AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Painting and Drawing: Mitigating The Space Between the Internal and External

by Bryan Robertson

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2016
Keywords: Drawing; Enlightenment; Painting; Philosophy; Post-Modernism; Post-tridentine; Fine arts; fine arts
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065893
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/36682


The topic of my thesis is about the “extra-relational” characteristics of rhetoric, poetry, and visual arts . Painting from my point of view is a form of natural philosophy with very deep roots extending back to the beginnings of civilization. I don’t intend to compose a survey of art history but it is important to understand that from its inception painting and drawing has played an important role in our cognitive development . The sociologist Michael S. Gazzaniga points out that the “inventive interpretive mind” is perhaps humanity’s greatest invention. He argues that technology is not just comprised of physical objects but also social constructs. The most important invention of our ancient ancestors was the ability to translate the individual story into a group narrative. My thesis will examine Caravaggio who not only pioneered realism in the sense of bringing everyday people and events into his work, but also employed perspective and paint handling techniques that have been heavily influential on my own work. I will talk about Goya who with the aid of the Enlightenment developed a distinct individualism into his oeuvre that has heavily influenced how I think about ideas in a visual way. Finally, I will discuss the contemporary painter Neo Rauch who with a deft touch of post-modernism collapses history into the present, creating work which reads more as an abstract dictionary entry than a decipherable story. Throughout I hope to explain my techniques and process, their historical significance, and their relationship to my content. Advisors/Committee Members: Lin, Zhi (advisor), O'Toole, Helen (advisor).