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“…there was an involvement with an idea of interior-exterior. The relationship of the inside to the outside…For one thing, it was a way of painting more than one picture in a picture. If you have a mirror in a painting, you have two paintings. If you have a reflection in a painting, you have two paintings. If you have a doorway in painting, you have two paintings; a window, you have two paintings. They offered that immediately.

“But there is also the aspect within the context of our lives, our association with what’s outside and what’s inside. And the metaphor…I would think was less about the physical interior of the room and more about the psychological interior inside one’s self. It is whatever is inside…One space in relation to the outside, one’s own space in relation to one’s self.”

William Brice,
MoCA Walkthrough,
WilliamBrice.org/Library/Video/Brice “Walkthrough”

Brice’s frequently subdivided his field into multiple zones, each containing separate pictorial themes or motifs. Initially, he did this through the use of natural or architectural devices such as windows, tree trunks, or columns. That is, he made “pictures within pictures”.  During his mature period from the 1970s onwards, he dispensed with such rationales and simply allowed his pictorial themes and motifs to float within the work. 

By the 1980’s, his subdivisions become unlikely balancing acts of pictorial equations that at once are unequal yet equivalent in effect and weight as these works relegate one side or the other or their zones to various combinations of color vs. grayscale, mas vs. volume vs. shape, etc. Pictorial explanations for subdivisions are gone and the picture plane is often asymmetrically bisected or partitioned into multiple zones.