The Grid and the Rectangle

As far as I know, there are two ways to negate the edge of a picture, and each one has the effect of drawing attention to that edge. The classical, frieze like arrangement uses verticals and horizontals and in modern times becomes an explicit grid. A grid is potentially infinite, and the implication is that it continues off the picture, so the edges are vertical x axes. I much prefer the baroque approach, which makes you want to look around the edge, as if it were an obstruction of a scene that continues beyond it. It makes you aware of the edge, but only as an annoyance. Tintoretto is probably one of the originators of this technique.

Tintoretto, Last Supper, 1592


robert linsley abstract art

Linsley, Island Figure #1, 2011


All my pictures are built around diagonals, and I treat the edges as if they didn’t exist. The idea is to get the illusionist, fictional space inside the picture to break through the edge and become part of real space. To participate in the fictions of that space.

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