Behind / Underneath/ Interlacing: Damisch and Krauss Apropos the In(-)Visbility of the Theoretical Object

Bowman, Matthew (2023) Behind / Underneath/ Interlacing: Damisch and Krauss Apropos the In(-)Visbility of the Theoretical Object. In: Hubert Damisch y los trabajos del arte, 23 November 2024, Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, Spain. (Unpublished)

Full text not available from this repository.


This presentation will explore some commonalities between Hubert Damisch and the North American art critic Rosalind Krauss. Damisch, in his engagements with Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, and François Rouan, explored how these artworks, their status as “theoretical objects” aligned with cognizing their material depth, their layering of paint and canvas to generate complex epistemological effects, as coextensive with how surface marks that depth, indirectly demonstrating painting’s “underneath.”

Krauss, in her 1993 book The Optical Unconscious, diagrams the surface of the archetypal modernist painting as the self-purported manifestation of its immediacy. And yet, in unexpected ways, her understanding of Pollock parallels Damisch’s inasmuch as she, too, perceives an “underneath” or “behind” that also complicates the sheer surfaceness of the modernist canvas.

Damisch goes without mention in The Optical Unconscious, but this presentation will contend that his understanding of modernism’s materiality crucially inflects her own revisionary account. Yet Krauss’ appropriation of structuralism and Jacques Lacan’s L-Schema ultimately operates to chart the exhaustion of painting, its finitude, thereby rendering its “underneath” as a “beyond” explorable only by other mediums. My presentation, then, will seek to adjust Krauss’ argument by revisiting it via Damisch’s thoughts, and taking this “beyond” back into, and as interlaced with, the surface of painting.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fine art, art criticism, painting
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Matthew Bowman
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 09:56
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 09:56

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item