What happens when you take a fourth of a canvas and make that your space for artistic creation? Does size change the intrinsic nature of the art work? What can you do on a 12” x 9 " of surface?
12” x 9” has never been a popular format, yet there is some history to these dimiutive proportions. Art Alive's big idea of "thinking small" is an experiment that has brought together forty-five artists from wide-ranging backgrounds with an equally wide array of answers to the limitations of a 12” x 9” canvas.
The fact that the artists are united by a common format presents an opportunity to interrogate the limitations and opportunities afforded by constraint. While Shuvaprasanna's treatment of the space fills the frame with bold easy portraits, Debraj Goswami confronts the viewer with minutely detailed still lives in miniature that are somehow poster-like in their unusually memorable content and composition.
“Think Small!” provokes the viewer to question the effect of size on the affect of a painted work. This is no small task. Yet while the concept of the show may be clever, it potentially provokes more questions than it can provide answers to.
(Images, top to bottom: Debraj Goswami; Arapana Caur; Shuvaprashanna)