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This article is taken from PN Review 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

Painting & the Art of Change Michael Edwards

A SPACE traveller arriving on the earth and discovering so many millions of paintings might be surprised at our valuing our world so highly that we should be endlessly reproducing it, and might also wonder what it is that we find wrong with our world, that in our paintings we should be endlessly changing it.

To see, we know, is a most complex act, and the grandeur of the visible, and of our seeing it, is evident and inexhaustible. As I look through the window in front of the desk where I am writing, the sunlight reflects off the wall opposite, but not just at that angle and not so as to present the wall to my sight. It spreads into the whole of the room, flowing generously, superfluously, to the eyeless chairs and carpet, to the bookcase invisible behind me. By being here and looking from here I enjoy one of the continuous and infinite possibles of the visibility of the world. Should I move, even slightly, I can enjoy any number of other possibles, all of which are both there and not there before I realize them. My body, in fact, is unceasingly moving (and unceasingly varying for anyone who observes it); where it moves is itself a world perpetually moving with respect to the sky, light, space, and perpetually, as a single body, varying relative to itself. Seeing is creative, as by the positioning of my body I procure a visible world, in those ...


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