The Picture in Question: Mark Tansey and the Ends of Representation

The Picture in Question: Mark Tansey and the Ends of Representation

Mark C. Taylor

Language: English

Pages: 151

ISBN: 0226791297

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A rich exploration of the possibilities of representation after Modernism, Mark Taylor's new study charts the logic and continuity of Mark Tansey's painting by considering the philosophical ideas behind Tansey's art. Taylor examines how Tansey uses structuralist and poststructuralist thought as well as catastrophe, chaos, and complexity theory to create paintings that please the eye while provoking the mind. Taylor's clear accounts of thinkers ranging from Plato, Kant, and Hegel to Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and de Man will be an invaluable contribution to students and teachers of art.

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top-down to a bottom-up approach that would allow the pictures to speak for themselves, and he asserted that the publication of my book would make it difficult if not impossible for people to appreciate this change in his work. This unexpected turn of events is ironic. The ideas Tansey explores have always been my point of contact with his work, and over the years he and I have had many conversations about difficult theoretical issues. At times, indeed, it seemed to me that Tansey's painting and

the theory. Not its accident but its frame. More or less still: what if the lack were not only the lack of a theory of the frame but the place of the lack in a theory of the frame. Edge [arete]/lack12 Structuralism lacks a theory of the frame. This lack is not accidental but is a strategic exclusion through which structuralism defines itself. If the metastructure informing every structure is binary opposition, there is no place for the neither/ nor of the frame. Structuralism, in other words,

word aveugle comes from ab oculus: not from or by but without the eyes), the following remains to be heard and understood: the blind man can be a seer, and sometimes has the vocation of a visionary. Here is the second hypothesis then—an eye graft, the grafting of one point of view onto the other: a drawing of the blind is a drawing of the blind. Double genitive. There is no tautology here, only a destiny of the self-portrait. Every time a draftsman lets himself be fascinated by the blind, every

the letter "a." While Derrida notes that the word "writing" derives from the Germanic writan, which means to tear or scratch, Tansey stresses that the word "painting" is associated with cutting. The stem of "painting" is peig, which means to cut or mark (by incision). Whether written or painted, the letter is always incisive and thus inevitably involves a certain violence. The "a" the child carves in stone is the "a" with which Derrida transforms difference into differance. Rather than a

literalism of the drawing vanishes in the painting. No longer dressing and/or undressing, figures along the central horizontal axis now are engaged in a variety of activities. Here as elsewhere, a series of binary opposites structure the painting: void/form, empty/full, dark/light, wet/dry, human/animal, man/woman, tall/short, motion/rest, expansion/contraction, gravity/levity, and so on. Near the center of the work stands a woman who has not forgotten her umbrella. Next to her a man with a hard

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