Art as "Night": An Art-Theological Treatise by Gavin Keeney
English | 2014 | ISBN: 1443824747, 1443824011 | 245 pages | PDF | 1,3 MB
Art as 'Night' proposes a type of ahistorical dark knowledge (atheology & theology, at once) crossing painting since Velazquez, but reaching back to the Renaissance, especially Titian & Caravaggio. As a form of formalism, this 'night' is also closely allied with forms of intellection that come to reside in art as pure visual agency or material knowledge while invoking moral agency, a function of art more or less bracketed in modern art for ethical &/or political agency. Not a theory of meta-painting, Art as 'Night' restores coordinates arguably lost in painting since the separation of natural & moral philosophy in the Baroque era. It is with Velazquez that we see a turning point, an emphasis on the specific resources of painting as a form of speculative intellect, while it is with contemporary works by Gerhard Richter & Anselm Kiefer that we see the return of the same after the collapse of modernism, & after subsequent postmodern maneuvers to make art discursive yet without the austerities of the formal means present in Art as Art. Art as 'Night' argues for a non-discursive form of intellection fully embodied in the work of art &, foremost, painting. A synoptic & intentionally elusive & allusive survey of painting, through the collapse of the art market in late 2007, Art as 'Night' suggests by way of this critique of an elective 'night' crossing painting that the art world is an endlessly deferred version of pleroma (Hegel's Absolute Knowledge), a fully synthetic world given to an exploration & appropriation of the given through classical mimesis & epistemology & its complete incorporation & transfiguration in a theory of knowledge & art as pure speculative agency. In effect, Art as 'Night' is an incarnational theory of art as absolute knowledge.