I’ve been looking lately at the abstract quilts made by the ladies of Gee’s Bend. (You can learn more about them here.) What fascinates me in the quilts of theirs shown in this post is not just the usual pattern and shape you’d expect in a quilt but their patently abstract qualities.
They are compositions contrasting both regularity and surprise. Were the surprise elements conscious and pondered or were they blithely random choices?
It is meaningful to analyze what it is in each of these that makes them compelling. They run contrary to many design principles but are still completely effective as wonderful abstract compositions.
The key to what makes them work seems to me to be in the irregularities, and I think that is an important lesson in our tidy perfectionist world. They worked with what they had, and even though it was little in many cases, much more was made out of it. The lesson imbedded in this is one all of us would do well to learn.
The photos here are snapshots from the three books show above and last below. I thought you might enjoy pondering them as well.