Pictorial space is the sense of a spatial dimension we feel when we view a painting’s formal elements. This is distinct from literal space–how far we stand from the painting, how far from the floor the painting is hung.
Pictorial space emerges from cues on the picture plane. The sense of space, like the sense of light, is a subtle element in painting. This sense takes time to reveal itself.
More challenging, even, than finding space, is creating space–deliberately and with conscious control. Just as we create a sense of light through manipulation of values, we control space through composition. The possibilities of investigating spatial problems in abstract art are enormous.