Current research/thesis title:
Towards a Concrete Art: A Practice-Led Investigation
This study aims to identify a consistent position for Concrete Art, relevant to an understanding of, and highlighting its vital importance in, contemporary practice. Through this it considers a unifying of form and content, especially apt for practice-led investigation, where understandings of artworks through what they embody provides the means to an exploration of thought through practice. It thus further seeks to provide a wholly concrete conception of art-making.
- Are there Monist understandings of universals; how might these differ from a Platonic sense?
- What role have the general and particular in Concrete Art?
- Are concrete processes sufficient to determine ‘position’, physically and culturally?
- Are examinations of personal and cultural values then enabled by Concrete Art?
Differing understandings, artistically and philosophically, of Concrete Art, are apparent in the diversity of forms it has taken, and are perhaps a result of the contradictory states that ‘the concrete’ desires to occupy. Theo van Doesburg’s Manifesto for Concrete Art, of 1930, for example, appears to call for both opposite Realist/universal and Nominalist/particular understandings of artworks. Overall though, van Doesburg’s seems a monist position, uniting these contradictory elements as counterparts; a position which, by extension, could also better define the intentions of a general ‘concrete’ trend apparent throughout Modern art, reflecting on the relation between mind and matter, Man and Nature, and appearing consistent with the development from classical to modern understandings in physics.