The Gap

Again Ehrenzweig confirms something taught by experience:

“…we know so little about the gaps in the perpetually oscillating stream of consciousness. In these gaps the work of unconscious scanning is carried on.”

This thought coincides with earlier moments of this blog, on art and on evolution. The piece below, like all Stella’s Kleist paintings, is maniacally overloaded. The intensity makes it impossible to survey the whole from a comfortable vantage. We are forced to hop about looking for connections, and each shift of attention is another gap. Typically, criticism stresses the gaps between the elements of a collage as the spaces where critical distance can enter. I’ve never found that persuasive, because I believe that we will always stitch the parts together, and Ehrenzweig agrees, the first critic I’ve read who does so. What about the gap in our attention which acts to join the parts in our minds? Click on the image and give it some time.


Frank Stella, The Earthquake in Chile (detail right side) 1999

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