|An early 1900s era frame shop by an unknown artist.
|An example of a one-piece carved frame
from the 14th century. The artwork is an
annunciation by an unknown artist.
|The "gallery wrap"--we don't
need no stinkin' frames.
|Escaping Criticism, 1874,
Pere Borrel del Caso
In the Postmodern era, artist have come to accept the picture frame as, at worst, a necessary evil. Besides protecting art, the frame also serves as a dividing line between the improvised world created by the artist and the real, also improvised world of the viewer. The effort to cross this line, to, in effect, "break the frame" is largely a development of our present era, though examples, usually involving trompe l'oeil, can be found in art dating back to the 19th century Spanish painters such as Pere Borrel del Caso's Escaping Criticism (left). In this case, the frame is painted on the surface of the canvas. Dutch, English, and American painters have also played with this concept. In my own work, I've often extended the painting by various means out onto the frame, either by painting on the frame or through the use of various modeling media serving to three-dimensionally transition from the painting to the "real" world of the frame and the viewer. In my most recent work, The Peterhof Cascade (below), I glued to the lower portion of the painting a strip of primed canvas cut to imitate dripping water, then highlighted it would acrylic gel medium to extend the painted illusion of cascading water within the frame out over the frame. I'm thinking of placing a mop next to the painting.
|The Peterhof Cascades, 2013, Jim Lane