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Title: Intuition and certitude : abstract painting considered as a language
Author: Hemingway, Bernard Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0001 3552 4582
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1994
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Using stmcturalist and post-structuralist theory this thesis responds affirmatively to the question of whether or not abstract painting is a language. It is divided into two sections. Chapters 1 and 2 provide a theoretical model of abstract painting analogous to verbal language as a doubly-articulated discursive system dependent on a material structure and a metalinguistic level of interpretation, described as a process of "downward causation". The subject of meaning in abstract painting is divided into two broad "fields" - the field of sense, occupied by stimuli and signals, and the field of meaning, occupied by signs and symbols. In order to sustain this theory of meaning an open model of language is developed by drawing freely on the semiological theories of Saussure, Peirce, Hjelmslev, Benveniste, Barthes, and Eco and the philosophical writings of Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer and Derrida. Chapters 3 to 6 are a study of the work of Piet Mondrian, Theo Van Doesburg, Georges Vantongerloo, Max Bill, Richard Lohse, and Victor Vasarely by the light of this theoretical model. It is shown how Mondrian's abstract work established certain signifying elements and their principles of combination and how the artists who followed on after him can be read as both refinements of that initial method of painting and as thematised responses to extra-pictorial concerns.
Supervisor: Manion, Margaret ; Bann, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: NX Arts in general