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Title: Privileged, unique and temporary : interpreting aesthetic experiences of the painter-painting relationship through an address to and from practice
Author: Goodyear, Alison
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 3352
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2017
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This practice led research examines the art historical hypotheses of Denis Diderot and Michael Fried on the role of aesthetic absorption in painting practice. It engages with these hypotheses through collaboration with six contemporary abstract painters in an address to and from painting practice. The collaboration was conducted in order to examine aesthetic absorption from the perspective of studio practice in order to develop greater understanding of its relevance to contemporary abstract painting. This was achieved by completing six objectives. First, a lexicon of the terms surrounding aesthetic absorption was developed along with a brief account of the history of engagement with the concept of aesthetic absorption. This was followed by individually interviewing each collaborator, then gathering them together for two round table discussions. All dialogue produced was transcribed, and along with the research material was made available to the collaborators through a wiki site. This material was then reflected upon through painting practice and thesis writing, to be presented finally as a written thesis and viva presentation. By opening up this in-depth dialogue on the practicalities behind Diderot and Fried’s art historical theories, this research has highlighted the concerns and hesitancies of a specific group of artists in their engagement with absorption. It bridges the gap between theory and practice by examining how painters have negotiated aesthetic absorption and the associated positions of painter-beholder and painting-beholder. This research has redefined those positions and relationships by mapping and analyzing the experiences described in the dialogues. As such, the contribution to knowledge of this research lies in its finding a new understanding of how painters can negotiate those positions. This is relevant to painting practice for two important reasons. First, it allows us, in a more structured way, to better understand the differences in the register of experience from banal or pathological types of absorption to aesthetic absorption in painting practice. Secondly, this understanding provides a framework to enable more coherent and focused programmatic modes of address from the studio in negotiating painter-beholder and painting-beholder relationships, thus providing greater conviction from the position of practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fine Art ; Painting