On April the 25th, Ana Gadé Silva opened her first solo exhibition at the IE Creativity Center in Segovia. She is a Portugese abstract artist and scientist who paints in very bright, almost transparant colours. At the opening, I gave a presentation about my approach to teaching art at IE University. One of the ideas I explained was that my classes are not centred around art periods, but around topics. An example is to look at perspective.
Images as ancient as the Altamira cave paintings already show the old desire to turn the two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional one. The animals in the cave are painted on specific formations of the rock, that give them more volume. In the Fifteenth Century, artists and architects started to use linear perspective: an approach in which systematic rules for the illusion of three-dimensionality are followed. When studying such a topic through looking at art, one notices that a seemingly neutral application, such as linear perspective, is value-laden. It is a perfect tool for giving a clearly ordered view of a world that is often more complicated. The grid of linear perspective, for instance, prioritises the center of the image and turns the surrounding of it into a background. A clear example is a picture of an influencer, taken in the middle of a road. While the influencer is ‘foregrounded’ by the diverging lines of the street, the world becomes his or her background. It is as if the influencer is the main character on a film scene.
‘Perspective makes the single eye the centre of the visible world. Everything converges on to the eye as to the vanishing point of infinity. The visible world is arranged for the spectator as the universe was once thought to be arranged for God’John Berger in Ways of Seeing (1972) p.16
Find an impression of the opening of the exhibition below: