By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Hypothesis 7: A composition's interconnectedness gradually becomes an entire worldview, suggesting that this is how we should understand our relation to others in today's global scheme: deeply entangled, perhaps woefully inextricable.
A few days in, I gravitated specifically to all the smeared, scraped and squeegeed bands of paint — especially the irresistible rainbow arch sideways along the right edge near the bottom, and the red and yellow striped switchbacks to its left. Some days later, I started discerning large, underlying shapes concealed within the frenzy of surface activity. A big, white arrow takes up the lower half of the canvas, pointing northwest from the bottom right corner to the center of the canvas. A transparent square bends and waves directly above it in the top right corner. It was nearly a month before I noticed a small, beige, rectangular box in the upper left corner, which appears to be the painting's only geometric volume that's shaded and rendered in perspective.
A friend who came for dinner remarked that the painting gave a strong impression of covering up something behind it. Like a portal to something or somewhere?
Hypothesis 8: A painting can stir up dormant energy, like curtains mounted on a solid wall that, when parted, reveal a window that miraculously materialized through the power of suggestion.
Away from home, I sometimes thought of Untitled from a distance and noted what features memory distorted: Its sense of frenzy survived undiminished, but the painting grew more open and spacious than it is in reality. Similarly, the painting took on a new, slightly altered aspect when viewed passively in the periphery of vision: Whenever I locked my gaze on it when it was off to one side, it slipped easily into hallucinatory motion, warping and drifting subtly until suddenly jolted back into its static place when I blinked or refocused my eyes.
Hypothesis 9: Indirect viewing, whether remotely in memory or along the blurry sidelines of sight, is a totally valid and deeply rewarding — if underappreciated — way of taking art in and absorbing abstraction on a deeper, cellular level.
The painting is still in my home. I am looking at it now, as this experiment wraps up, anticipating its absence when it returns to its maker, and I now realize that the experience of not living with the painting will be just as much a part of the experiment.
Hypothesis 10: Now that I am, finally, used to its daily presence and the painting is part of my household, its departure will occasion a glaring emptiness ghosted by an after-image that will fade too fast.
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