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.
Bibliographical noteE-ISSN: 1940-9060
Print ISSN: 1940-9052
- abstract painting, spiritual, apophatic, numinous, unknowable