More about Letter on the Blind II


There's an interesting reference hidden in the title of Stella's psychedelic wall of color. The name translates to 'Letter on the Blind', and is a reference to an essay called 'Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those who See' by Diderot, a French philospher known for his art criticsm.

The essay, written in 1749, referenced new surgical techniques that allowed doctors to restore sight to certain patients who had been blind their entire lives. Stella, clearly interested in exploring optical perception in his work, snatched the title as a nod to those who had speculated about eyes and sight long before he started cranking out his dizzying canvases.  


Comments (1)


This is such an interesting piece. Every time I look at it, a different thing is emphasized. The longer I look at it, the emphasis shifts. This piece appears to use atmospheric perspective, in which the brightest colors appear closest. This gives the piece visual depth. However, the brightest colors are in the middle of the order of the lines, which keeps the eye from naturally making a pyramid shape. I find it difficult to keep the brightest lines "closest" in my mind the longer I observe the piece. My mind wants to make some form of a pyramid, whether that be inverted with the point going away from me or normal with the point coming out towards me. But as I continue to look the piece begins to appear shallower, and eventually even flat because it cannot easily see the shape it wants to. I do think it is an interesting and beautiful piece.