Beyond Figuration and Narration: Deleuzian Approaches to Gwen John's Paintings
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In this paper I trace pictorial acts that move beyond figuration and narration, particularly focusing on Gwen John's portraits of women and girls, the work of her maturity as an artist. In doing this I make connections between John's and Cézanne's letters about their painting techniques and direction. The analysis draws on Deleuze and Guattari's approaches to the work of art. I discuss in particular the concept of faciality in the Thousand Plateaus and the problem of painting forces in Deleuze's work on Bacon, The Logic of Sensation. My argument is that an analysis that goes beyond phenomenology and semiotics opens new ways of seeing and appreciating a modernist woman artist's paintings, and sheds new light on the way her art allows the female figure to emerge as a woman-becoming-imperceptible within a patriarchal regime of signs.
© 2014 Edinburgh University Press. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Philosophy not elsewhere classified