Figure, Ground, Point, Field

Research Seminar

  • Datum: 22.05.2018
  • Uhrzeit: 13:00
  • Vortragender: David Young Kim
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Gastgeber: Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
  • Kontakt:
Figure, Ground, Point, Field
We owe the Italian Renaissance picture more than the ideal human figure. Experiments in figuration, whether they involve contour or sfumato, cannot exist without ground, here understood in three senses of the word: first, the preparation of a given support (such as a gesso ground on panel); second, the plane on which figures stand; and third, the field in and against which figuration occurs.
Grounds register significant transitions in painting practice over time, such as the adoption of canvas and stone supports, or the passage from gold ground to landscape and architectural views, and beyond that, to the darkened or opaque grounds of Baroque tenebrism. And yet, this groundwork, however much it competes for our attention, rarely informs our thinking about the Renaissance picture. Focusing on gold ground in the work of Cennino Cennini and Gentile da Fabriano, this seminar will examine how ground becomes the material, mimetic, and semantic terrain where artists can explore the conditions of the possible, dramatizing not what painting is, or should be, but rather what it can be and become.

Research Seminar organized by Tristan Weddigen, coordinated by David Zagoury.

David Young Kim is assistant professor in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a visiting lecturer at the University of Zurich. His book The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance: Geography, Mobility, and Style (Yale University Press, 2014) was a finalist for the Ralph Waldo Emerson Book Prize. His current book project is entitled Groundwork: the Field of Renaissance Painting.
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