V. S. Gaitonde:The Guggenheim Retrospective
The artwork creates three intermediary sections visually, almost giving the idea of three separate spaces. The tints and tones of the colour help in defining these spaces. To me it almost appears as three levels. Starting from the bottom, it almost serves as a base, and maybe symbolic to stability. However there is also a sense of void, and emptiness. Going a little higher, there’s a bit of black creeping into this space, almost like a lurking darkness slowly trying to take over. It almost forms a transient space, with a sense of movement happening around. The state of thought, the start of the chaos.It being the middle space too makes it feel constricted and uncomfortable. The top most section being the epitome of the layers has the largest amount of ‘blankness’ yet its adorned with strokes of black, which are so strongly fitted at the bottom, giving them the strongest hold and position in the artwork.
The black faded figure forms the focal point of the artwork. There is a controlled chaos, a drag, a pull and then a stop. There is a sense of strain in the painting, which is completely isolated by the space around, making the tension of the black seem small. The only defined form is the conical form, which makes the visual of the long, pulled tear to a halt.
Painting 4 1962
The painting gives a clear idea of movement in opposing directions. The focus is the central horizontal section which is brought to focus because of the blank space above and below it. It makes the viewer think of conflict, as the white space being some sort of pedestal. The blue further makes the section look more crowded than it is. The 4 elements in the space create a narrative, highlighted by the contrasting strokes of red, yellow and white. The role of space in the painting is to give the illusion of lesser space by restricting the elements.