The static, opaque blue that fills the shallow interior spaces and landscapes of Picasso’s work beginning in late 1901 contribute to a quality of suspended time in his pictures. Suggestions of the fashionable, the modern, or the empirical are eliminated. Picasso’s figures become atemporal. Large in scale, [they] hover on the surface of the canvas … There is no before and no after in the icy blue of Picasso’s new style.
(Robert Bordingham, The Young Picasso.)
Ashley Makar: And perhaps looking at it not as a stone figure, but as a dancing Shiva.
Holland Cotter: Exactly, that this is worshiped, and the people who made it relate to it very, very interactively. That’s an important thing to know, that they do darshan. There’s this exchange of energy between the sculpture and you, the worshiper.
Ashley Makar: And darshan involves eyes—eye contact.
Holland Cotter: Eye contact. It does, it does. The god sees you. You see the god, but the god sees you. So there’s this definite energy being passed back and forth. … [T]he idea that you’re meant to engage with it, not just stand in front of it and look at it, but that you’re actually a part of its experience, and that it’s going to change you. Being in its vicinity is going to change you, if you approach it in the right frame of mind. I feel that’s true of a lot of art. I feel that’s true of Mondrian. I feel that’s true of a lot of abstraction, Western abstraction.
(Interview with Holland Cotter, An Art Critic on Art and Religion.)