Sunday, 25 December 2011

Size isn't everything

I realise now how impressed I am with the sheer size of images when they appear on the walls of a Gallery. I recently commented on the impressive size of the Miro triptych's on display earlier this year at the Tate. Yesterday I commented on the impressive size of Mary Martin's wall-hanging sculpture, also at the Tate. I now recall observations I made about images by Bridget Riley and Frank Stella, where my immediate response to them was also to be impressed by their size.

This is not to devalue the content. Indeed I have carefully studied works by these artists in books, or stood inches from their smaller works in galleries and been overwhelmed by their content. So the content, of course, is ultimately what impresses me.

But initially I see now that I am affected, perhaps disproportionately, by their size.

Would I have been as impressed by Miro's triptyches had each panel been a foot square rather than 10 foot square?

Conversely, if I took some of my tiny images (typically 16 inches by 11) and made them 10 foot long, would this impress the observer more than the smaller images do?

I expect it probably would.

Looking forward to the David Hockney Exhibition "A Bigger Picture" at the RA in January.