Altoon Sultan blogs a photo essay about surfaces in painting.
Sultan writes: "We often think of 'surface' as a word that demeans; it is the opposite of depth. But an intense focus on things can be a way to explore their form and meaning: it can be a celebration of life. When I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last month, I first spent time in the amazing exhibition of Indian painting... marvelously detailed paintings, full of careful attention to the smallest things of the world. So when I did my usual tour of the permanent collection of Northern European paintings, what caught my notice was the intense focus of those painters on the surfaces and textures of ordinary things..."