Hirshorn Museum: Elements and Design Examples

Pagosa Springs by Frank Stella

"Pagosa Springs" by Frank Stella

Balance : This piece employs a main concept of balance which is “visual equilibrium.” The top half and the bottom half are symmetrical as well as the right and left side, also known as “symmetrical balance.” The lines are moving in perfectly opposite directions, creating an organized center.

"Painting (Circus Horse)" by Joan Miro

"Painting (Circus Horse)" by Joan Miro

Emphasis: The majority of space in this painting is a plain, burnt-colored background. The viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the white image on the right side of the piece. It interrupts the stillness of the painting. The white color contrasts the neutral background and becomes almost isolated.

"Red Yellow Blue V" by Ellsworth Kelly

"Red Yellow Blue V" by Ellsworth Kelly

Color: This piece is three distinct hues. The painting is comprised of “painters primaries,” (red, blue, yellow) bringing art back to it’s simplest form. This is a feel-good piece due to the meanings associated with the colors. It starts off energetic, moves to optimistic and finished with a cool yet elegant blue.

"Moonmad" by Max Ernst

"Moonmad" by Max Ernst

Form: This piece is a mass that takes up space. It is three dimensional and mostly symmetrical. It uses geometric shapes to be visually appealing.

"Line Up" by Frank Stella

"Line Up" by Frank Stella

Line: This piece is made up of marks moving in different directions. The lines directly effect one another to form squares and to lead the eye in a specific path. With both vertical and horizontal lines, a sense of stability arises from examining this piece.

"Wall Drawing #1113" by Sol LeWitt

"Wall Drawing #1113" by Sol LeWitt

Movement: This piece utilizes compositional movement. It uses repetition and immediate contrast of colors to move the eye from one area of composition to the next. It is dynamic in that the eye is guided by continuous lines and forms. The majority of the shapes in this piece are similar in size giving it a succint,  visually appealing feel.

"For Gordon Bunshaft" by Dan Graham

"For Gordon Bunshaft" by Dan Graham

Pattern: The visible side of this installation has an organized surface as the squares repeat in a consistent manner. It goes back to the basic idea of starting with a grid. The work flows because their is no interruption or immediate point of emphasis.

"Brushstroke" by Roy Lichtenstein

"Brushstroke" by Roy Lichtenstein

Proportion: The Hirshorn museum was captured in the background of this piece to display how large this piece is. Compared the reality that is a conventional brushstroke, this piece is dissproportionately large. Proportion can act as social commentary and in this case, the idea of art is represented as big, bold and something that needs to be noticed.

"Pendour" by Barbara Hepworth

"Pendour" by Barbara Hepworth

Rhythm: This sculpture has smooth, easy to follow lines that create a presence of predictability. The same basic element is used as the piece is composed of circles. The lines aren’t harsh, creating a sense regular progression as the lines move throughout.

"Bust of Diego" by Alberto Giacometti

“Bust of Diego” by Alberto Giacometti

Texture: This sculpture distinctly looks and feel rigid. ¬†The literal surfaces are rough and hard. Just by looking at the piece from a strictly visual perspective, it is obvious that it isn’t smooth or flat.

"Last Conversation Piece" by Juan Munoz

"Last Conversation Piece" by Juan Munoz

Unity: The piece represents unity because it must be seen as a whole. When just looking at one small piece of the sculpture, the desired message can’t be seen. It’s a conversation, all the pieces are interacting. The form pulls this piece together as a composition and though the photograph doesn’t show, the individual people have distinct rigid texture.

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