‘The image of black in a thousand different ways’: Materiality and Visual Perception in the work of Franz Kline, David Smith, Ad Reinhardt and Francis Newton Souza

Richard Mulholland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the physical, cognitive and perceptual aspects of black materiality in the art of the modern period, and considers how we perceive the physical methods, materials and processes used in the work of Franz Kline, David Smith, Ad Reinhardt and Francis Newton Souza. The paper highlights the value of embodied simulation theory in understanding work in black paintings and drawings in the modern period, and considers the various ontologies for these objects. It concludes that how we perceive abstract black monochromatic and gestural works of art may be seen as being dependent on a carefully structured relationship between choice and manipulation of material by the artist and a number of complex cognitive functions that occur as part of our perception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMatières noires, sens et substances, 2
EditorsArlen Heginbotham, Agnès Lattuati-Derieux, Charlotte Ribeyrol
Place of PublicationParis, France
PublisherCentre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France
Pages72-79
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9782111674394
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameTechne: La Science au Service de L'Histoire de L'Art et de la Preservation des Bien Culturels
PublisherCentre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France
Number56
ISSN (Print)1254-7867

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