Painting, sculpture, and installations
The main attraction of painting for me is that it presents the viewer with a flat surface (the picture plane) which at the same time can give an illusion of depth, from shallow to infinitely deep. In fact, the depth can extend forwards from the picture plane, and well as recede away behind it.
By depth, I don’t mean representing illusionistic depth by depicting forms with shadows and highlights, but achieving depth or projection through the use of colour; Hans Hofmann's 'push and pull'.
And that is probably the reason why I respond less enthusiastically to sculpture or installation art. For me, a sculpture is always a real object in the viewer’s immediate space. It rarely suggests space beyond itself, although some exceptions might be sculptures by Anthony Caro and Anish Kapoor.
As for installations, the only one that has ever excited me was Richard Wilson’s “20:50” (above), a sea of used sump oil, permanently on view at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The experience of walking into the middle of the piece is something I will never forget. What does it mean? Who knows.
Leave a Reply.