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Manifestations of the absent figure in Canadian sculpture since the seventies

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Manifestations of the absent figure in Canadian sculpture since the seventies

Latour, John (2005) Manifestations of the absent figure in Canadian sculpture since the seventies. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the absent figure in Canadian sculptural practices since the seventies. The absent figure is interpreted as a postmodern phenomenon. It calls into question the role of the figure in representational art as well as of those humanist values that have been expressed through the figure. Its emergence is traced to shifting social, political, and cultural forces from the sixties and seventies that challenged traditional concepts of representation and to critical approaches towards subjectivity. Manifestations of the absent figure in works of art from the seventies and onwards reflect a broader crisis of humanism. Through the examination of six sculptures by four Canadian artists--Jamelie Hassan, Colette Whiten, Jana Sterbak, and Liz Magor--this thesis shows how the absent figure alludes to the ephemeral and elusive nature of the human subject. This analysis draws from the literature of art history and contemporary art theory. It also takes into consideration certain theories of signification and approaches that are critical of the notion of subjectivity. Manifestations of the absent figure in the selected works demonstrate a gradual and progressive move away from a humanist vision of a centred subject towards one that is ultimately decentred.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Latour, John
Pagination:vi, 103 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Huneault, K
ID Code:8284
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:21
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:38
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