Using 2-5 shapes cut out of black paper arrange them on a piece of white paper so that they are not read as black shapes on a white ground. 

Gestalt Theory/Fragment Project

Cut 75 two inch squares of any color. On the small squares using another color, paint any type of solid shape (simple, complex, geometric, organic) so that it touches all four sides of the square.  Arrange the different squares together so that they form a grid.  Observe what happens to the shapes.  How do fragments group together to form a larger whole? How do different colors group together to form a pattern which then implies a larger shape? How does each unit function for the whole? What does uniform size of fragment do for the piece? Introduce the idea of irregular outside shape. How do inside shapes relate to the outside shape of the page? Is larger outside shape specific enough in terms of action on the inside?

Strategies for Composition

Make a list of 30 items with similar characteristics (shape, color, function, etc.) or typology. Using these 30 items (either the real objects, images of the objects, etc.) Make 6 different compositions that illustrate each of the organizational methods (theme, variation, contrast, hierarchy, sequence, structure). Any method/material may be used and should be considered relevant to the context/content of the piece; each piece can explore a different process (or not); all 30 items must stay the “same” i.e.: used for the six examples.

The following images are pieces from one student - her 30 items were different species of fish.

Time & Sequence

Using the definition of time (the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues; a non-spatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future) show through three different processes/methods/means, the same narrative. For instance, in Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” time is illustrated in one image as the figure transitions in a series of overlaps and transparencies. How could that be experienced in actual time? A video? A performance? How could that be experienced in terms of chronology? A flipbook or time-lapse photography? Narrative? A Storyboard? Chronology? An animation? Many of these overlap; it is up to you to decide how/why and to explain your idea(s). Choose three ways of altering the viewer’s experience of time using the same initial concept and using three different methods ie: printmaking, animation, etc.

The following images are pieces from one student - she explored the assignment’s ideas around time through a martial arts practice of meditation. The first piece is a diagram of each move in the exercise. The second piece is a video of the student doing the movements at different locations and different times of the day. The final piece is documentation of a performance during the critique, where she instructed each person in the class on how to do the exercise.



The Color Wheel

Color Relativity

To make small squares of the same color look as different as possible from each other through placement on different ground.


Introduction/ Definitions

Using paint, illustrate spectrum; primary, secondary, and tertiary colors; complementary and analogous colors; triadic, monochromatic


Reverse Grounds                    

Take two chips of one color and try to make them look like the opposing grounds using color aid paper.


Illusion of Transparency

To demonstrate the ability to choose the correct “mixture” color of two parent colors; to create a “believable” mixture in paper, without the use of paint.

Film Color, Optical Mixture, Spatial Illusion

3 Free studies showing one of each: film color, optical mixture, and spatial illusion (push/pull).

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Color Relatedness

To create compositions where color exists for color’s sake and therefore appears autonomous, not merely as accompaniment to form/shape.” (Albers)