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Illustration

Hypnotic Illustrations Blur Resolute Women into Heavily Patterned Portraits

May 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

“MARA” (2017), pencil and black marker on paper. All images © Sofia Bonati

Argentinian artist Sofia Bonati (previously) illustrates arresting portraits that question the distinction between subject and backdrop. She poses her often unsmiling women against dense floral motifs or within dizzying, black-and-white stripes that conceal the bounds of their hair or clothing. Rendered within a tight color palette, the figures stare forward calmly, adding an element of serenity to the otherwise hypnotic works.

Currently living in North Wales, Bonati shares many of her feminine illustrations and glimpses into her creative process on Instagram and Behance. Prints and other goods adorned with the earnest figures are available on Society6.

 

“LUCINDA”

Left: “EUDOXIA” (2016), pencil, marker, and watercolour on paper. Right: “VLADA” (2016), black gesso, pencil, and marker on paper. Right:

“ELGA,” Acryla gouache and pencil on hot-pressed paper

Left: “ANASTASIA.” Right: “ETHEL”

“TARA”

 

 



Art Craft

Stacked Chevron, Multi-Colored Stripes, and Ornamental Motifs Detail Frances Priest's Meticulous Ceramics

April 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Gathering Places Collage” (2015). All images © Frances Priest and by Shannon Tofts, shared with permission

Based in Edinburgh, artist Frances Priest merges stripes, chevron, and asanoha designs into impeccably complex motifs. Generally utilizing bold color palettes, Priest’s hand-built vases and bowls begin with sketches on paper before being transferred to test slabs of clay. The artist says she treats “the surface much like a sheet of paper,” as she inscribes each vessel using scalpels, patterns, and aluminum stamps.

The entirety of the piece is enveloped in the surface design so the works appear to wrapped in, or constructed out of pattern. I think it is a real treat to pick up an object and find that the base has been treated with the same care as the rest of the work, it makes the form complete and also allows for the group works to be re-arranged into different compositions.

Much of her intricate work is derived from The Grammar of Ornament by British architect Owen Jones, which her father gifted her as a child. The classic text focuses on ornamental design spanning multiple regions and periods. “I can distinctly remember spending hours as a child tracing the designs with my fingers, leafing from page to page and absorbing the visual languages on display,” Priest said in a statement. Her most recent vases from her Grammar of Ornament series directly reference the marble and tile mosaics found in the book’s Byzantine section, the artist tells Colossal.

Priest, though, doesn’t limit herself to representing only singular styles or eras. Her ongoing Gathering Places project serves as a collection “extracted from my sketchbook and collaged together into my own new designs—parquet, tiles, parasols, and swags. I use the title gathering places for all the half-sphere vessel forms because they are just that, places to gather together collections of decorative motifs,” she says. For example, “Architekten” is based on stark angles in buildings by the architecture firm Saurebruch Hutton, in addition to the natural foliage she discovered in illustrations of Vienna’s Villa Primavesi.

If you head to Instagram, you’ll find more of Priest’s elaborate ceramics, in addition to a coloring book she created that’s free to download.

“Gathering Places Collage” (2015)

“Chevron/Stripe/Asanoha” (2019)

“Gathering Places Architekten” (2014)

“Parquet & Yellow Dots” (2013)

Left: “Grammar of Ornament – Byzantine No. 3 Polychrome” (2020). Right: “Grammar of Ornament – Byzantine No. 3 Monochrome” (2020)

“Chevron/Stripe/Asanoha” (2019)

“Chevron/Stripe/Asanoha” (2019)

 

 



History Photography

Striking Photographs Capture Ornate Patterns of Historic Iranian Mosques and Palaces

December 30, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei, shared with permission. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Iran-based artist Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei takes mesmerizing photographs that showcase the intricate patterns inside the country’s ancient buildings. The artist mostly features mosques in the Iranian city of Isfahan, which is located about 250 miles south of Tehran and is known for its Perso–Islamic designed structures, boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tile-filled mosques, and minarets. In her photographs, Hosein Aghaei often looks upward to frame the building’s domes and arches complete with complex colorful designs, sometimes even adding glimpses of the city’s blue skies. The artist tells Colossal that she wants her work to capture and share the beauty of Iran’s historic architecture. Keep up with Hosein Aghaei’s captivating images on Instagram.

Sheykh Abdussamad Mausoleum

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Dowlatabad Garden of Yazd

Ali Qapu Palace of Isfahan, Iran

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Emam Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

 

 



Art Craft Design

Malleable Paper Sculptures by Polly Verity Expand and Contract Into Mesmerizing Shapes

July 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

 

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Caterpilla Corrugation #Paperfold #corrugation #papiroflexia #paperengineering #origami

A post shared by Polly Verity (@polyscene) on

Polly Verity (previously) has been experimenting with three-dimensional paper sculptures and intricate folds since the age of eight, when she was given a paper folding book by her step-grandfather. Instead of following an ancient origami tradition, Verity finds her inspiration in the more modern technique of abstract tessellations developed by Bauhaus experimentation in the 1920’s. Through the years she has focused primarily on repetitive abstract geometric patterns made with uncut pieces of white paper to allow her audience to focus on the works’ shapes rather than be distracted by her chosen color. In addition to small sculptures, Verity has also created one-wear-only dresses for weddings, performances, and photo shoots. You can see more of her repeated paper designs on Instagram.

 

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Art

Lavish Portraits of Missouri Citizens by Kehinde Wiley

February 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Madame Valmant”, 2018

Painter Kehinde Wiley is renowned for his large-scale portraits of Black subjects (perhaps most notably President Barack Obama). His most recent body of work is on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and draws inspiration from eight works of art in the museum’s collection, which are referenced in all but one of his paintings’ titles. Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis is comprised of 11 portraits of people the artist met in 2017 on the city’s north side and in nearby Ferguson, the community where 18-year-old unarmed Black citizen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2014.

“My job is to see things in an accurate context in a society where so often black people are reduced to simple stereotypes,” Wiley explained in an interview with the St. Louis American. “What I’m doing is slowing down and taking time to honor people from every little detail of their being.  From their nails to the type of jeans that they are wearing – or that sort of timidity or boldness of their character.” The resulting portraits are filled with Wiley’s signature jewel tones and elaborate pattern work that interacts with his subjects, both showcasing and enveloping each figure. As contemporary Black Americans in their own clothing strike the grand postures of white Europeans of centuries past, Wiley juxtaposes the traditions and tensions of race and representation in the art world.

Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis is on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum (which is free and open to the public) in Saint Louis, Missouri until February 10, 2019. You can watch a video of the artist’s in-depth talk at the museum here. Wiley also shares his completed and in-progress works on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

“Jacob de Graeff”, 2018

“Three Girls in a Wood”, 2018

“Charles I”, 2018

“Mahogany Jones and Marcus Stokes”, 2018

 

 



Art

Elaborately Collaged Newspapers by Myriam Dion Transform Current Events into New Visual Narratives

December 27, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In the patient hands of Myriam Dion (previously), daily newspapers become timeless works of art. The artist reads each newspaper she transforms from cover to cover before envisioning an entirely new visual identity for the inexpensive yet information-dense material. Using a combination of collage, X-ACTO knife cutting, gilding, and painting, Dion forms intricate patterns, often adorning and emphasizing a single image across the broadsheet.

“By crafting thoughtful mosaics out of the world events, I question our appetite for sound-bite news and sensational art, showing the quiet power of a patient hand and an inquisitive eye,” she explains in an interview with Huffington Post. “I am creating a new newspaper that can be interpreted, that encourages people to think more deeply about the news that we consume too easily.”

In addition to working with current events, Dion also engages vintage printed materials, like a 1953 issue of The Gazette that lauds a young Queen Elizabeth, and fact sheets from mid-century beauty pageant contestants. The artist is based in Montreal, Quebec, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Quebec. Dion is represented by Division Gallery, and her work will be part of the group exhibition “Pushing Paper” at Museum London in London, Ontario from January 26 to May 12, 2019. You can see more of her work on her website.

 

 

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