Two Artists Working With Shape

Shapes are the basic building blocks of two-dimensional compositions and three-dimensional objects. Shapes define the forms we see and the space around those forms. Let’s look at the work of two artists who emphasize shapes and use them as primary elements in their art.

Painting of fruit

Donald Sultan is known for paintings and prints depicting simple objects in straightforward arrangements. He is a master at reducing a still life to its essential core and then playing with its elements until they are all equally important and finely balanced – giving special attention to shapes and shape relationships. The objects he paints are semi-abstracted, flattened and enlarged to the point where they seem monumental. Sultan also gives the negative spaces around and behind the objects the same emphasis and reverence he accords the main items.

You can see more of Donald Sultan’s paintings and prints here…

Abstract sculpture

Martin Puryear is a sculptor known for creating finely crafted, minimalist artworks that can be seen as invented eccentric forms with references to arcane utilitarian objects. Puryear’s sculptures seem to have arrived at their present shape after a long history of personal use. Much of this reference to timeless function comes from Puryear’s life experiences that include learning carpentry in Sierra Leone as a Peace Corp worker, studying Scandinavian design as a student at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and his interest in traditional boatbuilding. As a graduate student at Yale University, Puryear was also influenced by the primary forms of contemporary minimalist sculptors. Traditional craft, modern sculpture and Puryear’s personal vision all combine in his work.

You can read more about Martin Puryear here…

and here…

See more examples of shape on our shape Pinterest Board


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