An aesthetic of the unknown

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    Abstract

    This paper begins to establish an 'aesthetic of the unknown' by drawing together theorists and approaches from mainstream art criticism to provide a starting-point for an aesthetic sympathetic with Jungian perspectives, in an attempt to bridge a gap between contemporary abstract painting, contemporary art theory and Jungian studies. This is a framework for approaching the abstract painting not as an object awaiting interpretation or 'reading', but rather as something that offers a numinous experience (or experience of the unknown), which can be thought about but may remain ultimately unknowable and irreducible. Such experience - involving both the unconscious and conscious mind - would provide glimpsesof forms of meaning not accessible to full rational exposition. This type of uncosciously understood meaning is explored, acknowledging that there is a need to preserve this encounter with the unknown and a need for a contemporary critical, theoretical framework that recognises the importance of this within abstract painting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number10.1080/19409052.2014.954754
    Pages (from-to)19-32
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Jungian Studies
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    Early online date2 Jan 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

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    Aesthetics
    Abstract Paintings
    Exposition
    Theoretical Framework
    Conscious
    Theorists
    Theory of Art
    Art Criticism

    Keywords

    • abstract painting, spiritual, apophatic, numinous, unknowable

    Cite this

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    An aesthetic of the unknown. / Evans, Michael.

    In: International Journal of Jungian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, 10.1080/19409052.2014.954754, 01.02.2015, p. 19-32.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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