Modern Presence: From Minimalism to Phenomenology. A sculptural method for being-there with Richard Serra’s Te Tuhirangi Contour

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dc.contributor.advisor Minissale, G en Klevstul, Rowan en 2019-09-03T02:57:00Z en 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Mid-twentieth century sculpture underwent dramatic changes in aesthetic content and subject matter. New materials and the cross-pollination of artistic practices placed new emphasis on external surface and site-specificity. This led to a dissolution of the medium-specific categorisation of modern sculpture. This shift was noted by critic Michael Fried in his essay Art and Objecthood, that staked out the academic modernist position against minimalist art in nineteen-sixties America. Fried saw the lack of discernible content and 'theatricality' of minimalist sculpture as a problematic negation of deep meaning in formal abstract art. By comparison, Rosalind E. Krauss loosened the hegemonic modernist system of values to usefully critique the avant-garde practices of a diverse range of emerging sculptors. She developed a phenomenological sensibility that enhanced her formal readings of non-mimetic, often large-scale sculptures that were resistant to conventionalised interpretation. This thesis considers how both Fried and Krauss' critical responses to the shifting dynamic of modern sculpture are helpful in situating the practice of Richard Serra, one of the major artists to emerge out of the iconoclastic period of the New York art world during the late nineteen-sixties. Tracing Serra's development as an artist with a strong awareness of art history and involvement with contemporary process-based practitioners gives an account of how, by his incorporation of the traditional with the innovative in praxis, affords an understanding of the changes in sculpture at a pivotal moment in the medium's history. Having evaluated the critical response to minimalist and post-minimalist sculpture to reflect upon the importance of Serra's six-decade long career holds for twenty-first century viewers, I then introduce some key concepts from Martin Heidegger's philosophy to offer a complementary methodology that synthesises Fried's modernist rationale with Krauss' increased sensitivity to phenomenological affect. Finally, by reevaluating the aesthetics of Cartesian consciousness I demonstrate how sculpture can afford access to ontologically important questions. I explore Heidegger's concept of Dasein (being-there) in a personal encounter with Serra's largest continuous landscape piece, Te Tuhirangi Contour (2000-2002). By combining the intellectual space of modernist theory with the lived experience of phenomenological investigation, I look to provide an account of how profound meaning is readily accessible in being with sculpture in the world. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265170610602091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title Modern Presence: From Minimalism to Phenomenology. A sculptural method for being-there with Richard Serra’s Te Tuhirangi Contour en
dc.type Thesis en Art History en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 779938 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-09-03 en

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