ARTIST? The Hypothesis of Bodiness

a new approach to understanding the artist and art

In his previous book ‘ART? No Thing! Analogies between art, science and philosophy’ artist and art theorist Fré Ilgen dealt with the interest of artists exploring human reality, emphasizing the actual experience of art evolving in between the viewer and the artifact. Renown art critic Donald Kuspit wrote about this book: ‘Fré Ilgen's Art? No Thing! is the most important publication by an artist since Kandinsky’s On The Spiritual in Art (1912).’

  • Author: Fré Ilgen
  • ISBN: 978 3 8030 3364 2
  • Size: 23,5 x 28,5 cm. Hardcover
  • Edition: 1st edition, original edition


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  • ‘ARTIST?‘ offers familiar, surprising and revolutionary insights in the complex self of the artist and the experience offered by works of art, arguing that the biological processes involved in creating and in encountering the artwork play a more important role than till now has been acknowledged. Ilgen questions innovation and unidirectional progress in art, and discusses the various struggles in art, including insecurity and mediocrity, emphasizing the natural importance of imperfection. He makes a strong point criticizing the cliché about the experience of art being only a cerebral, or only a retinal perception, and promotes the concept of whole mind/body perception. Discussing a large selection of artists across times and cultures, Fré Ilgen demonstrates the naturalness of artists proceeding from a virtuoso phase to maturation.
    The hypothesis of BODINESS is a new philosophy of the creation and experience of art, arguing we do not only and merely consciously decide what we wish to create or look at, because the human organism, the mind/body, sets perimeters for the creation of and experience offered by artworks. Bodiness does not have the body as subject but the involvement of the (mind/)body in everything we do, think or experience.
    ‘ARTIST?’ does not offer final answers but asks many profound questions, encouraging each reader to think for him/herself. Well researched and an approach much needed to stimulate the multi-disciplinary discourse on the naturalness of the human need for art. An approach that should stir all art students, artists, other art professionals, as well as encourage art lovers, medical doctors, scientists, maybe even politicians, to reconsider their interest in art as natural phenomenon of human being, necessary in everyday life, and as essential part of well-being that reaches beyond mere cultural expression or commodity.

  • Author Fré Ilgen
    ISBN 978 3 8030 3364 2
    Size 23,5 x 28,5 cm. Hardcover
    Number of pages 296 pages
    Illustrations 150 mostly colored illustrations
    Languages English
    Edition 1st edition, original edition
    Release April 2014


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