Bildraum as Aporia – Netherlandish Pilgrimage and Vision Deferred
Christopher P. Heuer
Assistant Professor der Princeton University, Department of Art and Archaeology
Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2009, 18.30 Uhr
August-Bebel-Straße 20, 01219 Dresden, Hörsaal 2
Like early German landscape, the Netherlandish speciality of the “architectural” picture – the church interior, the fantastic city, the imaginary palace bereft of staffage – has long proven irruptive to iconographic campaigns.
The visual “emptiness” of the genre has frustrated searches for conventional signification, with Dutch scholars often claiming the paintings as unfinished workshop exercises, blueprints for utopian projects, or Reformed statements on figuration’s untruth. In his 1908 ‘Das niederländische Architekturbild’, however, Alois Riegl’s pupil Hans Jantzen argued for the opposite. He used the idea of the Raumbild (loosely: “space-picture”) to describe the genre’s specific visual indeterminacy, its thematization of “space” as potential yet unstable container for reference. How deliberate was this invention on the part of the early modern artists? And how has art history dealt with this apparent category of incongruence? This talk looks at a little-known painting associated with Jan van Scorel (1495-1562) to reconsider the potential of Jantzen’s category of the Raumbild. Rather than rehearse wearisome theorizations of “space” as a pictorial (albeit charged) void in pictorial composition, the talk considers Raum instead as a constitutive presence, a definition, it will be shown, which shares much with late medieval understandings of history.
Christopher P. Heuer specializes in early modern European art, with an emphasis upon Northern painting, architecture, and print culture. He is currently working on the Netherlandish reception of Byzantine icons; a translation of an Alois Riegl essay on Jacob van Ruisdael (1902); and a study of replicative media and failure. His essays have appeared in Word and Image, Res, Artforum, and the Burlington Magazine, and his first book, The City Rehearsed, was the recent recipient of support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. A second project currently underway deals with image projection technology (e.g. slides) and the idea of German art history. Before coming to Princeton, Heuer taught at Columbia, Berkeley and the University of Washington, Seattle. He has been a fellow at the Getty Research Institute, the Centre Canadien d’Architecture, and the Kunsthistorisch Instituut, Leiden.
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(Autor: Frank Pawella)
Bild: Jan van Scorel: Die Brücke; 1. Hälfte 16. Jahrhundert; The British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings; entnommen von www.prometheus-bildarchiv.de