Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye Gallery



Figure & Ground


Color & Space

Still Life

Color Perspective and Spatial Illusion

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.

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