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Title: Monochrome and trace in contemporary painting
Author: Mathus, Miguel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 2057
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2018
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This project explicitly addresses the persistent question of the monochrome. I want to develop several figures of thought such as inscription, erasure and trace in order to examine new ways in which this question might find fresh trajectories of formulation. Historically, the monochrome has attracted discussions related to the autonomy of painting, the circularity of process, chromatic purity, repetition, limits, transcendence, the beyond of representation. The project does not aim to formulate the question of the identity of contemporary abstraction but instead explore the questions related to abstraction’s temporality. The monochrome appears to resist a pure art historical discourse because of the way that it has always been close to a speculative drive within philosophical aesthetics. In this regard I wish to test this relationship between ways of mediating the visual in terms of language and the schemas assumed by the modulation of the ‘seeable’ into the ‘sayable’. Jacques Derrida is an important figure for my research in terms of his thinking about the trace and the play of absence and presence. These concepts will be engaged with alongside accounts of the monochrome in contemporary art history. This intellectual project is anchored by the relationship to my own studio practice, which involves an overlapping of elements that are added and dismantled until a definitive form is achieved. The physical nature of the materials is, thus, central to the activity. Materials are added and removed; the latter process is frequently the more important. The surface is worked through a restrained process of making, trading one factor against another until a resolution becomes possible. By working with increased physicality, plus highly calibrated or austere means, the ambition is then to engage the viewer as a total sentient being as opposed to a receiver of images. The work thus resists the conventions that govern the presentation of image-based paintings and this implies the possibility that the work creates other schemas of both place and temporality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W120 Painting