The event of painting

Eckersley, A 2014, 'The event of painting' in Ian Buchanan and Lorna Collins (ed.) Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Visual Art, Bloomsbury Academic, London, United Kingdom, pp. 205-225.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title The event of painting
Author(s) Eckersley, A
Year 2014
Title of book Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Visual Art
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Editor(s) Ian Buchanan and Lorna Collins
Start page 205
End page 225
Subjects Art Theory
Summary This chapter investigates how intensity is generated in a painting at its surface, drawing from conceptual tools provided in Deleuze and Guattari's schizoanalysis. My aim is to illuminate Deleuze's observation that "if painting has nothing to narrate and no story to tell, something is happening all the same, which defines the functioning of the painting". I argue that the functioning of a painting ought to be understood in affective terms. Affect, experienced in the encounter with painting, is generated alongside, in and on a painting's surfaces. This ontological argument is developed in the context of a survey of the surfaces of painting, taking into account the art historical debate surrounding Formalism and its privileging of flatness, as apparent in the paintings of Mark Rothko. This is then contrasted with the varying treatments of surfaces in the paintings of installation artist Robert Irwin and conceptual artist Karin Sander. My purpose is to generate an account of surfaces derived from the concepts of affect, intensity, sensation, event and encounter, arguing that the surface of a painting should be regarded as one 'body' involved in an encounter with other bodies. Schizoanalysis further suggests that encounters involve a flow of intensities, desires, affects and sensations between the bodies involved in the encounter. Conceiving of painting in these terms suggests that intensity is related to surfaces, themselves understood as bodies, and to the affects produced in the encounters between these bodies. In developing this logic, the chapter indicates how a painting emerges in events felt as a difference in intensity, thereby explicating how affect emerges as a relation between the body of the painting and the body of the viewer. This chapter derives a molecular account of affect from schizoanalysis to indicate the ways that intensity is generated in paintings at, in or on its surfaces.
Copyright notice © Ian Buchanan, Lorna Collins and Contributors 2014
Keyword(s) Deleuze
painting
affect
surfaces
ISBN 9781472531131
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