What is Form?

Form refers to three-dimensional objects, so whilst shapes have two dimensions (height & width), forms have three dimensions height, width, and depth.

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Physical Form

Physical forms are forms like sculptures or buildings, forms that take up real space. Forms can be created in various materials such as clay or stone or iron, in fact, you can use almost anything to create a sculpture.

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Figurative vs Abstract

Like all works of art, sculptures can be either figurative or abstract, or more often somewhere in between.

Figurative art is art that looks like something in real. It is designed to create an illusion of real life.

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Abstract Sculpture
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Figurative Sculpture 

Land Art

Artists like Robert Smithson took form one step further, creating enormous sculptures using stone and earth. These artists wanted to art to be for everyone, not just those who could afford to buy it.

"A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world."

Robert Smithson

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Spiral Jetty (1970) Robert Smithson (Photo by ‘Netherzone’)

Implied Form

Two-dimensional drawing and painting can suggest three-dimensional form this is called implied form. Until the emergence of Modern Art (when colour became its rival) Form was considered the most important visual element in painting.

Implied Form is created when other visual elements like line or shape or colour or tone are used to suggest the depth required for 3D objects. The two most common ways to create these forms is through line and through tone.

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Vanitas Still Life (1625) Pieter Claesz

"If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery. It wouldn't seem so wonderful at all"