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    Figure/Ground - To understand and apply the principle of "figure/ground" relationships such as "alternation," "figure/ground ambiguity," and "interpenetration, as it relates to two-dimensional art

    At the threshold of perception we see objects against backgrounds. The whole visual world may be thought of as a continuous series of figure/ground relationships with objects overlapping their backgrounds.

    The perception that objects seem to stand out against a background is defined as a "figure/ground :. relationship."
    Several kinds of relationships can be identified: the "vignette" in which the object "floats" away from the edges of the sheet or ground; "interacting" or "integrated" F/G relationship in which both the figure and the ground have equal importance;

    "ambiguous" or "alternating" F/G relationships in which it is unclear just what is the "figure" and what is the "ground" (e.g., a checkerboard, or the classic vase and profile reversal).
    "Interpenetration" involves a reversal of the F/G relationship at selected points where contour lines would otherwise be lost against a predominately dark or light background. (e.g., Graphic designers will often do a F/G reversal where text is run over alternating dark and light areas. Though the value of the text is shifting dramatically, the relative contrast of the F/G relationship remains the same.) (thanks to Tim McGinty, ASU School of Architecture)


    Islamic calligraphy


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