The Art of Subtractionism

Subtractionism started following a series of icon illustrations created to highlight a selection of the popular buildings in Manchester’s City Centre.
The first set of building illustrations were part of a map design commission for The Manchester International Festival.

Cutting back and looking back

To make the building icons recognisable on a small scale I decided to cut back and concentrate on the shape and form of each building, only revealing essential detail.

“ After spending time working on each illustration, the process of breaking each subject down into its basic shapes has given me a feel for the Architects brief and how their interpretations took shape.”

This has now developed into a passion as I explore the different styles of architecture in and around Manchester.

And so Subtractionism started...

A developing series of illustrations and posters by emerging graphic artist Phil Turner.
His work is about exploring the synergy between the skills of commercial artists from the early part of the 20th Century with those of today - revealing each building's identity through shape and form.

Less is more.

By scaling back, moving away from limitless expression, we are left with pure form.

Subtractionism: My objective is to reveal the pure linear identity of a structure and to strip it to its fundamental essence. In doing so, I'm attempting to reveal a graphic portrayal of the pure visual signature I see from the structures that make up our built environment, an intrinsic simplicity of form.

Illustration of Oxford Road Station Manchester

Building Icons of Manchester's buildings

picture of Manchester Art Gallery test silk screen prints

subtractionism illustration of manchester central library

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