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FRAMED: INNOCENCE OR GILT?

WHY IS IT THAT a painting is fundamentally conceived of in terms of the finite object and not as a property of a continuous surface existing in time ad infinitum? The concept of the painted surface is often confused with that of “the canvas.” I propose that painting be thought of as an enormous roll of diversified fabric, woven in a single piece and unrolled in time and in space. This surface extends for miles and miles but never appears on display. Its continuity is interrupted and broken up—cut into—to form innumerable fragments and portions of canvas (paintings), creating intervals and separations the understanding of which could greatly influence our way of thinking about and seeing painting, or for that matter continuity in the history of art. I turn my attention here to this “cut”—commonly defined as the “frame” or the “limits of the painting”—in order to discover its history. The

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