Looking at art, Rijksmuseum, July 2014
Now that so many take images on their mobile paraphernalia – quick and disposable, I suspect we catch the event, view, object quickly feeling no need for seeking detail, quite unlike an old master’s painting.
One tends to see what is in an Old Master before seeing it as a picture. Clement Greenberg.
I have become less interested in composition and more in seeing the brushwork, the handiwork, the work done. In some cases, like Van Eyck, that means seeing little of the work done and relaxing into the many fine glazes, the shimmer and the sheen.
In some cases zooming in on the details can be about seeing a narrative detail, getting more of the story.
The still life is becoming landscape-like. I can think of the brioche as a sort of Mont Sainte-Victoire – surmounted by a flower-tree, that is, the orange blossoms – which I move away from and return to by several different paths. Jed Perl on Chardin’s, The Brioche, 1763, (The Louvre)
Cezanne was moved to paint the image of Mont Sainte-Victoire in southern France more than 60 times, Chardin was not that inspired by brioche.
Don Ihde provides an overview of our perceptual habits, arguing that modern experience has been fundamentally altered by new technologies of representation. Just as the microscope and the telescope reshaped the scientific view of the world, everyday image technologies such as cinema and television reshape the social world. We are headed toward a world “pluriculture,” based on universal access to a bricolage of cultural fragments drawn from all over the globe. He suggests we uses all kinds of techniques for any purpose we may have: ‘This bricolage, multiple seeing, is a seeing that is more distinctively a development of the late twentieth century.’[SEE – “Image Technologies and Traditional Culture,” in Postphenomenology: Essays in the Postmodern Context, Evanston: Northwestern University, 1993; Technology and the Politics of Knowledge, edited by Andrew Feenberg and. Alastair Hannay, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1995; Don Ihde, Postphenomenology, Northwestern UP, 1993].