Quilt designs can make beautiful use of atmospheric perspective and illusions of depth created through the manipulation of color and value. In Visual Systems: the Quilter’s Eye, there are many quilts that utilize these effects. Traditional log
cabin designs are remarkable for their ability to create illusions of space and depth in the two-dimensional picture plane, depending on the color/value choices and placement. In the Log Cabin, Straight Furrows setting, the unknown maker has created a surface that seems to have two levels, with the reds in front moving vertically, while the paler colors behind are zig-zagging diagonally. Pamela Studstill’s “Number 63” draws on landscape, and the ways that light infuses the atmosphere, making it appear to have volume and weight. Jan Myers-Newbury’s Depth of Field is a masterpiece based on the sophisticated application of these techniques. She uses subtly modulated value runs to intensify the spatial illusion her planar forms define; simultaneously the shifts in value in the overlaying grid add another layer of depth to the illusion. Roberta Jemison’s Railroad Crossing also utilizes the layering effect of a grid in her more improvisational composition.
Click images below to view larger and read more information about some of the quilts included in the exhibit.