Painting Today: Commentary on Chapter 8: Painting Space

Experience of Space

The chapter opens up with an important distinction between place and space: “place is where we stand at a particular moment in time, space is everything else.” Throughout the history of painting, creating spacial illusion was key to developing a believable ‘window to the world’ effect. In contemporary painting, exploration of spacial relationships broadened into literal spaces created through painted surface. There are “three places for space to expand or change: in the painting, in our mind, and between us and the painting.” Franz Ackermann’s work addresses the effect of modernity on our current perception of space. He questions urban culture and modern tourism, and this idea of how “space is presented like a microwave meal, ready to heat and eat.” In a fast paced, digital world, how we perceive and process information has drastically changed from centuries ago. Has cyberspace replaced or become the space of nature?

In Fabian Marcaccio’s installation Confine Paintant, the viewer participates in a literal spacial experience of the work, as they are encouraged to walk down the length of a beach to see the full breadth of the painting which is spread thus far. This work creates time and travel based experiences; an actual movement through a physical space. The mind itself is a vast space, one that seems to have no literal physical space, but more then we may realize closely related to the infinite channels of virtual space. Translating abstract thoughts into visual manifestations is a way to relate neural impulses to “a sense of being in a body subject to gravity and motion.” For artist Matthew Ritchie, art-making is “an attempt to try and map what it’s really like to be a person…”

All content sighted is derived from Painting Today by Tony Godfrey, PHAIDON


By klcloonan

Los Angeles Interdisciplinary Artist

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