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Title: Some new approaches to composition in painting
Authors: Aryeetey, Robert Samuel
Issue Date: 3-Sep-1993
Series/Report no.: 2001;
Abstract: Throughout art history the subject of composition has been an integral part of any work of art. From cave painting to the most modern artistic expression, each artist strives to purify and intensify his work with personal feeling remarkably influenced by the subject of composition. With the aid of composition, artists have vividly interpreted nature, concepts and their inner disposition. They have also demonstrated a constant strive to alter the expressive content of nature to evoke feelings of factual, spiritual, whimsical or analytical perceptions of nature. This is a reward of a full act of intellectualism and creative perception instigated by composition. The execution of a work of art is dictated by a logic that reflects an order. It is this order that gives unity and ideal assemblage of the elements the artist uses in composing a work ofart. It is this order that enables the observer to comprehend the meaning of how the artist arranges the visual elements (line, colour, tone, texture, space) in a manner compatible with his ideas and feelings. To exploit new possibilities, imagination and invention are necessary on the part of each artist. It is against this background that the principles of composition are valuable guides in any work of art. However, using them rigidly will impair creativity and development. We are made to understand that compositional principles for a good work of art involves rhythm, balance and harmony predominantly, it can also be claimed that our artistic expression. However a process of expansion in composition is inevitable since the conceptual methods in painting, for instance, have been expanding significantly within the last few decades. Therefore new principles and logic in composition have to be groped for. To discard convention is not contradictory neither is it aphoristic. It rather enhances the limitlessness that man can make in artistic expression to suggest things beyond himself. For instance, the period after Impressionism has been radical in stamping out ambiguity and monotony in artistic expression. Hence one way to go on persevering to discover new truths is to overturn and question existing rules in composition - the pivot of every work of art. This project is an ambitious aim of re-interpreting composition and to probing and testing a hypothetical framework that has been developed by the researcher. While making use of traditional methods of composition, the researcher re-examines the very theory and practice of composition that has been known and found to be so serviceable to every artist. The research is a record of this re-examination as well as the contribution of some artists. It does not aim at simply upsetting the conventions of composition but it justifies, refines and re-interprets it in the light of recent contemporary works in Ghana. Some of the effects exploited in this research, may be known to art a long time ago. Yet, they have remained in comparative obscurity as devices by individual artists to documentation. Every artist should not simply repeat the stereotypes of conventions. He should rather adapt novel characteristics to its function by embodying certain distinctive features to which he knows belongs to that particular function. This supplies information over and above the facts already known. Once we pay attention to this principle of the adapted stereotype, we will be defining within the conventional idiom more flexible and therefore plausible manner of expression. Chapter One outlines the setting of the problem. In the pages that follow Chapter One, relevant literary sources are reviewed due to their immense contribution to the topic of the research. What the principles of composition implied and what happens when they are reversed is the subject of Chapter Three. The early pages of Chapter Three serve in general to review and extend fundamental concepts already known in composition. It may serve to provide a common background for students who have been given different types of courses in composition. When one understands the remarkable effect of compositional techniques, then all painters can go further towards making their own derivations for creative expression. Theory, practice and definition are aspects achieved throughout the research. Some of the views expressed in Chapter Four are a result of observation in nature and of research into some paintings of professional artists, lecturers and students. Influences which bear on these groups vary and the awareness of art activity to each of these groups are different.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 1993
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3407
Appears in Collections:College of Arts and Social Sciences

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