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Family Activity Inspired by Max Bill's Field of 32 Parts in 4 Colors, 1965

Max Bill was an artist who liked to create works using precise geometric shapes, often using basic geometry and math. He also liked to apply vibrant colors.

In this Family Activity, we'll walk you through how to make a stencil inspired by Bill's Field of 32 Parts in 4 Colors, 1965.

Field of 32 Parts in 4 Colors

Max Bill (Swiss, 1908–1994). Field of 32 Parts in 4 Colors, 1965. Oil on canvas, 53 x 53 inches (134.6 x 134.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1968 (K1968:9). © Estate of Max Bill / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Zurich

Getting Started

  • What are the four colors Max Bill used in this work of art? Do you like seeing these four colors together? Why or why not?
  • What shapes do you see in this work of art? Count how many times you see each shape. Was that number more or less than what you expected?
  • Does this pattern remind you of anything? If you were to re-create this pattern what colors would you use?

Materials

  • Thick cardstock or cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Large pieces of paper
  • Thick markers
  • Thin markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils

Artmaking Activity

1. Gather your cardboard/cardstock and draw a couple of geometric shapes. Cut them out with your scissors. Next, pick out your favorite shapes to trace and choose one thick marker.

2. Trace the first shape toward the edge of your page. Then trace the shape a few more times, making sure the edges touch each other. It's up to you which direction you want the shape to go.

3. Once you finish tracing the first shape a few times, proceed to trace the other shape(s) throughout the rest of your paper. They can overlap the first set of tracings, or be completely separate.

4. Now choose four colors from your choice of crayons, colored pencils, or thin markers and color in your traced shapes. They can be completely filled in like Max Bill’s work, or you can choose to color in with your favorite pattern, lines, or shapes.

Optional: Share your creation on Twitter or Instagram with #AlbrightKnox and #MuseumFromHome!

Vocabulary

Stencil: a thick material with a design or pattern cut out of it used to produce the cut design on the surface below the shape; it often can be used multiple times

Geometric: using regular lines and shapes

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