Sunday, December 9, 2012


This museum had many things to choose from. The first piece I came across that caught my attention was a linocut/printmaking piece titled “Field” by Samella Lewis 1968. This piece has many formal elements. To begin with, lines are a very big part. The lines are very fierce in some way, very heavy and dark and a large amount of them. This is a 2D piece. The negatives and positive spaces are very tricky depending on which part of the piece you are looking at. One thing we can all agree on is that lines are in those spaces. There is some type of implied depth due to unclear negative space on the bottom half of the piece behind the women, and behind the lines behind her. The colors used this linocut piece are black and white. I feel like this was very smart on the artist part because if color was added, we wouldn’t get the same fierce feel she wanted us to get from it. The lines come up with different patterns, on her clothes as well as the circular figure around her fist, as well as the space on the bottom half behind the lady. Now the composition of this piece has a variety of “sections”. There is a sense of rhythm that the artist wants to keep inserting lines by in a different way each time. In my interpretation the focal point is her fist and what is around it. This piece shows a lot of power. I assume this person is black having been made in the 1960s where there was a lot going on and they were receiving power. It’s a victorious feeling you get when you look at it. I feel she lets you see things by the height of her extended arm length and having a powerful field, hence the title, starting at her fist expanding down half way.

Samella Lewis did the second piece I chose in 1968 as well, titled “Migrants”. The lines used in this linocut/printmaking piece are actual and implied. The bodies are somewhat linear and it’s easier to ready their body language because of this. The shapes are in small quantity but even then things like the moon are not completely circular because you can see its kind of linear as well. The negative space on this is that atmosphere which is behind the tall grass looking things all around the moon. There is implied mass because od the grass, you get a sense that there is think amount of layers since it fills up the space between each single grass itself. There is implied lighting from the moon which I find very beautiful and creative how she was able to figure out a way of doing it. Again she only uses black and white as colors but there isn’t any need for other colors in my opinion. There is unity with the people, and the grass being put so close to each other. The balancing of everything in this piece was done correctly. I think it was the rule of odds that made the balance this way from the one moon, to the seven people sitting down. The reason I chose this piece was because if felt she implied the quite opposite feeling she did from the previous piece. From the expressions on their faces there isn’t much joy. I feel as if they are hiding themselves from people, which might be because they are migrants. There is definitely a lot on everyone’s mind, mostly regret. It is a very strong piece. I hope she made this one before “Field” because it would give the critics more hope than sadness. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Work Bryant. You do a great job observing how the formal elements like line and space can be used for effect in a lino print, which is a medium with specific limitations. Good eyes! And thoughtful personal interpretations as well. 10/10 points