Meditation on Shape

“Frequently these loaded images or objects are used by me without my attaching a particular significance to them. In other words, what I'm doing is letting whatever power, whatever affect they have, work on its own.”

Sarah Charlesworth
Geometric shapes on a solid field of bright color.
Sarah Charlesworth (American, 1947–2013)
Untitled, 2003
chromogenic print, 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Gift of Evan Mirapaul, 2020.45
© The Estate of Sarah Charlesworth

Sharpen your attention to detail with a guided mediation on shape using Sarah Charlesworth’s Untitled.

Follow along with the audio or text below.

Step-by-Step Meditation

Listen to Meditation on Shape:

  1. Find a comfortable position and look at this photograph.
  2. Bring your attention to the different shapes in this work. Try not to attach any significance or meaning to the shapes, simply notice their qualities. Notice the different lines, angles, and colors.
  3. Focus your entire attention on the shapes. As other thoughts enter the mind, try to let them go, without any judgement, and then return your attention to the shapes in the painting.
  4. Now, close your eyes and begin to imagine your own shapes in your mind’s eye.
  5. Focus on the details of the shapes. What colors do you see?
  6. Allow your mind to move from one imagined shape to another, at your own pace.
  7. Continue like this, focusing on different shapes in your mind’s eye as a tool to build concentration and stability in the mind.

This work is on view in Scaife Gallery C.