to give an overall sense of harmony.  Between the boxes of color and text, R. Adams, Skulptur, 7 Junge Englische Maler also achieves the same balance.  

Artist: Alvin Lustig
Title:  Vivaldi
Date: 1953

Title:  Industrial design in America 1954
Date: 1954

Title:  "What's behind it?"
Date: 1952

Explain:  Alvin Lustig, unlike Hofmann, is attracted to using color.  Even though he uses color though, he still sticks with the qualities of the International Style and keeps the number of colors to a select few.  In Vivaldi, there is a play of color with triangles, and the triangles reiterate the shapes of the letters in the word Vivaldi.  As stated in my comments about Hofmann, I said that the International Style was based around type and that there are limited uses of illustration.  In this case, as in many, the illustration echos and is a part of the type.  It emphasizes the type.

In the case of the last work, "What's Behind It?," it has the International Style essence because of the variety in thick and thin lines along with small type and an interesting, but very simple and primitive illustration in the background.  It almost looks like a fish or an eye to me, but the fun of the piece is that it could be anything!  It could even simply be abstract, but it looks professional and interesting with the line variation and the horizontally aligned text.  The four separated but united columns help reiterate the style as well.

Artist: Josef-Muller Brockmann
Title: Color Sticks
Date: 1960

Title:  Musica viva blue
Date: 1958

Title:  Musica viva radial
Date: 1970

Explain: With these pieces, Brockmann is very connected to the International Style.  Most of his work is illustration based; however, there is enough text to get the point across.  The illustrations in themselves are simple and consist of about three colors, some a few more, but it is kept to a basic color system.

In the above examples, there is a diversity found among this in their unity.  There are basic shapes, circles and squares, a combination of both, etc.  There really is not a consistency in the text found.  Some headlines are large, some have the whole text large.  The balance between illustration and text is one of the foundations of the International Style.  Having the ability to create the balance between the two without one overpowering the other is easier said than done.  Brockmann did an excellent job of creating that balance - the balance between illustration and text and between the colors as a harmony.

No comments:

Post a Comment