Johannes Itten “The Art of Form”


Johannes Itten “The Art of Form”

J. Itten Johannes Itten – Swiss artist, teacher, founder of the forecourse at the Bauhaus school in the first half of the 20th century. His methods are distinguished by a subjective approach to each student, the disclosure of his own creative potential according to the temperament of his personality, the inclusion of meditation practices and correct breathing in the educational process, which fundamentally distinguishes him from the teachers of the classical art school.

What is this book about

The Art of Form, one of two books written by the author (the other, The Art of Color), is a concise and well-illustrated account of Itten’s methods and pedagogical approaches. In addition to a purely technical division into sub-themes, Itten explains the essence of the human eye’s perception of form and composition, the use of contrast, rhythm, subjective techniques in painting and graphics. All this is written with live examples from his practice, experience of working with different students, which makes the story alive, more like a dialogue than a dry presentation of academic material.

One of the methods that Itten used was to demonstrate the essence of the graphic form through body movements. He was convinced, for example, that a complete understanding of the subject is achieved with the direct, and not conditional, imaginary participation of the student in this understanding. To know the shape of a circle, he suggested that students perform circular rotational movements – such exercises were given in order to literally experience the shape, to feel its character. When working with a brush, one of the most complex tools, it was proposed to perform a series of relaxing breathing practices, since only with full concentration can one achieve that level of self-control when what is created on paper is a pure continuation of the personality of the painter.

The book is divided into chapters, each of which begins with a small introduction-reasoning on the topic, followed by a set of illustrations, each of which has a practical signature explaining how certain compositional techniques work on examples of student and not only works.

Who is this book for

For teachers: the book does not give a complete and comprehensive idea of ​​Itten’s methods, it rather leaves room for reflection and experimentation, since Itten gives only brief, rich images that can push the teacher in the right direction of work.

Such a book can be useful for people who are not studying in art institutions, but developing independently. Again, this is not a step-by-step guide with specific tasks, but rather a set of techniques, working with which everyone can create an individual program for themselves, from working with specific graphic forms to using their own subjective experiences as an artistic tool.

You can buy the book The Art of Form on the website by following this link.

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