Week 8: Pictorial Bodies – Seminar 2

Painting has evidently made his existence remarkable in the ever growing field of contemporary art and media images in general.

Painting has demonstrated remarkable perseverance in the expanding field of contemporary art and the surrounding ecology of media images. However, it seems that painting today has disowned its once-indisputable material basis: the main idea we used to have about painting as a flat picture or stretched canvas hung on the wall, in not always the case nowadays. Instead, painting tends to stress out the structure and mechanism of its appearance and the conduits of its circulation.

As Isabelle Graw argues in her text Thinking through Painting – which examines painting’s traits and reception in cultural and socioeconomic discourse – with Peter Geimer and André Rottmann :

“We therefore cannot be sure what we are referring to when we talk “about painting”. Do we mean paintin in the sense of a medium, a technique, a genre, a procedure, or an institution? As a way out of these semantic quandaries I will propose a less substantialist notion of painting: a form of production of signs that is experienced as highly personalized. This understanding of painting as highly personalized semiotic activity has several advantages – it is less restrictive…”


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