Horror Vacui

Posted by admin on February 13, 2018 in Articles

Horror vacui is originated from Latin and it refers to the fear of empty spaces. It is an old design theory that has the idea to fill every inch of canvas with pictures, colors, lines, shapes and text perhaps because of the fear that blank space might neglect the viewers’ attention. Horror vacui is also called a negative space as it mentions empty spaces but it does not have to be white.
Horror vacui has been arisen in the Victorian era, it was basically used as a criticism of interior design but at the time of Aristotle this concept turned up and now it is used for filling a page with compulsive excess of activity. It is used in Victorian and Islamic Art.
Horror vacui is implemented by various famous artists like Adolf Wolfli as he has applied this concept to create a visually busy and dynamic effect in his work. He creates eccentric doodles with private symbols, pure design elements, words and numbers that fill up the entire page. Besides artists, we can witness horror vacui in circumstances such as a webpage, loaded with a lot of information and also stores that are filled with a lot of articles on their windows. It is also employed by commercial media, comic books and newspapers.
We can experience that over the last 50 years there has been a gradual shift from horror vacui to creating more simplistic and sophisticated designs as implemented by Coca-Cola ads. These commercials hardly included an inch of white space, and they implied a very aesthetic design while in today’s times Coca-Cola commercials embrace simplicity and emptiness.
Horror vacui in Islamic art represents art in which all surfaces are covered with decorative color and pattern. By the 10th century Islamic art in the form of geometric patterned tiles, calligraphies of tiled mosaic and oriental rugs especially in mosques and palaces were crowded with repetitive patterns of tiles to expose off their wealth. For instance Nasr ul Molk mosque tiles are filled with organic and repetitive…