The field begins at the surface. This could be stretched canvas, sheets of paper, trimmed board, or sometimes the ground for an event or installation. In any case the intitial preparation invites responsiveness to materials, reflecting an earlier period when art depended on its practical function and training was delivered through guilds and apprenticeship networks. Modernism preserved and at times elevated the techniques of surface preparation. While medieval and renaissance painters used grids to transfer imagery, the twentieth century saw these develop to expressive agents in their own right. Major contributors include Piet Mondrian, Anne Truitt, and Angnes Martin who was almost certainly inspired by the woven textiles of Navajo culture. The gridded field's inherently flexible, offering possibilities for transcendence and beauty. It can also reference mass production, utility, and order...building blocks of social dystopia if governments orient toward surveillance and the erosion of individual responsibilities and freedom.