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Brushstroke and Emergence
Author: James D. Herbert

ISBN: 9780226272016
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 1 November 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 19.05 x 1.27
The loose brushstroke: no other pictorial device in 19th-century French painting did more to represent self expression" as it departed from flat Academic technique. Indeed, the brushstroke has long been a powerful symbol of artistic individuality. Yet recent discoveries in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind indicate that brushstrokes, the products of painstakingly acquired skill, do not straightforwardly reflect the conscious intent of their creators. Herbert draws on emergence theory" to explain what actually goes on when a painter puts brush to canvas. He shows how interactions of simple behaviors at one level of a complex interactive system can prompt unpredictable events at a higher level of the system that are qualitatively different from anything that exists at the lower level. Examining paintings by Courbet, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Seurat, and Picasso, he show how thousands of brushstrokes, following their own ingrained logic, combine to produce complete paintings that are qualitatively different from the brushstrokes themselves. Thus, as Herbert puts it, the brushstroke is actually quite an odd symbol for autonomous individuality, for ...

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