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Title: Really : towards a photorealist ontology of facticity
Author: Neil, Ken
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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The overall aim of this investigation is to present a more detailed reading and analysis of 1970s American Photorealism than has been offered by historians and theorists to date. To this end, the thesis reveals and develops the ontological significance of the complex of 'mundane facts' which comprises Photorealist painting: a layered complex of facts which I summarise throughout the thesis as the 'facticity' of the Photorealist artwork. In order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of Photorealism on an ontological level, the thesis attends to the four layers which make up all Photorealist paintings, namely: i) the copied photographic 'facts' which comprise the final painting; ii) the plastic 'facts' of the paintings and the methods of their construction; iii) the 'matter-of-fact', quotidian subject matter; and iv) the '(f)act' of beholding the paintings. This analysis is founded on a critical discussion of the three seemingly conflicting art theory components inherent in Photorealist painting: the 'artless', 'objective' photograph; the mechanistic Minimalist construction; and the Pop iconography. By contending with the peculiar theoretical tensions within the layers of mundane facts, this thesis demonstrates a deeper reading of these seemingly superficial paintings of photographs, and argues for Photorealism to be regarded as a form of painting which brilliantly, and critically, conjoins 'the Real' & 'the Minimal', the photographic & the handmade: deliberate paradoxes which reveal as much about present visual ontologies as they do the debates and frictions between the pictorial and the non -representational which surrounded their making. At this level the investigation is ultimately concerned with the extended meanings of that artwork which gives again, in meticulous, painstaking detail, the quotidian world in which it and the viewer are situated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available