Wednesday, February 26, 2014


First and foremost, this picture is the top portion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. I have always been fascinated by the architectural structure of the Guggenheim although I have never been inside. When I was a bit younger, I hated the structure. It was so unnecessarily big and gray and all over the place. It differed completely from a typical museum in terms of the exterior. I suppose that I felt uncomfortable so I ultimately chose this picture to illustrate balance in terms of asymmetry.

If one was to split this photo in half, clearly what is depicted on the left differs a bit to what is illustrated on the right but somehow the structure works. The bottom portion(s) of the photo are asymmetrical but function perfectly at a certain point. The textbook states,  "Asymmetrical arrangements provoke more rigorous involvement-they require the brain to assess differences in space and stimulate the eye to greater movement." The asymmetrical nature of this structure allows the viewer's eyes to somewhat dance around the complex elements, creating this rhythm, the rhythm of art. There exists a reason and motif as to why the Guggenheim was constructed in the way that it is. it is avant-garde and modern. It does not contain an archaic structure of pillars like that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (although I do love that museum). It sets itself apart from other landmarks in NYC. The interesting thing is that The Guggenheim in comparison to the Neapolitan Museum of Art is that although it is much smaller in size, the exterior is a piece of art in of itself. I wonder if the Metropolitan is more inviting because of how "plain" the structure is compared to the boldness of the Guggenheim.

In terms of symmetry, the textbook states, "It’s true that symmetry occurs in nature-just look at our bodies-but that doesn’t mean it’s a good strategy for designing. Symmetrical visual arrangements are generally static and offer little movement… The format has center axis, and clearly everyone can see that. Why let the format tell you what to do? You tell the format who’s boss."I find this statement to be completely incredible in how bold the writer thinks and feels. But the fact that symmetry is apart of nature, does that mean that asymmetry is artificial, non-organic, synthetic? Is there always a reason behind asymmetry? Does asymmetry always make us uncomfortable because it is not the "norm"? If it makes us so uncomfortable, will asymmetry ever be accepted in a context outside the one of art?

I would love nothing more but to finally go inside and observe how shape, balance, and complexity works it way into the art that the museum exhibits. 

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