Find out about my research
interests and methods
Photo: © BOB RUDAN
Field of research
Theory and philosophy of all branches of art in Western culture, from the early modern period to the present, with accent on abstract art. Equal focus on the productive and reproductive art practice. My approach to the chosen topics in art and aesthetics is comparative and multi-disciplinary. Currently I am engaged in the study of the tendency towards abstraction in artistic expression as a confrontation or bridge between the emotional and rational, physical and spiritual, traditional and modern, classical and expressionistic, artistic and scientific, and as evidence of the rebellion against fixed rules and academic values and an attempt to make a leap into a new era, perhaps the last era of productive art marked, until the present, by the generally accepted styles. I stand on the shoulders of other scholars to look over the fence, thus I find inspiration and reinforcement for my views in Walter Benjamin’s idea of the original work’s aura, in Wilhelm Worringer’s writings on abstract art, Theodor W. Adorno’s philosophy of new music, Umberto Eco’s notion of the open art work, Višnja Machiedo’s essays on Surrealism, Oswald Spengler’s vision of the decline of the West, and Boris Groys’s idea that a copy may become an original.
Searching for analogies where only
resemblances seem to exist
Searching for opposites to establish
new creative wholes
Dialectical analysis and synthesis
In view of the fact that my research and studies are grounded in experience and systematic observation (immediate encounter with the objects of study, phenomena and facts, and their interaction and interrelations), the methods I implement are qualitative in nature. Information gathered from systematic observation is recorded and sorted according to a definite plan. From information classified in an orderly fashion I am able at any moment to derive insightful, well-justified arguments leading to a final conclusion relevant to the study at hand. Accordingly, the first step in my research is to identify opposites and extremes, for I believe that their very extremeness guarantees the simplest and most pertinent explanations of all the phenomena in history, theory and philosophy of art, as well as those governing artistic practice. In this approach, dialectical methods of analysis and synthesis have proven most useful to my work as they allow me a permanent, vibrant and dynamic development of theses, antitheses, and syntheses as elements of a unity and as factors in the struggle of opposites.
Given that the essence of dialectical analysis involves breaking down objects to learn what opposing and contradictory elements make them up, I proceed along this path with each studied object in order to arrive at the secrets of its composition. Dialectical synthesis, on the other hand, brings together these assorted elements in the form of a unified whole. Thus, in the second phase of my study I strive to juxtapose and reconcile isolated polarities, pairing them in lively interaction, but also correlating them with other pairs of polarities within the historic cycle of an elliptical situation, always taking care to place accents on two points. By pursuing this method I establish boundaries, discern patterns and links and from these I build a broader picture over and above the particularities of detail. In my research I aim to establish a new set of notions made up of opposing, even conflicting facts, embodied in a work of art as subjects of reflection. To put it briefly, by arriving at a comprehensive synthesis of information at hand I hope and aim to advance my own investigative processes and make them innovative.