Grubby mistakes and beautiful propositions: the shift of painting out as a way to look back in

PhD Thesis


McLean, Tarn. 2016. Grubby mistakes and beautiful propositions: the shift of painting out as a way to look back in. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Grubby mistakes and beautiful propositions: the shift of painting out as a way to look back in

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorMcLean, Tarn
SupervisorJenkins, Kyle
Akenson, David
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages330
Year2016
Abstract

The thesis proposition is that a specific group of artists from the 20th and 21st centuries locate conceptual intent as a vehicle for paintings expansion from the canvas
support to other fields of inquiry. These artists’ practices stem from concerns associated with Modernist painting such as Geometric Abstraction and monochrome
painting, and are intuitively reflected upon as a way to conceptualise other outcomes. Within this, ideas are abstracted away from the frame and painting is located through the design of space and architecture including objects, wall painting, social space (Artist run spaces) and installation strategies. All these artistic variations become emblematic of how certain painters have expanded their practice out as a way of looking back in.

Through these diverse processes of renewal the research addresses the ‘death of painting’ debate. It is argued that this specific genre of painting continues to resist
technological advances including mechanical reproduction and digital mediation. It is a practice that has consistently (over the last one hundred years) looked in on its own materiality and history as a way to encompass other propositions that sit outside the frame. Painting is an arts practice prevailing far from the horizons of death and
exhaustion, rather it continues to evolve and morph into other modes of painted realities.

Key artists interviewed in the thesis as primary research tools have nurtured paintings persistent evolution as a personalised language. These artists extend their conceptual
intentions beyond the canvas support towards other modes of painting. This ontological shift provides experiential sites of perspectival reflection as a way to look back in towards the frame. These dynamic working methodologies allows for an investigation of the potential contingencies of what painting can be and how it will continue to evolve as an arts practice beyond the second decade of the 21st century. The PhD claims these various propositions establish painting as a scenographic discourse circumnavigating the spatial boundaries between art, architecture and design.

KeywordsModernist art; Modernist painting; painting; contemporary painting; non-objective painting; monochrome painting; painting as architecture; painting as design; painting expanded
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360602. Fine arts
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
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