Manet and the object of painting

Manet and the object of painting

Editorial: Tate

Páginas: 96

Año: 2009

EAN: 9781854378453

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In this encounter between one of the 20th-century´s greatest philosophical minds and an artist fundamental to our understanding of the development of modern art, Michel Foucault explores Manet´s importance in the overthrow of traditional values in painting. Originally delivered as a series of lectures in Tunis in 1971, this powerful critique takes the form of a commentary on thirteen of Manet´s paintings. It was written at a time when Foucault was both intellectually and politically engaged, taking part in struggles in the streets as well as on the page. For Foucault, the connection between visual art and power was clear. Far from painting being an insular and bourgeois pursuit, he saw it as a place where power´s insidious workings were disclosed and therefore challenged. At the same time, this work is part of the larger history of representation that informs all Foucault¿s major works, a stage in the development of his concern for le regard, or the gaze, which was to become a major feature of 20th-century French phenomenology. In paintings like Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère, Manet used the mirror to imply the multiple gaze of the waitress, the viewer and the man at the bar who may or may not be the artist, to produce a new, self-conscious kind of painting, or painting-object, that was about painting itself. It was these qualities that fascinated Foucault, who used Manet as a basis for a wider exploration of culture.