Isochronisme in Ceramics: The Whole and the Piece

By Karabey, Burcu | Ceramics Art & Perception, March-May 2009 | Go to article overview

Isochronisme in Ceramics: The Whole and the Piece


Karabey, Burcu, Ceramics Art & Perception


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What creates the artistic expression in ceramic art is the language of authentic form. And the common point that brings ceramic artists together is the material and the options this material gives to artists. One can also say that while the artists are shaping the historic material of clay with their own ideas, although the material offers them many options with its technical and aesthetic attributes, it sometimes resists the practitioner. In his views on creativity, Ah Xian states; "The challenge faced by contemporary ceramic art practitioners is to disrupt the definition of ceramic art as one of process, and redefine it as of critical conceptualization, which is founded upon highly skilled technical ability. After all, creativity is ever the core of art. Without it, art will not be art anymore." (Ah Xian)

The plastic language, which includes the aesthetic approach, artistic statement and expressionism, is present for the audience with ceramic material, as it is both fragile and everlasting. The fact that the material can be moulded is evidence of its plasticity. The expression of form, which is different for every artist, can be discussed and analysed through colour, texture, shape, size, volume, mass, permeability and synchronization (created as an impression this permeability). Rudolph Arnheim has analysed visual perception in many different ways including balance, shape, form, creation, space, light, colour, movement, dynamics in artistic composition and expression. According to him, the viewing experience is dynamic. The tensions of composition come to life as size, shape, position or colour in the viewing experience. These tensions are defined as 'psychological forces'. These psychological forces exist in the language of form as spiritual effects. The concept of isochronism in art, which is related with 'time and equal durations of time', can be created by using pieces together to form a whole. In other words the duality between the pieces and the whole gives a permeable effect in the artwork to reflect the isochronisme. This effect creates artistic tension. In this way, the inside and the outside of the form may be perceived at the same time. And penetration into and through the form is possible. Isochronisme can convey spiritual content beyond the language of the form. It expresses time in which past, present and future are dissolved and mixed. This psychological impact can be created by the translucent feature of the material or by the relationship of the part to the whole or by the use of the space. The isochronisme concept appears in the history of art, namely in the portraits of Picasso or the sculptures of Naum Gabo, a Russian constructivist.

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Isochronisme is an impression that is used today by some of the artists in the context of form-content relationship. Below, the relationship of the part to the whole, the usage of space and the applications reflecting isochronisme in ceramics will be studied.

Decision-making about form and methods of shaping are important elements for expressionism in the art of ceramics. While some artists prefer creating by trying to force the material, others prefer to work more spontaneously, conceptually or representationally, et cetera. The technological world of today has created a world of illusion. Our relationship with reality has changed. Unavoidably art also is affected.

In this multiple-choice situation, artists use techniques in which they can reflect their own form and formal language and they develop new techniques that support their individual artistic expressions. The language of form that reflects conceptual content, denotations or visual expressionism can be said to be formed by the artists' use of factors such as colour, texture, form, size, mass, volume, and permeability with their creativity, accumulation and aesthetical conception. Physically it is possible to have permeability with various shaping methods and materials. …

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Isochronisme in Ceramics: The Whole and the Piece
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