Modernist isual art and literature are charged with reflection on the processes of perception highly relevant to the project of phenomenology. In this essay I will demonstrate how phenomenology as developed by Merleau-Ponty can contribute to a novel understanding of imagination as reflectively manifest in modernist art. Merleau-Ponty’s involvement with modernism includes Cézanne and other painters who afford phenomenological examination of the relations between perception and expression. An analysis of these relations demonstrate Merleau-Ponty’s radical, if often implicit, revision of traditional conceptions of imagination, both borrowing and diverging from his phenomenological predecessor Husserl, and offering a striking alternative to Sartre’s account. Offered here is a reconception of imagination in light of Merleau-Ponty’s account of embodied and expressive perception. To what extent Merleau-Ponty’s modernist imagination can relate forms of abstraction that predominate in the wake of Cézanne will be addressed in conclusion.
|Title of host publication||Understanding Merleau-Ponty, Understanding Modernism|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Dec 2018|
|Name||Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism|
- visual art