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Paris Arches
Eli Bornstein, Bornstein, print, etching, architecture, 2D art, two-dimensional art, abstracted image, abstraction, shape, line, metaphor, motion, active line, Paris, arches, Saskatoon, city street, urban, Bessborough Hotel, expressive line, city

In Paris Arches and Saskatoon, we can see the beginning traces of structurism in Bornstein's artwork. Architecture, which is normally three-dimensional, is the  subjectA topic or idea represented in an art work.  in these  two-dimensionalHaving height and width, but no depth; flat. (Artlex.com)  works. But these are abstracted images of architecture, and the way in which they are abstracted may tell us something about their purpose.

If we look at the corners of the buildings in these artworks, we see that the angles of the corners are never 90 degrees. The buildings look twisted, distorted, and bent because of this. There is a motion or a constant activity suggested by the lines used, as each  lineA mark with length and direction(-s). An element of art which refers to the continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point. Types of line include: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, straight or ruled, curved, bent, angular, thin, thick or wide, interrupted (dotted, dashed, broken, etc.), blurred or fuzzy, controlled, freehand, parallel, hatching, meandering, and spiraling. Often it defines a space, and may create an outline or contour, define a silhouette; create patterns, or movement, and the illusion of mass or volume. It may be two-dimensional (as with pencil on paper) three-dimensional (as with wire) or implied (the edge of a shape or form). (Artlex.com)  seems to have many other lines around it and close by. The two cars in Saskatoon are visually treated the same way as the buildings, as are the people. Perhaps Bornstein is using this as a metaphor, to suggest that architecture is also active, and that even though it is a built, solid structure, it is capable of containing or causing activity or chaos.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is sometimes called the "Paris of the Prairies." Do you know how this nickname came about? Do you think it applies to Saskatoon? What nicknames does your town or city have, and how do you feel about those?

  • The scene in Saskatoon features the Bessborough Hotel (seen below), which is a famous Saskatoon landmark. In what way do the buildings we live in define us and our identities? How are they different from other buildings? How are they similar to the buildings used by other cultures?

Delta Bessborough

Studio Activity
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Looking at Bornstein's drawings of architecture, Paris Arches and Saskatoon, we might feel as though we are seeing the buildings from many angles at once. This is similar to the approach of an art movement called  cubismOne of the most influential art movements (1907-1914) of the twentieth century, Cubism was begun by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1882-1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963) in 1907. They were greatly inspired by African sculpture, by painters Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906) and Georges Seurat (French, 1859-1891), and by the Fauves. (Artlex.com)  (pronounced: CUBE-ism) from earlier in the 20th century.

Studio Activity
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Draw architecture

Make a  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  of a building or an architectural scene.  It might help to take your drawing materials to a place outside where you can see many buildings, and choose your view from there.



Author Unknown. ‘Hanging Sculpture Highlights Wascana Place.’ The Regina Leader Post, Regina Saskatchewan, Thurs. May 26, 1983

Author Unknown.  Eli Bornstein: Art Toward Nature.  Exhibition Notice.  Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1996.

Bornstein, Eli.  ‘Structurist Art - Its Origins.’  The Structurist, No.1, 1960-1, p. 2.

Bornstein, Eli.  ‘On Structurist Art.’ Chicago Midwest Art, Volume 3, Number 5, May 1967.

Bornstein, Eli.  Structurist Reliefs - 1966-1975.  Exhibition catalogue.  Saskatoon Public Library Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Nov 3-28, 1975.

Graff, Terry.  Artist Profile.  Mendel Art Gallery,  Feb - Mar 2005.

MacDonald, Colin.  A Dictionary of Canadian Artists.  Canadian Paperback Publishing, Ltd.:  Ottawa, Ontario, 1967.

Rusnell, Chuck.  ‘Tree of Knowledge Bloomed into Controversy.’  Saskatoon Star Phoenix,  University of Saskatchewan 75th Anniversary, 1984.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning