The following artists came to mind as I thought about negative vs. positive space. Some of them aren’t really “from today” but felt they were very relevant for this research point.
- Gary Hume (1962 – )
- Gilou Brillant (1935 – )
- Helen Frankenthaler (1928 – 2011)
- M.C. Escher (1898 – 1972)
- Audrey Beardsley (1872 – 1898)
- Will Bradley (1868 – 1962)
- René Gruau (1909 – 2004)
- Fredrick Hammersley (1919 – 2009)
- Henri Matisse (1896 – 1954)
I browsed through these artists and did small thumbnail drawings of the works that really got my attention in terms of the use of negative and positive space. Drawing them allowed me to see how each composition ‘felt’ on the paper (e.g. balanced, vertical, heavy) and how the artists played with the relationship between negative and positive space. I feel very encouraged to experiment with this further and start focusing even more on negative space. I generally do look at the negative space between the things I’m drawing, but more as a way to help me determine distance between objects, size, form, and even perspective but not really as a compositional element in itself.