311 Gallery, Celebrating the Square

Allen Clapp,  Peles Party II

Allen Clapp, Peles Party II

artGuide Magazine is pleased to inform our readers about the a wonderful art exhibit at Raleigh art gallery, 311 Gallery.  Focusing on the square, this month features Celebrating the Square.


Celebrating the Square at 311 Gallery
November 3-26, 2016

The humble square; some interesting facts.  Squares (and rectangles) are probably the most common geometric shapes we see making them familiar, safe, comfortable, and trusted.  They play an important role in both mathematics and design.

Mathematicians, around 4,000 years ago, created a number game using the square; we call it magicsquare. The square is comprised of a grid of numbers for which every line, column, and diagonal adds up to the same number. 

Allen Clapp,  Middle C in a Stormy Sunset

Allen Clapp, Middle C in a Stormy Sunset

The magic square shows up in art as far back as 1514 when Albrecht Durer included a 4x4 magic square in Melencolia I, his most famous painting.  In the 20th century, Josep Subirachs, incorporated a magic square on the Passion Façade of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia; the numbers total 33, the age of Christ at his death.

Because of the square’s familiarity, designers use it in art, sculpture, and graphic design.  Familiarity breeds a safe and comfortable feeling; it is used to denote honesty and stability.

In 1915, Russian painter, Kazimir Malevich painted a black square on a white square canvas aptly named The Black Square. This simple piece was a turning point in art history and is referred to as the “zero point in painting.”  It marked the move from old art to new art (abstract). 

In 1950, Josef Albers began a series, Homage to the Square, that he worked on for 26 years. These interesting paintings contain 3 or 4 squares inside each other and are designed to show the interaction and influence colors have on each other. Art educators use his series today to teach color theory.

311 Gallery invited artists to explore working within the confines of a square. The work will be on display for the month of November.


311 Gallery
311 W. Martin St. Raleigh
(919) 436-6987
Wed-Sat 11:30-4:30pm


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