[Re-]Presentation of Natural Beauty

The next essay deadline looms, and I have only just got a subject, and a working title – natural beauty in the philosophies of Kant, Hegel and Adorno, with reference to contemporary art practice (meaning now, not contemporary with the aforesaid philosophers – that would be just too historical, even for me) and concentrating on specific photographers. One initial thought is to look at landscape photographers like Thomas Joshua Cooper, who could be said to work with ideas of the ‘sublime’ dating back to 19th. century landscape artists who were much influenced by Kant’s Critique of Judgement, as in this amazing image.  I dream of taking pictures like this.

Image

Thomas Joshua Cooper, A Premonitional Work, The River Findhorn
(Message to Timothy H. O’Sullivan),
Morayshire, Scotland, 1992
©Thomas Joshua Cooper, Courtesy Haunch of Venison

 Here the sheer beauty and power of the natural world is centre stage, in contrast to another image by Tracey Emin, in which the representation of nature is only one element in a complicated set of references to art history and the artist’s psyche.

Tracey Emin - Monument Valley (Grand Scale) 1995-97© Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin – Monument Valley (Grand Scale) 1995-97
© Tracey Emin

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