Casey Reas For Older Children

Silhouette of Mural

A Mathematical Theory of Communication


Casey Reas

American, born 1972

Subject: Balance and movement

Activity: Design a patter using grid paper

Materials: Grid paper, ruler, compass, pencil, markers or colored pencils

Vocabulary: Composition, balance, movement


To create a dynamic work of art, artists incorporate movement and balance into their composition. Movement is used to help guide your eye across a dynamic work of art and balance ensures that both sides of a work of art have equal “weight”. A picture does not have to be a mirror image in order to be balanced. Casey Reas made this work of art by creating a pattern within a computer system. 


How did the artist create a sense of movement across the composition?

What makes the composition balanced or unbalanced and why? 


Using grid paper, a compass, and a ruler create a pattern and apply it across the entire sheet. Use lines and colors to create movement and balance. 


Casey Reas created a computer program called Processing to create this piece. He inputs an image into the computer and the program rearranges the elements based on Reas’ instructions. 


Composition - The plan, placement, or arrangement of the elements in a work of art

Balance - An arrangement of shapes and colors so that they have equal force

Symmetry - An arrangement of shapes and colors where both sides are exactly the same

Movement - An arrangement of shapes and colors that gives the feeling of motion and guides the viewer’s eyes around the work of art