Compare and Contrast

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Libby Sacco
Art History 320
Professor Bonnell
2/1/2010
Compare and Contrast
Though overwhelmed while visiting the contemporary wing at the Baltimore Museum of Art, I was able to narrow my interests to two particular artworks. The two works I have chosen to compare and contrast are Robert Indiana’s No. 7, and Frank Stella’s Abra Variation III. At first glance, one might make a far-fetched assumption as to how these two paintings are similar, but with further examination their similarities become clearer. Both artworks stood out to me and hopefully I can provide a vivid description that does the same.

Robert Indiana’s No. 7 does not allow you to look away; it is a difficult painting to ignore. From a distance it looks as though a collection of vibrant colors canvas inhabits , however, the viewer begins to wonder if the number seven appears in the center. Upon further investigation, this proves true. Indiana uses three distinct and deeply saturate colors: blue, green and red. Though the colors are painted on canvas and therefore on a two-dimensional surface, Indiana uses contrast to create the illusion that the red seven is at the front of the painting. It seems as if it is popping out of the canvas, attempting to separate itself from the blue and green, which seem to create background. Though in reality the red, blue and green are all painted on the same plane, though the curves of the red seven juxtaposed to the flatter scheme of the blue and green create the illusion that it is the foreground. The depiction of the red seven takes over the painting; the solid forms of the blue and green shapes amplify the illusion of the seven being in the foreground. The blue and green are solid abstract shapes are very much sedentary, but the red moves throughout the canvas, almost appearing liquefied. The the contrast in color is used to create a somewhat of a leap out of the painting for the seven.

Frank Stella’s Abra Variation III, an intriguing painting,...
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