How the Frame was One

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University of Southern California, 2009 - 47 pages
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As Modernism began in the latter part of the 19th century, painters increasingly brought the deep pictorial space of the easel painting closer to the surface, and thereby to the viewer. By the end of Modernism, painting came to be understood as an object on the wall rather than an illusionary opening within it. As a result of this spatial movement, frames dramatically changed in use and appearance, but "framing" work remained important. Starting with the Impressionists, painters began experimenting with frames designed to extend and fuse with the picture plane - not merely to enshrine and harness a captured virtual space. My thesis examines the development of theoretical and symbolic uses of framing devices, primarily focusing on two works: Georges Seurat's La Grande Jatte - 1884 and Eva Hesse's Hang Up from 1966, both from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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