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Ray Mead, the anthropomorphic gesture

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Ray Mead, the anthropomorphic gesture

Bayes, Christopher Lee (2007) Ray Mead, the anthropomorphic gesture. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Ray Mead (1921-1998) was one of just a handful of painters working in English Canada whose career followed abstraction from its early (and often maligned) inception, through its "heroic" phases (in the late 1950s and 60s) and into its current decline as an influential avant-garde practice. His later work, though continually done in a formally Modernist style, nonetheless had a little of what could be dramatically called postmodern sentimentality. This thesis not only documents Mead's development as an artist, but also examines his work within the shifting context of modern and postmodern ideologies--especially as they relate to the changing notions of subjectivity. The underlying premise is that abstract painting is anthropomorphic by sight alone. Within this scenario the "eye" (the limiting conditions of sight) becomes a model for the ego's place in the world as a reflexive entity (or the conditions of the "I"). Thus, "subject matter" is as much an issue for the viewer today, as it was an ongoing question for painters working in the 1950s. By engaging such theorists as Jean-François Lyotard, Immanuel Kant, Clement Greenberg, Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Zizek, formal changes in Mead's work are related to developing ideas of subjectivity, as his painting moved from an aesthetics of the Beautiful (favouring consensus, completeness, consistency and wholeness of form) towards an aesthetics of the Sublime (a fleeting sense of joy and terror in the face of the unpresentable)

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bayes, Christopher Lee
Pagination:ix, 97 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Foss, Brian
ID Code:975265
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:04
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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