Visual Notation: Artist Studies
Artist studies are often used to understand the visual problems involved in rendering and planning elements such as light, color, form, and perspective in a new composition. The process of creating studies offers new challenges of material and spatial considerations, as well as the opportunity to test scale of production. Artists Matt Devine, America Martin, and Danny Galieote develop studies as an extension of their practice, informing the formal considerations of their finalized works.
Whether working in large or small scale, sculptor Matt Devine manages to convey the dualities of order, simplicity, truth, and harmony through his minimalist sculpture. In an exercise to analyze the balance, weight, and cast shadows of his compositions, Devine completes a variety of small studies. Exploring new compositions and shapes, his larger sculptures echo the visual harmonies attained at a reduced scale. Achieving perceived weightlessness, the gently curved arcs of bent sheet metal are further emphasized in his large installations and wall sculptures.
For America Martin, artist studies afford her the space to visualize the wide planes, smooth curves, and textural surfaces that can be found in her paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Drawing on her Colombian heritage and affinity for modern art, Martin’s works have a timeless presence. In Woman at Rest, Martin’s gestural illustration maps out the figure’s geometric composure and how she fills the surrounding space. Mimicking the reclined stature of the female figure in Woman & Pink Foot, she recreates the composition in a larger scale and further develops the rendering, emphasizing the geometric patterns with bold color blocks and revising some of the bodily proportions, such as the head and face.
Finely rendered, tonal sketches often accompany Danny Galieote’s oil works on canvas. Employing a subtle use of red conte in his black and white drawings, Galieote outlines the figures and other elements of compositional interest in his studies to reflect the luminescence of his paintings. Finishing his sketches with gouache, he achieves a feel of fluidity and surface quality that mirrors his paintings.