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By Joseph D. Parry

Philosophy of artwork is usually enthusiastic about the definition, appreciation and price of paintings. via an in depth exam of paintings from contemporary centuries, paintings and Phenomenology is among the first books to discover visible paintings as a method of experiencing the realm itself, displaying how within the phrases of Merleau-Ponty ‘Painting doesn't imitate the area, yet is a global of its own’. an exceptional sequence of chapters by means of a world team of participants research the subsequent questions: Paul Klee and the physique in artwork color and history in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of paintings self-consciousness and seventeenth-century portray Vermeer and Heidegger philosophy and the portray of Rothko embodiment in Renaissance artwork sculpture, dance and phenomenology. paintings and Phenomenology is vital examining for somebody drawn to phenomenology, aesthetics, and visible tradition.

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Extra resources for Art and Phenomenology

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One can also see how he depicts it in a self-portrait in Abwägender Künstler (Plate 1), a work roughly contem22 THE PH EN O M EN O LO G I CAL R ELE VA N C E O F A RT poraneous with the quotation above. In this sketch, Klee captures the way an artist’s gaze poises his muscles for responsive motion. The artist is not yet ready to draw; he has neither pen nor brush nor paper nor canvas. ” On Klee’s account, then, to be an artist, one needs to become sensitized to one’s own body in a special way. Klee had certain metaphors for explaining the role of the artist’s body in mediating the creation of the work.

Three things are to be noted about this definition. First, to characterize beauty as perfection indicates its normative character. Beauty is not simply a property of an object, like its color or shape, but belongs to the object as measured against a standard of what it ought to be. Second, beauty fascinates us because this adequacy-to-the-norm is not something we grasp in thought (as when we note the adequacy of an object 31 STEV EN CROW E L L to its concept) but is something sensed. This sensuous consciousness of the ideal is manifest as the distinctive pleasure we take in the beautiful.

If this is right, it poses a real problem for the practice of phenomenological description, since this practice seems to rely on our breaking out of our normal, fluid dealings with things in order to deliberately reflect on how they appear. When we do this, phenomenologists like Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty have acknowledged, we are at constant risk of focusing on features which are salient for deliberate action or disengaged observation, but not necessarily for our ordinary practical dealings. If the phenomenologists are right about this – that attending to a phenomenon with the purpose of describing it actually prevents us from seeing the phenomenon as it is present in our ordinary, everyday perception – then how can we proceed in clarifying the nature of ordinary perception?

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