Beyond Czanne's Doubt
Author: Alexander, Sandra
Source: Journal of Visual Art Practice, Volume 4, Numbers 2-3, 1 December 2005 , pp. 97-109(13)
Abstract:The article reassesses Merleau-Ponty's early essay Czanne's Doubt in terms of the evolution of the chiasmic aspects of Being which feature prominently in his later works Eye and the Mind and The Visible and the Invisible. It draws out the philosopher's interest in sense perception and the post-Impressionist painter's ways of embodied being in the world and producing meaning through expressive form. For Merleau-Ponty, Czanne best exemplified the task of the painter to give form to and beyond the levelling, highly complex human encounter with the visible, and the sensible in more general terms. He saw in Czanne the artistic analogue to phenomenological seeing as the artist aimed to capture matter in the process of taking form, in the process of appearing to perception. Merleau-Ponty's engagement with Czanne's personal apperception provides an early indication of the philosopher's notion of an intertwining between human being and the primordial, pre-reflective world.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Wadham College, Oxford.
Publication date: December 1, 2005
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