The Verve once wrote in a song that there is no space and time, that we have existence and that's all we share.
In the terms of art, the element of space is probably one of the most important things that makes a piece complete. It is the space within the time...the space in which the piece exists.
The physical footprint of the painting above is 20"x16"...or 320 square inches. The paint exists within the bounds of the stretcher bars but there is space created within that aid in making this piece complete.
Follow the yellow arrows. Do you see all of the little pockets of space created within this piece?
Space can do wonderful things within a painting, especially with abstract work. While you may think that the drips and paint is just thrown haphazardly on a canvas, there is a method to the madness. That method is to create space.