Ephraim Rubenstein: Interior Space Lecture

Interior Space Lecture

In the Interior Space Lecture, led by American artist Ephraim Rubenstein, he speaks about the importance of interior space within drawings and paintings. He stated that often times, drawings put their focus on the objects within them and not necessarily space. The reality is that any object drawn must exist within a space; space makes up the world in which the object exists. Before photography, drawing was the principal mode of representation of a moment in time.

He gives the example of a painting of an empty restaurant. The dynamic of the painting changes immensely with the presence of humans which is why it was specifically drawn with no humans in sight. This allows for the focus of the viewer to be entirely on the interior space.

Interiors are a reflexion of life and the way life is lived. There is so much that can be said through looking at interiors about the state of the universe being portrayed even without the presence of humans within the frame. Colors also play a large role in representing emotion in space; they set an ambiance and a tone and create meaning within the piece. The interior space within a painting also creates a sense of order versus chaos, which can be reflected solely through the placement of the objects within the space.

Throughout the talk, Rubenstein brings up the different components that make up interior space: the floor, ceiling, window, mirror, and staircase. Each one of these factors that make up the interior brings a different meaning to the energy the interior space is portraying. Whether a painting or drawing has all of these factors contribute to the overall complexity of the artwork. Towards the end of his talk, Rubenstein brings up the painting, The Maids of Honor by Velasquez; it is a painting of a painting within a space that incorporates every one of the different components within an interior space: floors, windows, ceiling, mirrors, and a staircase. The combination of all of these within one space including the presence of people within the frame creates chaos and disorder which is a reflection of the action taking place within the scene.

Moreover, the interior of a painting is the reality in which an object resides and the extent of its consciousness; it should be held as equal importance as the objects within it.

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