The irregular edges make us see the shape of the space between them, a space that is negative but just as much a part of what we see as the two panels whose edges produce it.
This simple relation between two parts and the space they produce between them quickly turned into a painting in multiple parts on two walls that face each other. Additional parts produce addi- tional irregular edges and hence additional negative spaces.
The relation between the irregular contours of the parts and the negative spaces they produce is that of complements. 6 x 6 x 6 x 2 extends my interest in working with complementary relations but in a new register, that of shape.
As in earlier work, the colors are the six that we nd in the color circle. No need to create new col- ors or new relations among them. And six is the number of faces on a die, a means for producing a chance result that as such gets rid of composition.
6 x 6 x 6 x 2 is organized in parts that I call stacks. The stacks consist of horizontal panels each one foot high. Starting at the left-hand end of the left-hand wall, I rolled a die to determine the widthsof the panels and their colors that made the rst stack. The rest of the stacks on that wall were de- termined the same way. Each stack is six feet high and at its widest is six feet wide, occupying asquare without lling it. In the rst stack the left edge is ush, the right edge irregular. This relation in the second stack is symmetrical with the rst. Two more pairs that are symmetrical in the same way ll the rest of the wall, giving six stacks in all.
The negative spaces between the six stacks on the left-hand wall make the shapes of the six stacks on the right-hand wall. Where there is a panel six feet wide in a stack on the left-hand wall there is necessarily a void in the corresponding stack on the right-hand wall. Two correspondingstacks ll a square, so they are complements of each other. As this is true of the stacks taken inpairs, it is true of all of the stacks on both walls taken together. The complementary relations in the painting are of two kinds: between the physical contours of the stacks and the spaces adjacent to them; and between the physical contours of the corresponding stacks on the two walls.
6 x 6 x 6 x 2 asks the viewer to visualize the parts of the painting that are on either wall tting withthe parts on the other wall. The result of this act of imaginary translation would be a rectangular painting on one or the other wall that is without voids and made of many contiguous pieces, those pieces themselves made of pieces. Like the two arrays on either wall, this imaginary painting is six feet high and thirty-six feet long.
The colors in 6 x 6 x 6 x 2 come from the third edition of The Theory and Practice of Color by BonnieE. Snow and Hugo B. Froehlich, published by The Prang Company, New York, in 1920. This bookin its several editions is one of my favorite books.
- Morgan Fisher