Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beiramar Avenue from the mall; square format paintings, a series

Beiramar Avenue from the mall, oil on card, 10.5 x 10.5 cm

This is the first of a series of seven square paintings.

The square format is one which was extensively explored by Klimt, often using- to my mind, somewhat mannered art noveau compositions. There are also a good clutch of very nearly square pictures by Hammershoi, the Danish genius.

The square format is symmetrical across 4 axes, and consequently a very stable form (I might speculate that Hammershoi did not use the perfect square because he was interested in maintaining a definate visual instability in his work).

It invites a sense of flotation, of hovering: I am not clear why. Could it be because, while a rectangular format invites a horizontal .linear reading, when confronted with a square, thes eye tends to meander and circle more within much more narrow bounds inside the frame?