Das Sehbare und das Unsehbare
Abenteuer der Bildanschauung. Théodore Géricault, Frank Stella, Anselm Kiefer
If works of art are looked at really intensively, then visual perception will become an incomparable adventure. Then one immerses in their phenomenal world and in the intrinsic reality of painting. Only then also the genuine potential of the pictures will be seen. In three detailed chapters, a receptive-aesthetic-phenomenological journey through magnificent picture landscapes is undertaken.
In Théodore Géricault's Raft of the Medusa, it is important to follow the dynamic visual experience and the complex formations that disclose the work‘s previously unseen dimensions of meaning.The hunt for Moby Dick is once again painted by Frank Stella. Everything revolves around the question: how can his non-representational works follow Melville's novel, if the story itself already deals with the impossibility of narration? The pictorial landscape unfolded by Anselm Kiefer in his history painting Varus requires an entrance into the founding myth of the Hermannsschlacht. Here, one encounters not only a detailed genealogy of patriotic thinking developed in a picture-logical manner – but also the fractures and instabilities and the apocalyptic consequences of this German narration.It is always about what is visible to the eye and about what remains invisible but yet is indispensable.
Jürgen Stöhr is Professor at the University of Konstanz. He teaches art history and does reseach in the field of methodology of art reception and the art oft he 19. and 20. Century.