composition, in art, the organization of forms and colors within the work of art. In traditional sculpture this means the arrangement of masses and planes. In representational painting it means the grouping of forms on a two-dimensional plane in depth. In abstract painting forms are generally composed on planes parallel to the picture surface. In illusionistic works (see illusionism) with advanced perspective, forms are arranged to accord with the laws of depth perception.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.