Concept of Peripheral Vision Art (1994)

Écrit par Patrick Chevalier. Publié dans Conceptuals of Art


“Peripheral Vision Art” is a Düd Reintjes satirical concept questioning the canons set out by colour field painting as expressed so successfully by artists of the 20th century movement such as Mark Rothko (see White Center -Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose, 1950), Barnet Newman (see Voice of fire, 1967), Frank Stella (Harran II, 1967), and closer to home, Guido Molinari (Sérielle bi-bleu 1967) or Claude Tousignant (Chromatic Accelerator, 1967). Colour field painters strived to represent the purity of painting with their chief concern being to eliminating depth (or the illusion of depth) from the pictorial plane and to place colour as the primordial concern for the pictoral tradition. They acheived primarily with the use of strong primal (usually complimentary colours) and often applied on a large surface in a geometric or sequential pattern.

While searching for a subject matter for a Reintjes “re”-perspective of art I chose to focus on a response to this obsession with colour field depth obliteration in painting. Just like the colour feild painters I tried to explore and apply colour on a picture plane in context with the viewer’s direct objective interaction with the work. “Peripheral Vision Art” would use a ground supporting a unified colour field that attempts to compact the work into one dimension but for “Peripheral Vision Art” to be successful three ancillary criteria were imposed on the work:

  1. that the field effect be miniaturised,
  2. that the viewer be encouraged to look at the piece from their peripheral vision, that is, looking away from and not at the work.
  3. That the viewer should feel incredulity about the thesis

This antithetic approach to colour field would, I surmised, be an impactful satirical and thought provoking series for the exhibit.

It was an absurd theory of course concocted on a subjective exploration of colour in abstract contemporary art but it is important to note contextually that color field was at the time (as it still is) considered to be the pinnacle of contemporary pictorial art. In some sense the terminus of the painting tradition.

What “Peripheral Vision Art” was proposing is that a color field could theoretically be executed in any size. Like a mark on a badly erased blackboard the work could indeed attract the eye and could affect the viewers depth defying perception as much as the large scale works and perhaps do a better job. Its size occupying a fraction of the space could be perceived as monopolizing a larger part of space as it marked the tension between the support and negative space (or empty space) in situ. Click on the diagram included above for a visual survay.

Extant images will demontrate the results of the work and clarify the proposed mechanics and effects of “Peripheral Vision Art.”

For a greater servay of the colour feild painting movement see colour field Painting.

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