Artibus et Historiae no. 4 (II)

1981, ISSN 0391-9064

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JOYCE BRODSKY - A Paradigm Case for Merleau-Ponty: The Ambiguity of Perception and the Paintings of Paul C├ęzanne

This article argues that 20th century emphasis on formal problems has prevented us from understanding Cezanne's work. It further argues that Merleau-Ponty's focus on Cezanne's self-portraits and on his other paintings as well, as paradigmatic of the ambiguity of perception engages them at their deepest level. While they are radically modern articulations of the ambiguity of perception they are also investigations of the genres developed in the tradition of western art. It is in that unresolved tension between a desired primal encounter and the decoding of the structures of western tradition that the nature-culture ambiguity emerges as the essential problem in the painter's ouvre.

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