Postcards from the edge: The power of frames

How frames can define our perception of art

While the structure of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling helps define Michelangelo’s frescoes, 400 years later Jackson Pollock abandoned frames altogether. Andrew Graham-Dixon traces the historic relationship between images and their boundaries

I have been thinking a lot about frames and edges lately: the places where works of art begin and end, and where they meet the world that surrounds them. Both are vital aspects of the experience of art, and both are peculiarly ill-served by reproduction, which habitually turns every picture into a disembodied slide or screen-grab: scaleless, placeless, whirled into the great sensorium of our increasingly virtual world.

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