Helen Johnson

Within this book, Helen Johnson considers the operations of painting today, proposing means by which painting, as an aesthetic practice, might continue to make a critical address. She describes the book thus, Being a painter in a post-medium specific context does not mean approaching painting as some sort of anachronistic refuge, or thinking that the modernist project of the specific medium can be rehabilitated, or even continue to be flogged. As a site for the production of meaning, painting is a rich field of loadings, neuroses and suggestiveness that can mesh with aesthetic qualities to make a charged conceptual space. Focusing on works by Juan Davila and Martin Kippenberger, this book proposes an extended understanding of how painting can operate aesthetically, grounded in Immanuel Kant’s formulation of aesthetic experience as implicitly connected to critical reflection. Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement constitutes the basis of a mobilisation of aesthetics for the reading of painting beyond formalism, embracing aesthetic criticality as an open position of refusal, rather than the dogmatic pursuit of a rational conclusion.”


Helen Johnson - Painting is a Critical Form
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