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Artists, Designers, and the Philosophers we Love International Symposium

  • University of Hertfordshire, School of Creative Arts Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9AB UK (map)

Research Presentation: Reparative Painting and the Painterliness of New Materialism

Can painting be words? Can the philosophical be material?

Artists, Designers, and the Philosophers we Love International Symposium, June 2019, convened by Theorising Visual Art and Design Research group, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire and Writing Visual Culture Journal

Artists have long been interested in the field of philosophy; it has been subject to both fascination and scepticism. Artists  are found quoting nuggets of philosophy as inspiration and as context for their work. For some, philosophers are names to conjure with, to add theoretical ballast to their perspectives, whereas for others philosophy is a vital of source of criticality, offering a new perspective on an individual's art and the context in which we find ourselves. For generations, artists have looked to philosophers of the Frankfurt School to understand the art-society-politics nexus and their role in it. Other artists, such as Joseph Kosuth, engage  with the Analytic tradition: in Art After Philosophy (1969) Kosuth responds to AJ Ayer. Philosophy comprises one aspect of an art education at BA and MA levels, and for many, a Doctorate in Fine Art practice, requires a serious engagement with philosophy in addition to theory, history and other disciplines.

Can artists contribute meaningfully to philosophy? Can there be a productive relationship between art practice and philosophy that goes beyond name-checking the Good and the Great, or merely illustrating a well-honed philosophical phrase? What is it for an artist to love a philosophy? In this workshop, we want to explore the relationship of art to philosophy from the perspective of practising artists. Our aim is to examine how art can engage with, and contribute to the theoretical problems of philosophy, and offer a critical rethinking of philosophies re-imagined and interrogated through art practice. The symposium is open to both senior and early-career artists and scholars who are planning or conducting projects in philosophy and art.


Kerry Power (artist and lecturer)
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia