Space and Time: The Cubistic Influence

The big idea.

Space, sometimes crowded, sometimes open, is all around you. It may be full of trees or buildings, clouds, or clean air. It can be contained by walls or open to the horizons. We run, walk, and drive in space. When you walked to the computer to read this page, you were walking in space. The words forward, back, around, under, behind, over, into, and out from all indicate action taken in space. (From Exploring Visual Design, Second Edition, Gatto, Porter & Selleck).


  • Create three photo collage constructions that emphasize the use of space and time.
    • Here are examples of Hockney’s photo constructions: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
    • Here are student examples: 1 | 2 | 3


  • Research the work of artist David Hockney on the internet. Look specifically for examples of his photographic collages.
    • For your images, choose three separate subjects that can be photographed “in pieces” and which will make sense when you reconstruct them.
      ·        Person Collage Construction – use at least 35 images
      ·        Environment Collage Construction – use at least 35 images
      ·        Choice Collage Construction – use at least 35 images
  • You must incorporate at least thirty-five images into each photo collage construction.
  • To begin construction of your “person” photo construction, create a new blank page that is 24″ wide by 18″ tall at 225 ppi resolution. You will paste your image pieces onto this blank canvas to construct your image. Be warned! You will have to reduce the size of each photograph – they will be too large for all of them to fit onto the blank page. [You may choose to design each of your other two images using different dimensions or orientation than the first image.]
  • When you are ready to submit each project for review, login to our course Blackboard site. Click on the link for “Submit a Project” and locate the forum for “Time and Space.” Create a new thread and in the subject line type your block number. Be sure to attach your file [your image should be saved in .jpg format ONLY – any other format will not display correctly!] You will need to repeat this for each of your three photo collage construction images.
  • Written Reflection: Unlike a single photograph of a place or person, David Hockney’s photo constructions represent various points in time. The constructions are created from images taken at different times, sometimes only moments apart – yet each different point in time means that movement and meaning have changed. In the text area of your submission, write a short statement (at least five complete sentences) describing how your audience might symbolically interpret your use of time and space.

Enrichment: Photographic Sculpture.

Consider that David Hockney’s photo constructions, much like the Cubist paintings and sculptures of Pablo Picasso, are one way of exploring multiple points in time and multiple simultaneous points-of-view. Using multiple photographs of a subject, how might you create a photographic sculpture? One approach might be to create a bust of a person that is constructed from many close up prints taken from various vantage points. For instance, circling around your subject and photographing him/her from all sides, below, and above – perhaps even from varying distances.

Try it: Create an armature or support system upon which to attach your many photographic prints. One way to do this is to create a rough likeness of a bust from papier mache.


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