» Nonsite Author: Michael Schreyach
November 6th, 2017
Experience and Experimental Writing:
Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses
By , (Trinity University), , and (Johns Hopkins University)

Consider looking at that cursive “c” through a microscope, the edges of the dried ink branching out in irregular furrows into the fabric of the paper. Could Dickinson mean that? Could any human mean that? Would ever more powerful microscopes uncover more and more layers of meaning? It made sense to me to think the answers here should be “no.”

January 25th, 2017
Fig. 2. Wassily Kandinsky, Red Spot II (1921)
Oil on canvas
131 x 181 cm
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
Kandinsky: Tactical, Operational, Strategic
By (Trinity University)

Imagine two surfaces: one, a flat stretch of canvas secured to a physical support; the other, a picture plane. What’s the difference? The canvas is an actual piece of fabric upon which a painter will apply physical material with brushes, rags, and trowels to render an image, whether abstract or representational. The picture plane is an immaterial and intangible screen of pictorial projection. The image that sustains the virtual reality of the depiction is neither identical to nor reducible to the pigment and canvas that literally constitute its configuration.

October 11th, 2012
07 Pollock 1948 Number 1A
Pollock’s Formalist Spaces
By (Trinity University)

There is a deep schism within Pollock criticism. Taking Pollock’s marks to index the artist’s activity elevates the causes of his paintings over their meanings, with the consequence that his works of art are reduced to intentionless surfaces that just register his “traces.” That position implicitly requires us to reject the status of a painting as a medium of expression, and treat it instead as an occasion for a viewer’s experience. But Pollock’s project–one that finds its most rigorous articulation in formalist accounts of his art–is based on demarcating the actual from the representational, the literal surface from pictorial meaning.

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