Abstracts

Abstracts Slow Violence: Jusepe de Ribera and the Limits of Naturalism Joris van Gastel This paper explores the impact of Jusepe de Ribera’s (1591 – 1652) paintings on the viewer as what is described as a ‘slow violence’. Frequently discussed in terms of violent subject matter, here attention is drawn to the specific materiality of Ribera’s paintings and the way in which the tangible, material presence of the paint impacts the beholder. As was already noted by his contemporaries, Ribera’s thick manner of painting – radically different from Caravaggio’s mirror-like surfaces – was paired with an extraordinary diligence and precision; as a result, the material of paint verges on modeled flesh, thus merging with the suggestion of an actual bodily presence. Referring to Julia Kristeva’s work on the abject, the effects of this presence are discussed both on a phenomenological and a historical level. Hereby it is argued that the phenomenological unease that is related to decay, has, in the specific context of baroque Naples, become an economy of sin and forgiveness, an economy in which the abject is internalized and sublimated. Views of Political Geography in the Seven Years’ War: Military Artists’ Prints and British Consumers Jocelyn Anderson During the Seven Years’ War, the London engraver and geographer Thomas Jefferys was committed to selling war news and images through a broad portfolio of products which represented the overseas conflicts for the British public. Among his most high profile publications were prints created by men serving in or associated with the military: these men had seen the battlefields and the contested colonies in North America first-hand, giving them unique opportunities to make field studies and sketches; professional artists in London were enlisted to turn these drawings into prints. Unlike portraits of military commanders and history paintings, which depicted the war as a conflict dominated by heroic leaders, the military view prints Jefferys sold represented the war as a conflict of global spaces, and in his shop, these landscapes were surrounded by a rich discourse of geographic and political controversies. This article argues that the dynamics of Jefferys’s shop are fundamental to the significance of the military artists’ view prints of North America, and by examining the context in which they would have seen the military view prints, a geographic visual narrative of the Seven Years’ War emerges. In the eyes of the military artists, the war was a conflict of contested and highly unstable places. Pissarro’s Twist James D. Herbert Camille Pissarro’s Haying Time of 1892 rhymes the peasants’ turning of fodder in the field to the artist’s turning of thick paint on the canvas. This similarity can be extended further than it might at first appear. Drawing on neurology and philosophy of mind, this essay explores the degree to which Pissarro, viewed as a process rather than a person, can be imagined to extend out of his head to reside instead in the materials of his picture making, just as peasant as process consists of the working of the land. While Pissarro strives to pull the world into his ‘peripersonal’ space of painting close at hand, the activity of painting conversely strives to pull the process that is Pissarro onto its surface, making it manifest right there. The article concludes by considering an analogical twist performed by Paul Cézanne’s Sous-Bois from around 1894. ‘Do you think Pop Art’s queer?’ Gene Swenson and Andy Warhol Jennifer Sichel This article presents a significant archival discovery: the unknown tape-recording of Gene Swenson’s defining 1963 interview with Andy Warhol, published originally in ARTnews as part of a series titled ‘What is Pop Art? Answers from 8 Painters’. On the recording, Swenson begins the interview by asking Warhol, “What do you say about homosexuals?” – a question Warhol goes on to answer with great care and complexity. However, this question, along with every subsequent mention of homosexuality, was expunged from the published interview. Expounding the original content of this heavily redacted conversation, Sichel argues for an augmented understanding of Pop’s queerness, expanded to account for the development of Swenson’s queer practice alongside Warhol’s. Turning to Swenson offers a skewed slant on Pop, permitting an alternative view that extends to the frayed edges of the movement where feelings butt up against the obdurate limits of possibility. It is a view of Pop that looks not just at the cow papered walls of MoMA, but also outside the windows to take in the view of Swenson picketing alone on the sidewalk below, armed with only a single, oversized, and unanswered question mark. Kara Walker’s Mourning Play Amy K. Hamlin What might it mean for a work of art to satisfy mourning in the viewer? What loss is mourned? How is the feeling provoked and acknowledged? What form does the artwork take to satisfy mourning? This article puts these questions among others in dialogue with A Subtlety by Kara Walker, a site-specific public installation commissioned by Creative Time that was constructed, exhibited, and destroyed in Brooklyn in 2014. Where much of the literature on Walker’s art dwells in the ethical concerns that her provocative engagement with stereotype and the history of American slavery invites, this article takes a different approach. By using Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Baroque mourning play, or Trauerspiel, as a lens through which to consider A Subtlety, the affective and allegorical dimensions of the great work are foregrounded. Close readings of contemporary reviews of A Subtlety are offered along with analysis of related artworks in Walker’s oeuvre and consideration of the broader discourse of mourning, including texts by Claudia Rankine, Sigmund Freud, Saidiya V. Hartman, and Judith Butler. Ultimately, this essay aims to surface the question: What might an artwork that successfully satisfies mourning be said to yield? © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oxford Art Journal Oxford University Press

Abstracts

Oxford Art Journal , Volume 41 (1) – Mar 1, 2018

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved
ISSN
0142-6540
eISSN
1741-7287
D.O.I.
10.1093/oxartj/kcy002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Slow Violence: Jusepe de Ribera and the Limits of Naturalism Joris van Gastel This paper explores the impact of Jusepe de Ribera’s (1591 – 1652) paintings on the viewer as what is described as a ‘slow violence’. Frequently discussed in terms of violent subject matter, here attention is drawn to the specific materiality of Ribera’s paintings and the way in which the tangible, material presence of the paint impacts the beholder. As was already noted by his contemporaries, Ribera’s thick manner of painting – radically different from Caravaggio’s mirror-like surfaces – was paired with an extraordinary diligence and precision; as a result, the material of paint verges on modeled flesh, thus merging with the suggestion of an actual bodily presence. Referring to Julia Kristeva’s work on the abject, the effects of this presence are discussed both on a phenomenological and a historical level. Hereby it is argued that the phenomenological unease that is related to decay, has, in the specific context of baroque Naples, become an economy of sin and forgiveness, an economy in which the abject is internalized and sublimated. Views of Political Geography in the Seven Years’ War: Military Artists’ Prints and British Consumers Jocelyn Anderson During the Seven Years’ War, the London engraver and geographer Thomas Jefferys was committed to selling war news and images through a broad portfolio of products which represented the overseas conflicts for the British public. Among his most high profile publications were prints created by men serving in or associated with the military: these men had seen the battlefields and the contested colonies in North America first-hand, giving them unique opportunities to make field studies and sketches; professional artists in London were enlisted to turn these drawings into prints. Unlike portraits of military commanders and history paintings, which depicted the war as a conflict dominated by heroic leaders, the military view prints Jefferys sold represented the war as a conflict of global spaces, and in his shop, these landscapes were surrounded by a rich discourse of geographic and political controversies. This article argues that the dynamics of Jefferys’s shop are fundamental to the significance of the military artists’ view prints of North America, and by examining the context in which they would have seen the military view prints, a geographic visual narrative of the Seven Years’ War emerges. In the eyes of the military artists, the war was a conflict of contested and highly unstable places. Pissarro’s Twist James D. Herbert Camille Pissarro’s Haying Time of 1892 rhymes the peasants’ turning of fodder in the field to the artist’s turning of thick paint on the canvas. This similarity can be extended further than it might at first appear. Drawing on neurology and philosophy of mind, this essay explores the degree to which Pissarro, viewed as a process rather than a person, can be imagined to extend out of his head to reside instead in the materials of his picture making, just as peasant as process consists of the working of the land. While Pissarro strives to pull the world into his ‘peripersonal’ space of painting close at hand, the activity of painting conversely strives to pull the process that is Pissarro onto its surface, making it manifest right there. The article concludes by considering an analogical twist performed by Paul Cézanne’s Sous-Bois from around 1894. ‘Do you think Pop Art’s queer?’ Gene Swenson and Andy Warhol Jennifer Sichel This article presents a significant archival discovery: the unknown tape-recording of Gene Swenson’s defining 1963 interview with Andy Warhol, published originally in ARTnews as part of a series titled ‘What is Pop Art? Answers from 8 Painters’. On the recording, Swenson begins the interview by asking Warhol, “What do you say about homosexuals?” – a question Warhol goes on to answer with great care and complexity. However, this question, along with every subsequent mention of homosexuality, was expunged from the published interview. Expounding the original content of this heavily redacted conversation, Sichel argues for an augmented understanding of Pop’s queerness, expanded to account for the development of Swenson’s queer practice alongside Warhol’s. Turning to Swenson offers a skewed slant on Pop, permitting an alternative view that extends to the frayed edges of the movement where feelings butt up against the obdurate limits of possibility. It is a view of Pop that looks not just at the cow papered walls of MoMA, but also outside the windows to take in the view of Swenson picketing alone on the sidewalk below, armed with only a single, oversized, and unanswered question mark. Kara Walker’s Mourning Play Amy K. Hamlin What might it mean for a work of art to satisfy mourning in the viewer? What loss is mourned? How is the feeling provoked and acknowledged? What form does the artwork take to satisfy mourning? This article puts these questions among others in dialogue with A Subtlety by Kara Walker, a site-specific public installation commissioned by Creative Time that was constructed, exhibited, and destroyed in Brooklyn in 2014. Where much of the literature on Walker’s art dwells in the ethical concerns that her provocative engagement with stereotype and the history of American slavery invites, this article takes a different approach. By using Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Baroque mourning play, or Trauerspiel, as a lens through which to consider A Subtlety, the affective and allegorical dimensions of the great work are foregrounded. Close readings of contemporary reviews of A Subtlety are offered along with analysis of related artworks in Walker’s oeuvre and consideration of the broader discourse of mourning, including texts by Claudia Rankine, Sigmund Freud, Saidiya V. Hartman, and Judith Butler. Ultimately, this essay aims to surface the question: What might an artwork that successfully satisfies mourning be said to yield? © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

Journal

Oxford Art JournalOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

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