Infinity is a trope—for all the possibilities not realized, paths not taken, forms not shaped, decisions not made, choices not faced. It appears in art as the illusion of an unbounded area. That’s the good kind of infinity, an emptiness replete with futurity. The bad kind is one thing after another, the same thing over and over, like a grid.


Paul Cézanne, Trees and Rocks c. 1890

But maybe “infinite” is too pretentious. Unbounded but finite is better because it’s closer to the scientist’s image of the universe, but also because we can leave infinity, a mathematical mistake, to the grid.

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