that fifth element

I can recall certain moments when I was struck by space in a painting. Not in a painting that hangs in the Met, some world reknowned piece. No. A painting that was in process.

In one instance there was a figure of a rope. The rope loosely followed the form of a circle, and as it reached somewhere near its beginning point, it kept going. The crossing line rose above the “line” below and suddenly: I saw space. An opening.

In another instance, the artist was painting a lemon – or, the outline of a lemon. Very distinct, vaguely oval, and including the way that the small protrusion sits on the end after the stem has been eliminated – can you see it in your mind’s eye? The line went most of the way around the form. Most of the way. And then, it let the eye fill in the last bit. Let the knowing eye cover the space. Let the viewer in.

And these places where space happens – where space comes into being – brought delight into the art. For me, it was my entryway. I was in. And surprised. I had entered through the opening of space.

And yes. Overlapping. Incompleteness. Space is just reminding us of those feelings: where we touch and where we reach. How we move through space with bodies and with mind. Deeply affected.

As space.

In space.


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