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Layering: Approaching the 'Layer' as a Formal Element and a Significant Metaphor in Artmaking

Mary Carroll Nelson
Leonardo
Vol. 19, No. 3 (1986), pp. 223-229
Published by: The MIT Press
DOI: 10.2307/1578241
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1578241
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

The author defines 'layering' as the use of layered techniques to express a holistic worldview. She observes that some artists, working in all media, have developed a creative process in which each layer of material added or removed has formal integrity and metaphorical significance in reference to concepts from science, metaphysics, philosophy and mythology that suggest universal connectedness. Although layering techniques are an outgrowth of well-developed twentieth-century methods and do not represent a new style, layering is a perceivable development in contemporary art characterized by a synthesis of technique and holistic thinking. Four artists, Alexander Nepote, Richard Newman, Marlene Zander Gutierrez and Martha Slaymaker, discuss their art in terms of layering.

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