The shadow, as defined by Arnheim in Art and Visual Perception, is a layer of darkness seen as lying upon or in front of an object and as having brightness and color values different and distinguished from those of the object itself. The shadow has an interdependent life, one that is tied to the object that initiates its presence and motion, yet its transparent and immaterial essence takes the form of the object on which it falls; "it is born of one thing and reveals something else, articulating the latent potential of reality...."
My drawing technique involves a method of construction where the image is a result of a mechanism that creates a record of itself, a map. Its composition is not form driven, but is a result of space and time in an act of making. The mapping of the shadow records the interplay of the object casting shadows, and the reading of the shadow map re-presents, or recasts a new object.
The tracing of the object's shadow is recorded at three intervals, morning, noon, and evening and this scaffolding becomes the construction drawing of a new object. This construction of the shadow becomes a record of its own making, or a map. The significance of the original object exists only in its role as the precipitator of its trace, or shadow field. The field of light itself becomes the determinant of the new structure; it manifests itself only by its effects on the behavior of things within it. The map can now be used to decipher two and three-dimensional reformations and iterations of the shadow into new 3-D models and palimpsests of drawings.
In my most recent work, I have been working with pencil on Mylar in such a way as to allow my hand to smear the graphite in the process of drawing. The graphite residue permits eraser, evoking new layers of clear Mylar that highlight against the complex pencil wireframe generated by the palimpsest of multiple shadow plays.
Artist Bio / CV
Professor Anthony Viscardi received his Bachelors of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University and his Masters of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to coming to Lehigh in 1992, he taught art and architecture at Georgia Tech, Morris Brown College, the Atlanta College of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1979 and 1992, Viscardi was also a partner and principal designer for Hoss/Viscardi & Co., Architectural Design Firm. He has led design workshops and given presentations at institutions in Canada, Malaysia, Europe, Asia, Puerto Rico and the United States. Viscardi has published his work in journals including the Journal of Architectural Education, ACSA (Associated Collegiate Schools of Architecture), Generative Arts: Italy and New Architecture: China. Prof. Viscardi just returned from his second summer study tour of Shanghai, China as part of a LUCE Grant to build a literal ancient Chinese bridge on Lehigh University’s campus and cultural bridges between Lehigh University and Chinese Universities. He established a study abroad program for Lehigh University’s Department of Art, Architecture, and Design in Vicenza, Italy that has just celebrated its 16thyear of operation. His most recent exhibitions include a one-man show of his architectural and theoretical shadow drawings at Gallery 165 in Buffalo, New York, a faculty exhibit at the Lehigh University Art Gallery, and a third place finish in a juried show at the Allentown Museum, Allentown Pennsylvania. He has recently received THE MACDOWEL COLONY FELLOWSHIP for April 2012.
Professor Viscardi received Full Professorship in 2007 and was the Chair of The Department of Art, Architecture, and Design at Lehigh University, from 2002 – 2010. He resides in Bethlehem, PA, where he lives with his wife Cheryl Dougan and son Renzo.