I never could paint a straight line very well, so the first chance I got to weigh in on the subject, I eradicated the concept. As soon as I did, I had a rush of formative insights. For starters, it became clear to me the straight line was bogus. The next big insight was that, while the line is false, color is not. It corresponds to actual light frequencies. By making the edges of my planes crooked and giving them a subtle softness and vibration, I felt I was getting the material aspect of the painting to more accurately match the colors on the surface — the better to amplify their effect.

Painters such as Kandinsky and Mondrian already early last century — in attempting to grasp the power of their medium — were considering the possibility of color as a fifth dimension. In the multiverse, as physicists currently theorize time and space, an infinite number of dimensions are now believed possible. What, I wonder, would those two pioneering non-objectivists make of these latest scientific speculations? Isn’t the hallmark of successful abstraction that it appears simultaneously primitive and futuristic — outside of current time — forever new? For my part, I am especially focused on these qualities uniquely peculiar to color dimensions.

© Daniel Mendel-Black, 2017, originally published in the catalogue for the exhibition NONOBJECTIVE PAINTING,  Telluride Gallery, Telluride, CO​, organized by James Hayward