Look closer at big abstract paintings

Have you ever waited for-effing-ever for some inconsiderate nerd to stop communing with the art and step away from right in front of a painting in a museum so you could get a clear photo of it? Well, at least in some cases, I am that nerd, and you should spend more time looking at the painting before you photograph it anyway.

MoMA wall text next to Barnett Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis

If you don't know Barnett Newman's work, you should. If you've seen it but never gotten real close, shame on you, get back there and get right up in there. At the very least, get close enough that the painting fills your field of view and you have to walk or move your head to see the edges. With Vir Heroicus Sublimis, which is about 8 feet tall and over 17 feet wide, that shouldn't be too hard. Here's a sample.

Part of the middle of Barnett Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis. Click to enlarge.

OK, maybe not the most accessible part of the work, but that's all the more reason to go see the real thing.  It's at MoMA. There are other Newman paintings elsewhere, too. Here's a full view to give you a sense of scale, by flickr member Hank. Color balance is as color balance does, I'd say the truth is somewhere in between, less orange, more carmine.

Vir Heroicus Sublimis

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