Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Human Level of Painting.

As a result of my difficulty of looking at large format paintings. Attempting to view the highest extremities of these large canvases, makes it hard for me to fully enjoy taking in these wonderful works in color and form.

I recently went to the National Gallery in Washington DC, where I finally got to see a decent amount of Abstract Expressionist paintings. My first Motherwell, my first set from Barnett Newman. But in my viewing of the Rothko paintings, seeing just how high on the wall they had been hung. Made me realize why Mark asked people to hang his paintings low on the walls. Supposedly at a more human level, as these were definitely not hung at that level. I am 5'9" tall and don't like looking at a huge painting that is hung on a wall at a point where the middle of the piece is right about eye level.

To me this is very wrong in practice, as it should not make your eyes strain to try viewing the top of the canvas. It makes it easier to view the bottom of the painting, but to myself and to many many more who visit these places everyday, we would like to be able to REALLY view the top of the canvas at a reasonable height, so as to get a truly good view of the rest of the canvas. Which as most painters paint, the top is usually the beginning of the painting, and gives one many ideas of how the canvas was brought into a painting. This high level of paintings on a wall simply takes away from the viewing of the painting and makes the painting...made by a human, act more as if an alter to worship at as opposed to what it truly is. A Painting made by a painter so that other humans might be able to receive the same feelings the artist is trying to convey.


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Columbus, Ohio, United States