Metamorphosis pp 187-194 | Cite as

Gestural Abstraction and the Fleshiness of Paint

  • Leah Durner
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 81)


A major component of the postmodernist project has been the critique of vision, specifically a critique of the Cartesian model of the disembodied subject viewing the object from afar, of vision as the dominant way of knowing the world, and of the gaze as appropriating its object and as the means of dominating the other. The critique has been mistakenly applied to painting revealing a misunderstanding of what painting is — for painting is not merely an object displayed for the visual delectation of the viewer. A painting is a becoming in which the painter, the painting, and those who later see the painting are joined together in the flesh, coextensive with the infinite. A painting is not made to be viewed but is brought into being by the action of the living body of the painter who cannot be separated either from the painting or from those who subsequently view the painting. The painting has a “carnal equivalent” in those, including the painter, who view it, arousing a “carnal formula of [its] presence.”1 By sharing this carnal equivalent the painter and all others who view the painting are joined together.


Existential Philosophy Dirty Hand Pure Knowledge Cartesian Model Versus Ision 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leah Durner
    • 1
  1. 1.New YorkUSA

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